Last weekend I was in Las Vegas for the 2nd annual BlogWorld show. A small event, it has grown fast over the last year, and I expect to it to continue to expand along with the influence of blogging.
One of the companies I advise, called Adoptic, a blog promotion network located here in Silicon Valley, attended so I flew in to take in the “state of the blogosphere” as they call it.
The keynotes were very interesting, if not informal.
The first, on Saturday, was an industry update by the relatively new CEO of Technorati, Richard Jalichandra. The numbers are eye popping: 900,000 blog posts every 24 hours, about 77 million unique blog visitors in August alone, 77% of active internet users read blogs and 184 million worldwide have started a blog.
SixApart (makers of TypePad, Movable Type, and other blog products) also gave a decent presentation, somewhat loaded with some self-serve promotions, but nevertheless with some solid ideas about the future of blogging.
The discussion on the definition of the term “blog” itself was interesting. How is it different from a standard web site? What about these large commercialized new media sites like Huffingtonpost.com that are starting to look like full-blown news organizations complete with editors, multiple writers and with strong influence?
On Sunday morning, the mood was relaxed, and slightly subdued after the BlogWorld party earlier that evening at The Hilton.
This time the keynote format was a panel with Linkin Park singer Mike Shinoda and first time author of “The 4 Hour Work Week”, Timothy Ferriss. They bantered about a variety of blog, and technology topics. Most time was spent on how to “brand” your identity on a blog and to build your readership while remaining true to your beliefs, passions, etc. The biggest applause came when Shinoda, of Linkin Park, stated that, despite what Warner Records might think, there is simply no reason for any band to need a record label other than to get their faces on major magazines. His advice for new bands: stick to your artistic vision and don’t compromise. The exception being that if your band name’s domain name is taken, rename your band!
As for the actual show and exhibitors, it was an impressive display of innovation, new business models and start-ups. A lot of the products and services seemed like “features”, not viable, long-term companies. In fact, I would guess at least 50% of the companies there have visions of selling out to a big player such as Google (the usual wishlist), Yahoo, Microsoft or even the Blog platform players such as SixApart.
That the show had such a good turnout (about 2,000) over the weekend in a down economy is proof positive of something afoot.
There is no doubt that blogs are about information and influence. Recent examples abound.
In Beijing, for example, the underage gymnast scandal broke thanks to blogs. It’s now routine for large traditional media outlets to publish their own blogs and even reference other blogs (not to mention Youtube) as news sources on television or in print. “Live-blogging”, a play-by-play style blog covering live events, is also increasingly common.
Another big trend and topic at the show was advertising. It’s a huge billion dollar industry. The lion’s share goes to Google of course who pioneered the business. But there are many other players, and the industry is still shaking out.
Exciting times for bloggers, the blog industry, and people who enjoy reading them!
Oh, one last tidbit I found interesting, the top 5 topics that bloggers write about are:
1. Personal and lifestyle