Blogging to Peak in 2007
The number of bloggers will likely level off next year, according to one tech consulting company.
Could blogging be near the peak of its popularity? The technology gurus at Gartner Inc. believe so. One of the research company’s top 10 predictions for 2007 is that the number of bloggers will level off in the first half of next year at roughly 100 million worldwide.
The reason: Most people who would ever dabble with Web journals already have. Those who love it are committed to keeping it up, while others have gotten bored and moved on, said Daryl Plummer, chief Gartner fellow. “A lot of people have been in and out of this thing,” Plummer said. “Everyone thinks they have something to say, until they’re put on stage and asked to say it.”
That’s no knock on blogging. Plummer noted that this leveling-off dynamic plays out all the time, though it often comes as a bit of a surprise when it hits things that had achieved quick popularity.
While I don’t know anything about Gartner or Plummer, their prognostication here strikes me as plausible.
Maintaining a decent blog requires a lot of effort and the return on that investment is small, indeed, for most people. Unless one derives a lot of pleasure from researching and writing, which relatively few people do, then the rewards of blogging come from ego–having people read and respond to one’s work–and financial. With millions of blogs out there competing for readers, though, it is exceedingly hard to build up a significant readership. And few of those blogs, even, will make even minimum wage for the hours invested.
Blogging as a medium will continue to flourish in the years to come. Blogging as a participatory social trend will likely level off and diminish.