March 29, 2007
There have been rumblings lately about a decline in blogging.
Duncan Riley of 901 am recently wrote that the death of blogs is exaggerated — blogging is going through a “market correction,” not a death, he contends.
I’ll go a couple steps further. Blogging is not even going through a market correction, but in fact continues to see steady, and very healthy, growth.
The mistake Riley and others make is focusing on the rising number of abandoned blogs.
Those who have been watching the blogosphere closely for the last couple years — most notably (for me) the WordPress team — know that there always has been and always will be a healthy chunk of folks who try blogging only to find it isn’t for them. Blog abandonment is a constant element of the blogosphere. It just so happens that, we are now seeing the natural wave of abandoned blogs which is following the wave of blog creation over the last 6 months or so. But that far from an indicator that blogging itself is on the wane.
What is the right measure of “blogging?”
Simply looking at the number of blogs created always has and always will overreport the level of “blogging.” It makes alot more sense, instead, to look at more specific measures of blogging activity, things like number of posts, number of comments and audience. These are the measures of activity we at the Automattic board take more seriously than the number of blogs created.
If the WordPress numbers are any indication of the blogosphere more broadly (I am pretty sure they are), each one of these measures has continued to enjoy very consistent, strong growth over the last 12-18 months.