technorati state of the blogosphere 2009

Technorati released its 2009 State of the Blogosphere report recently.  This year, nearly 3,000 bloggers were surveyed in September.  Survey results were combined with data from the Technorati index and Lijit.

The results are very interesting, showing that the growth of the blogosphere isn’t going to slow down anytime soon and the blurring of the lines between traditional media and new media will continue indefinitely as more and more authoritative content publishers join the blogosphere.  Interestingly, the State of the Blogosphere 2009 reports that 35% of respondents have worked in traditional media as a reporter, producer, or on-air personality, and another 27% currently blog and work in traditional media.

Technorati sums up the future of blogging succinctly:

“Blogging is the next step in a process of advancing communication from radio to TV to Internet messaging.  The breadth and depth of the blogosphere allows sophisticated information — and special expertise — enhanced range.  … The next generation of blogs will be more action-oriented, not just commenting on real time events but driving those events.”

The State of the Blogosphere 2009 report divides bloggers into 4 primary categories, which directly reflect the type of content they produce and their goals for their blogs as follows:

  • Hobbyists: 72% of survey respondents were classified as hobbyists who blog for fun and self expression.  They don’t make any money from their blogging activities and few have the desire to monetize their blogs in the future.
  • Part-Timers: 15% of survey respondents were classified as part-timers who blog to supplement their incomes but not as a full-time job.  Most part-timers blog to attract new business clients or to share their expertise.
  • Self-Employeds: 9% of respondents were classified as self-employeds who blog full time for their own company or organization.  Self-employeds are also the most active users of Twitter (88% of self-employeds use Twitter).
  • Pros: 4% of respondents were classified as pros who blog full time for a company or organization that they don’t own.  They blog to share their expertise and attract new clients for the business they work for.

The demographics of survey respondents are also very telling.  Overall, bloggers are more affluent and educated than the general population.  75% have college degrees and 40% have graduate degrees.  33% report annual household incomes of over $75,000 while 25% report annual household incomes of over $100,000.  Professional and self-employed bloggers are even more affluent with nearly 50% reporting annual household incomes over $75,000 and 33% reporting annual household incomes over $100,000.

A significant distinction between hobbyist bloggers versus part-time, self-employed and pro bloggers is the amount of time bloggers within each group spend working on their blogs.  Hobbyists are likely to publish posts less frequently (once a week) and they spend a smaller amount of time doing activities related to their blogs each week, too (fewer than 10 hours per week).

It’s amazing to consider that blogging — a tool that was originally used as an online journal — has grown to be an essential source for authoritative content.  I can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2010!

Image: Technorati.com