Peak Blogging

Well well. Technology analysts Garter predict that blogging will peak next year, levelling out at the 100 million mark (via CleanthesPhilo).

This kind of scare-mongering is manipulative and irresponsible.

Gartner analyst Daryl Plummer said the reason for the levelling off in blogging was due to the fact that most people who would ever start a web blog had already done so.

A fallacious argument, as any economist worth his stall will tell you. As technology changes, so new types of previously under-exploited blogs might grow in usage. People who are currently not blogging, in places such as Africa or the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, could find the practice to be rewarding and profitable.

Let us also remember that the supply of bloggers, while technically finite, is at least a renewable resource. Although these extra bloggers are not available to us at present, I think we can rely on human nature to provide us with an exponentially increasing supply of new bloggers, when the first wave begin to die off. Improbable though it may seem, some of the best bloggers may not even be born yet.

And yet, we notice that the biased BBC does not mention this. Instead it misrepresents the views of one firm of publicity seeking analysts, as a complete consensus accross the entire analyst community! Bloody typical.

6 Replies to “Peak Blogging”

  1. Robert,

    You are over the Select Society like a dose of salts this morning.

    You are, however, being too generous to me – a mere mortal. It is my colleague Philo who is gifted with the powers of prognostication.

    Cleanthes

  2. That wasn’t the only reason given to be fair. There is also evidence that a lot of people start blogs, run them for a few months and then stop, suggesting that the number of live blogs at any one time has an in-built equilibrium. What I would question is any assumption that increasing access to the internet will necceasarily increase the number of blogs.
    I read somewhere that less than half the worlds population currently has private internet access, so there is a potentially huge untapped market for bloggers and their readers. However, even where internet acess is already realatively easily available (i.e France), the internet has not become integrated into mainstream cuture as rapidly or seamlessly as in the UK/US.
    I think what I am tying to say is that the internet is what Vygotsky would have called a “cultural tool”, that is something which socially as well as technologically constructed. It is therefore likely to be perceived and used differently in different cultrures. As a very individualistic and resource dependent cluture (money and time) I suspect that even if the internet were available globally tomorrow, blogging would remain largely a product of Liberal/Western democracies.

  3. As a very individualistic and resource dependent cluture (money and time) I suspect that even if the internet were available globally tomorrow, blogging would remain largely a product of Liberal/Western democracies.

    Interesting. How does the Far East fit into this analysis, I wonder? Are they as keen on blogging? I’ve heard that in places like Japan, Korea and Singapore, the internet technology is more advanced in terms of speed… but that this connectivity is used in different ways. The “3G” services are more popular, whereas text messaging never took off in quite the same way. And don’t they drive the popularity of MMORPGs like Everquest and Second Life?

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  5. I don’t know how the far east fits in, as you say, on-line gaming and remote internet acess are apparently popular and texting less so. A cursory look at ebay would also suggest that the far east has been quick to capitalise on the commercial potential of the internet. As for blogging I’ve never performed a search that has led me to a far eastern blog, but that may be a language/search engine issue rather than evidence that blogging is less popular. The only other thing I have noticed is that south American players are well represented in on line chess.

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