Technorati is now reporting 48m blogs worldwide. But who writes them? Robert Scoble and Guy Kawasaki can’t be doing all of it. According to a report in Slate, Pew Internet & American Life Project carried out a telephone survey of bloggers and published the results yesterday.
There is long tail of blogs and they’re not like the top 100 blogs many of us read so avidly. In fact most of them are about cats. (I made that bit up but it could be true.)
Here are some interesting observations from the Slate article:
About half of all American bloggers are men, says Pew. About half are under the age of 30. About half use a pseudonym. About half say creative self-expression or documenting personal experiences is a major reason for blogging. About half think their audience is folks they already know.
It’s interesting to note that whereas 90% of bloggers read blogs, only 39% of the internet audience read blogs, equating to 57m Americans.
The article closes with a predictable, if well-written, ‘get a life’ kicker.
Will the next Pew snapshot find bloggers engaging the outside world in greater numbers instead of cataloging their own? Will teenagers give up navel-gazing when they graduate from MySpace to the greater Web? If all these people really want from the Web is a hobby and to talk to their friends and family, they’d be better off taking pottery lessons and purchasing more cell-phone minutes.
I suspect that people want more from blogging than this. I suspect that many of the long tail bloggers have been bitten by the same thing that bit me when I sold my business: the joy of writing and the pleasure of being read.