Once upon a time, when Technorati was a major player in the world of blogging, its annual State of the Blogosphere report was big news. Bloggers would mine the report for nuggets of insight. The report was a kind of statistical abstract, a snapshot of where we bloggers stood in the brave new world of online media.
No more. A search of my overloaded, underread Google Reader turned up only three references to the latest report, which came out last week:
- The obligatory tech blog post, this one from TechCrunch, complete with Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra’s ad:tech slideshow (embedded below). TechCrunch’s key takeaway: Facebook and Twitter drive most of the blog traffic these days.
- A rundown of supposedly essential statistics by the Online Marketing Blog. (Sample stats cited: Most Bloggers update 2-3 times per week, one-third of us have worked in traditional media, and 25 percent of us blog from our smartphones. Interesting? For stat geeks, probably. But essential?)
- A reference in the text summary of Shel Holtz’s latest podcast, which I didn’t bother listening to.
It’s kind of sad that so few bloggers care to report on this report. I guess it’s because blogging has become more mainstream, and there isn’t much new and exciting about it anymore.
But I for one am glad Technorati still cares enough to analyze, compile and share this information. Not just because it gives me something to blog about, but also because it assures me that blogs still matter — even in the age of Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Tumblr.
To no one’s surprise, blogs are being transformed by other forms of social media. Technorati tells us that blogs are “in transition” from their “upstart” status of just five years ago. (Coincidentally, this blog was born in November 2005.) Technorati further tells us that the lines between blogs and other forms of social media are blurring. “As the blogosphere converges with social media, sharing of blog posts is increasingly done through social networks — even while blogs remain significantly more influential on blog content than social networks are.”
From my perspective, the key takeaway from the Technorati report comes from this Fast Company article. Weighing in on blogging’s impact on traditional media, FC concludes:
The traditional media should realize blogging, as the prime example of what’s dubbed “new media,” is a measurably more serious threat to its dominance in the publishing business. Blogs are using ever-more sophisticated tools, that tend to make their final products more and more indistinguishable from online efforts of old-media established names, and in some cases probably surpassing them, as new entities may be more flexible in their thinking (exemplified in the embrace of social media). Bloggers are making more money from their business, and have increasing confidence in their ability to have a positive impact on the media and the world.
Blogs are using ever-more sophisticated tools, that tend to make their final products more and more indistinguishable from online efforts of old-media established names, and in some cases probably surpassing them. … Hmmm. Maybe there’s a lesson here for higher education.
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Update, 1:45 p.m. CST Friday, Nov. 12: In another case in which blogging may pose a threat to mainstream news, Yahoo announces plans to expand its blog network and has recruited some seasoned journalists to move the effort along. The new blogs launch on Monday, Nov. 15.
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For those interested, here’s the slide presentation referenced above.