We often think of the 'calm before the storm', but rarely do we recognize or even witness the 'calm after the storm'. This sunset occurred less than an hour after a severe storm, near Otter Falls, MB, that brought down a hundred trees near a cabin we had rented. The clouds became soft like cotton balls (mammatus clouds) and the sky was at peace.
So as you have read you might already have come to some personal conclusions as to what the major problems currently are for businesses and professionals in the blogging world right now. But, apply the math and future projections and these problems will only compound.
(A) OVERSATURATION-Traditional Text Blogs are drowning themselves based on current growth rates, making it harder and harder to stand out in the crowd.
(B) SPLOGGS-Spam blogs are a constant problem trying to snuff out relevant web content, making it even harder and harder to stand out in the crowd, and as well chewing up valuable time dealing with spam.
(C) Customers and readers are becoming dismissive of the impersonal old fashioned websites, and are flocking to companies and bloggers who innovate with blogs that connect on a more personal level delivering TRULY GOOD CONTENT with video, audio and micro blogging, which are quicly becoming the new base standard.
So what does this all translate into?
This means for companies and individual bloggers that don’t try and stay ahead of the curve, it is likely that they will achieve moderate to little success from traditional blogging.
The amount of effort that is required in promoting a traditional blog to massive popularity is becoming akin to a musician landing a recording contract or an actor trying to land a major Hollywood role. Is it possible, Yes. Is it likely for 99% of bloggers, NO! It is an unfortunate truth in the blogosphere, as there are many, many talented bloggers who will largely go unnoticed because they didn’t innovate and stay ahead of the curve.
A few years back it was almost as simple as throwing up a blog, creating some quality content, and watching the traffic magically appear. Now days, more and more bloggers are spitting out fantastic content, but are having to devote just as much, if not more time to traffic generation.
Here are some traditional methods bloggers use to try and drive eyeballs to their blogs (of which each day that passes become less and less effective):
The above methods are just scratching the surface, and are currently resulting in mediocre results for the majority of bloggers. They are having to go to more and more extreme methods to try and stand out from the crowd and get noticed.
There are currently 3,950,000 Google Results for “blogging ebook”
There are currently 10,600,000 result for “blog traffic”
Whole industries have developed around traffic generation, and strategies range from simple and clean, to highly suspect and likely to get your blog banned from Google or other search engines.
The problem with most of the above method(s), in Figure 1.61 is that in combination with the growing number of blogs, and the growing number of bloggers trying to implement silver bullet style solutions to generate traffic, it is causing even more dilution in an over saturated market.
The core illness or symptoms in the blogosphere that are killing traditional blogs are; oversaturation & sploggs. It will be up to the blog community to bury their dead, innovate and move on.
If you don’t begin to change now, you will be left behind!
… Please Come Back Later This Week to Read The Final Conculsion of Traditional Blogs Are Dying- Part 4‘How To Stay Ahead of the Curve & Profit’
Using Technorati’s math of 133 Million Blogs worldwide, and disregarding the generally excepted 180 Million blogs number (often quoted online) I did a simple growth chart. As you will see in figure 1.51 below, if blogs were just to simply keep growing at the pace they are now of about 94 Million blogs added each year, by 2018 we will have over 1 Billion blogs online.
The reality is that growth is speeding up, not slowing down. If blogs did not speed up their growth and are currently posting about 7.4 Million articles every 120 days or over 22 Million per year, then by 2010 there will be over 50 million blog posts being added each year.
Let’s consider if growth compounds.
By 2013 there could be over 1 Billion Blogs online.
In all likelihood, the compound growth scenario in Figure 1.52 is probably most accurate considering 78% of the 6.6 Billion people on the planet aren’t online yet. As you will see in Figure 1.53 below, over 1 Billion new internet users came online in just the last 8 years, many of whom decided to blog. So, if the annual growth rate of new internet users’ stays constant or grows, then this means even more competition and dilution for the current 133 Million blogs.
Figure 1.51 LeeRaito.com Simple Growth Projection (Blogs growing at 94,608,000 blogs per year)
Figure 1.52 LeeRaito.com Compound Growth Projection (Blogs compounded growth of 50%/year)
Figure 1.53 World Internet Net User Statistics http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats2.htm
Traditional Blogs are Dying & Why You Need to Stay Ahead of the Curve to Profit
This is part one of a four part quasi White Paper I have put together on the changing and controversial landscape of traditional blogging. My hope is to create a conversation on whether people agree or disagree that traditional blogs are dying, and what the future holds for the blogosphere.
Intro: The Blogosphere’s Problems Are Your Opportunity
Section 1: Current Stats on the Blogosphere
Section 2: Long Run Projection Rates
Section 3:The Problem(s)
Section 4: How to Stay Ahead of The Curve & Profit
Conclusion: The Death of the Traditional Blog Is Your Opportunity To Stay Ahead of The Curve
Intro: The Blogosphere’s Problems Are Your Opportunity
What is the problem?
The blogosphere needs some form of birth control, as with current growth rates by 2010, there will be approximately 300 Million blogs online making it next to impossible for 99% of regular companies, professionals and personal bloggers to benefit from traditional blogging. There is not going to be a magical pill to stop the growth.
3 Blogs Are Born Every Second
As you will see through out this White Paper there is a fundamental paradigm shift going on in the elite circles of the Blogosphere towards multi-media blogging & micro blogging as the death of traditional blogging takes hold. This shift is occurring because it has to, in order to keep blogs alive and relevant. The statistics that you will read in Section 1 and projected growth rates in Section 2 will astound you, and you will begin to understand why the old school style text blog is a dying breed (Only A Select Few Will Survive)!
Section 1: Current Statistics on the Blogosphere
Many of the statistics you will see here are cast in a positive light, as they were drawn from over 1000 bloggers who took part in Technorati’s.com 2008 State of The Blogosphere Survey. I am highlighting the positive aspects, because I want to be very clear that the opportunity for blogging, into 2009 and beyond, is nothing short of amazing. But as you will also see, there is a darker side of the Blogosphere that Technorati did not delve into. It is this darker side, and overpopulation of new blogs that pose the majority of problems that will need to be overcome in the coming years and decade.
With three new blogs coming online every second it is hard to fathom the numbers. With Technorati’s 133 Million blogs on record, one way to measure the statistical significance of the all the new content coming online is to look at ping statistics. A ping occurs when a blog posts a new article.
As you will see in Figure 1.11 below, 93% of Spinn3r’s hourly pings are from spam blogs. Technorati safeguards itself and its members from this spam, but the blogosphere increasingly has to fight this new reality.
If you are a blogger, whether corporate or personal this is a major problem which is costing you or your company time and money.
What Are Spam Blogs?Sometimes referred to by the neologism splogsare artificially created weblog sites which the author uses to promote affiliated websites or to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites. The purpose of a splog can be to increase the PageRank or backlink portfolio of affiliate websites to artificially inflate paid ad impressions from visitors and/or use the blog as a link outlet to get new sites indexed. Spam blogs are usually a type of scraper site where content is often either inauthentic text or merely stolen (see blog scraping) from other websites. These blogs usually contain a high number of links to sites associated with the splog creator which are often disreputable or otherwise useless websites.There is frequent confusion between the terms “splog” and “spam in blogs”. Splogs are blogs where the articles are fake and are only created for search engine spamming. To spam in blogs conversely is to include random comments on the blogs of innocent bystanders in which spammers take advantage of a site’s ability to allow visitors to post comments that may include links.Figure 1.12
Why are spam blogs so pervasive? Simple answer… its profitable!
Here are what bloggers are writing about:
So why do bloggers blog anyways?
Considering only 21% of bloggers make any money at all, it appears many of the remaining bloggers will at some point try and monetize their blog. As you will see in the next section on Long Run Projections, this will be a very difficult task with fierce competition from not only the existing blogosphere, but the millions of new internet users that will choose to blog.
Yes, blogging can be lucrative.
If you find yourself in the top 1%, then your blog is responsible for over $200,000 in revenue each year. These top earners also skew the numbers, and as a result have many traditional blog newbie’s chasing a carrot that is 99% unachievable.
Having said all that, the future of multimedia and micro blogging is bright… it just won’t be with traditional text only blogs.
The future of bloggingBloggers peer into their crystal balls and prognosticate:”Andy Warhol said that in the future, everyone would be famous for 15 minutes. His point was that we would shift from having a few famous people for a long time to many famous people for a short time. I think the number of blogs will grow, but the average life span of a blog will shorten.”Scott Sheppard labs.blogs.com“There will be more blogs used in education, particularly among K-12 students and teachers. Bookmarks will merge with blogs for those of us who use our blogs as note-pads or filing cabinets. Blog archives will be viewed as a rich source of cultural history. Blogs will be a means for more collaborative team work. People will expect businesses, media, and print organizations, even government organizations, to have some form of blog, in order to promote communication. Blogging will also help to provide insight to businesses about their consumers.”Lynn Marentette interactivemultimediatechnology.blogspot.com“This is just the beginning for blogging. People are getting better and better at this skill set, quality is improving, and we will soon have millions of people generating great content around the clock.”Brett Bumeter softduit.com“There’s a lot of sploggage out there now, and tons of “make money” type bloggers which glut the playing field. It makes the searching and finding of good content difficult. I think the individual or group blog or blogging group networks will simply be a part of the warp and woof of the Internet. There’s no better way to communicate with a large number of people than blogging.”
“Blogs will eventually morph – some will break off into hybridized news sites, others into password-protected ‘personal diaries,’ with others going on to offer products and services (home businesses).”
“I’ve loved watching how some of the Big Dog corporate bloggers adopt the characteristics that make the best personal blogs so effective: personality, passion, smarts, usefulness, humor. ÊBlogging and other forms of social media are changing corporate-think and driving a revolution in how companies do business.”
Debbie Weil Blogger and author of The Corporate Blogging Bookdebbieweil.com
In short, the blogosphere is clearly changing and although the stats are very clear the opportunity is great, there are severe problems to overcome from overpopulation and the increase of spam blogs.
** If you have Stumbled Upon this blog after the contest has closed please post your comments below or subscribe to our email list as we will be doing more in the future!!!!
First Place – Suwari (Comment 41) Second Place – Yang T (Comment 31) Third Place- Nicola (Comment 49)
We will update which Charities benefited once the winners have indicated where the $$$ is going!
We have to make a special note of Nicola who desperatley tried to bribe the judges by sending the photo on the left. We hope they will enjoy the suprise bonus. Also, our oldest daughter Emma really wanted Yang T to be the top winner, as the story of ripping a dollar bill in half really had her chuckling. As you will see in the below video, the results of the contest were 100% random, and although you needed the judges vote to get into the final 10, it was all luck after that.
Well our first blog contest has sadly come to an end, but you can be sure this won’t be the last.
My wife and three daughters have simply been amazed that entries have come from the furthest reaches of China, Italy, the United States, Africa and many other countries. Many contestants were very creative and even wise in attempting to bribe the wee judges. Everyone has a worthy charity to support and we truly wish we could support them all!
Thank you to everyone who took part and we look forward to ‘Paying It Forward’ more in 2009.
Video Proof of Random Draw of 10 Finalists: