Thursday, November 27, 2008

Technorati’s "State of the Blogosphere" 2008

Following on the interesting discussions we had at the ICCAD EDA Bloggers Birds of a Feather meeting on Nov-12 comes Technorati's "State of the Blogosphere 2008" report. My fellow bloggers, and anyone considering starting their own blog, will find a wealth of information here. I think it should be fun to compare ourselves to the data from Technorati's survey of more than 1000 bloggers.

Here are some of the observations that I found to be particularly interesting in the 5-part report:

How many blogs and blog readers are there?

eMarketer (May 2008)

  • 94.1 million US blog readers in 2007 (50% of Internet users)
  • 22.6 million US bloggers in 2007 (12%)

Universal McCann (March 2008)

  • 184 million WW have started a blog 26.4 US
  • 346 million WW read blogs 60.3 US
  • 77% of active Internet users read blogs

What exactly is a blog?

As we discussed at ICCAD, Technorati also reports that "the lines between what is a blog and what is a mainstream media site become less clear."

I found this to be a very apropos description of the state of the blogosphere:

Technorati defines the Active Blogosphere as: The ecosystem of interconnected communities of bloggers and readers at the convergence of journalism and conversation.

I believe it is this convergence that may cause angst for the (few remaining) traditional journalists who are reluctant to be identified with the vast, unrestricted horde of bloggers. But, as the report also points out, "95% of the top 100 US newspapers have reporter blogs". The lines are blurred and there's no going back.

Technorati segments blogs into three different types:

  • Personal: blog about topics of personal interest not associated with your work.
  • Professional: blog about your industry and profession but not in an official capacity for your company.
  • Corporate: blog for your company in an official capacity.
Based on this, I would now describe my Analog Insights blog on the Synopsys Open Community as "Professional", whereas The World is Analog is Personal. (It could change to Professional when I find new employment J).

While I was employed by Synopsys Analog Insights may have been a bit more like Professional(80%)/Corporate(20%), since the blog was never part of my assigned job responsibilities, though the topics related to my "official capacity" as a Product Marketing Manager. I don't think I would ever do a 100% Corporate blog. Then I would expect people to question "whose voice is it"?

My favorite quote in the Technorati report about defining blogs… from the well known e-marketing guru Seth Godin:

"The word blog is irrelevant, what's important is that it is now common, and will soon be expected, that every intelligent person (and quite a few unintelligent ones) will have a media platform where they share what they care about with the world."

Who blogs?

  • Two-thirds are male
  • 50% are 18-34
  • More affluent and educated than the general population
  • Four out of five bloggers are personal bloggers
  • ~50% of bloggers are professional bloggers — blogging is not necessarily their full-time job, but they blog about their industry or profession in an unofficial capacity.
  • 12% of bloggers blog in an official capacity for their company.

Why do we blog?

This chart speaks for itself, complementing the data on how bloggers described their style; with "those under 34 are more confessional in their blogging style, while those over 35 are more expert in their style."

I think that experienced bloggers know that there is little opportunity to make money at it, though I am surprised that the Technorati survey showed 20% make some money. Perhaps that is because most of my blogging associates are professional, and don't have advertising on their blogs. In the Technorati survey that was a minority (46% without ads).

With literally millions of bloggers globally, I was especially interested to see how the survey addressed my topic from ICCAD – "Building an Online Community". Keeping in mind that the survey was conducted by Technorati, I still believe this is a good set of tips. Give lots of "link love"!

Bloggers employ a variety of technologies to attract visitors. Top
audience-building strategies include: listing their blog on Technorati and Google, commenting or linking to other blogs, and tagging blog posts so that they are more easily searchable. All of this hard work has paid off — half of active blogs attract more than 1000 monthly visitors.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!


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