Daily devotion to blogs waning
Dan Knutson, the man behind the blog "And I am somebody," still is somebody, even though he’s been missing from his Minnesota blog since August.
"Ghost Noise and Psychic Dream Butter" hasn’t rattled its chains since the summer. Even the confidently named "I Blog Therefore I Am" Web site posted only once between Dec. 4 and 17, an entry consisting simply of the word yadda repeated over and over.
"Yes, life has intervened," Knutson said recently. "I’d love to keep the blog going, but I’m fearful it may have gasped its last breath. It was great for a while, but it became a chore."
Knutson isn’t alone in feeling all blogged out.
The technology firm Gartner Inc. has announced that 2007 could be the year when the blog world loses steam.
• There were more than 56 million active weblogs, typically called blogs, in October, according to Technorati, but the average life span is three months and declining.
• Given the trend in the average life span of blogs and their current growth rate, there already are more than 200 million ex-bloggers. So, the peak number of bloggers worldwide will be about 100 million at some point in the first half of 2007.
• MySpace and Facebook lost visitors in September, according to Nielsen/NetRatings, a Web-tracking service. The number of unique U.S. visitors at MySpace fell 4 percent to 47.2 million from 49.2 million in August, and the number of visitors to Facebook fell 12 percent to 7.8 million from 8.9 million.
• Today’s overexuberance will level off to at least 30 million active bloggers and 30 million frequent community contributors worldwide.
That’s still a lot of yapping, but consider that Google recently estimated that the average blog is read by one person.
The reason, according to Gartner, is that people have gotten bored with their blogs, or just found the responsibility of saying something interesting every day just isn’t worth it.
"Everyone thinks they have something to say, until they’re put onstage and asked to say it," said Daryl Plummer, chief Gartner fellow.
Rex Sorgatz, who founded the site MNSpeak and now is Innovations Director for msnbc.com in Seattle, doesn’t think Gartner’s data portends the end for blogs.
"I’m honestly no blog triumphalist, but when did 100 million people involved in contributory media become a disappointment?" he said.
Sorgatz thinks that the definition of the term is changing: "There’s something happening on MySpace that is bloglike, but not exactly blogging. The same goes with Twitter, where people are sort of insta-blogging."
For now, many blogs clearly have a shelf life.
One blogger who decided to give it a rest is Kevin-M, at the Insomnia Report, who wrote this in October:
"Over the past couple of weeks I’ve grown less and less enthusiastic about keeping up this site. So I’ve decided to stop doing it for a little while. ... So, this is goodbye for now."
(Thanks to Coloumbus Dispatch)