Over the past year or two there has been a lot of buzz about the decline of blogs. I’m not sure where that thought started, but it seemed completely off to me. If a new report from eMarketer is correct, it seems that blogging is far from over. In fact, in 2010, 50.1% of U.S. Internet users read blogs. By 2014, that number is expected to increase to 60.0%. So much for the decline of blogs. Check out the graph below to see the growth trend since 2008.
I think the most telling part of this eMarketer report is the following conclusion by the report’s author, Paul Verna (eMarketer senior analyst):
“Trends in blog reading are expected to maintain an upward course as blogs continue to gain influence in the mainstream media. But there is a caveat to this forecast: Over time, blogs will continue to become indistinguishable from other media channels.”
This isn’t surprising to Newstex whose authoritative publishing partners may use traditional blogging applications to publish their content but that content is far from the personal diaries that blogs started out as over a decade ago. Today, many blogs are just as good or better than traditional media in terms of breaking news and delivering authoritative analysis and discussion on a wide variety of topics.
Interestingly, the eMarketer report also notes that only 11.9% of the U.S. Internet population updates a blog at least monthly, and that number is expected to grow to 13.3% by 2014. Surely, not all of those blogs will be authoritative, but the notion that blogs are dying is clearly wrong. However, the idea that not all blogs are created equal is very true. As with all forms of media, blogs and bloggers provide varied information for diverse audiences. They’re a long way from disappearing.
What do you think?