Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Blogs ... are all the rage in some quarters. We're told that blogs will evolve into a unique source of information and are sure to become the future of journalism. Well, hardly. Two things are happening to prevent such a future: The first is wholesale abandonment of blog sites, and the second is the casual co-opting of the blog universe by Big Media.

Let's start with abandoned blogs. In a white paper released by Perseus Development Corp., the company reveals details of the blogging phenomenon that indicate its foothold in popular culture may already be slipping.... According to the survey of bloggers, over half of them are not updating any more. And more than 25 percent of all new blogs are what the researchers call "one-day wonders." Meanwhile, the abandonment rate appears to be eating into well-established blogs: Over 132,000 blogs are abandoned after a year of constant updating.

Perseus thinks it had a statistical handle on over 4 million blogs, in a universe of perhaps 5 million. Luckily for the blogging community, there is still evidence that the growth rate is faster than the abandonment rate. But growth eventually stops.

The most obvious reason for abandonment is simple boredom. Writing is tiresome. Why anyone would do it voluntarily on a blog mystifies a lot of professional writers. This is compounded by a lack of feedback, positive or otherwise. Perseus thinks that most blogs have an audience of about 12 readers.... Some people must feel the futility.

-- From a short essay on "the beginning of the end for blogging" by John C. Dvorak, in PC Magazine (via Keks--I don't read PC Magazine & would never have noticed this otherwise).

This is as good a time as any to note that this blog reached its first anniversary about a month and a half ago--which I didn't think worth mentioning before. Let's say I was feeling the futility.

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