Is Blog Reading Mainstream?

I was reading Technorati's State Of The Blogosphere report yesterday. It has a lot of data on bloggers but not so much on readers. And I'm more curious about readers than bloggers.

I believe that blog reading has gone completely mainstream based largely on discussions I've had with friends who are not in the tech business (one advantage of living and working in NYC) and based on talking to my kids and their friends. I really don't know anyone who doesn't read blogs these days.

Here is some interesting data to think about:

Blogger comscore

Comscore says a Blogger powered blog is viewed by almost 300mm unique visitors worldwide every month.

Tumblr had 50mm visitors in July.

Quantcast disqus
Quantcast says Disqus powered blog comment systems reached 60mm people worldwide in the last month.

These are big numbers. Blogs are being read by hundreds of millions of people worldwide every month and the growth numbers for companies like Tumblr and Disqus (both of which are Union Square Ventures portfolio companies) are very encouraging.

I think it is clear from a quick review of these numbers that blog reading is a mainstream and a mass medium. And the companies that serve this market, both bloggers and blog readers, are in a very interesting position.

We started investing in blog related businesses early in the development of our first fund and have now invested in delicious, feedburner, adaptive blue,, disqus, tumblr, and zemanta. We also invested in twitter because we thought it was a quicker and faster form of blogging.

The thesis that blogs were a new form of publishing and self expression is playing out nicely and we are pleased with the progress of our companies and the market as a whole. And I think we are not anywhere near the end game.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Diego Sana

    I think that a technology can be declared mainstream when people use it without noticing. I have toons of friends and relatives who read blogs daily but don’t realize that. So yes, blog reading is mainstream 🙂

    1. Eric Marcoullier

      What Diego said. I doubt the average person distinguishes between a “web site” and a “blog”. And that’s a good thing. It’s about content, not the wrapper.

      1. fredwilson

        Nice line at the end eric

      2. howardlindzon

        i know you…

    2. Marko Saric

      I was about to write the same thing. Many people I talk with see no difference between a static website and a blog, and that certainly is a great sign for the blogosphere and all the bloggers. Blogs are definitely mainstream now.

    3. Keenan

      A friend of mine, who is VERY active on Facebook, said blogs were for “entertainment” in an effort to defend a newsletter. What I don’t think people realize (my friend included) is that many of the things they read on the web are blogs. I think Eric and Diego are spot on.If asked most people would tell you no, or only some of the time, not knowing much of what they read is a blog.What would be a neat stat is the % of blogs vs. the number of websites. From there you could do all kinds of things including determine the number of views per blog. If they are BOTH rising that would be a compelling argument blogs are becoming mainstream.

  2. Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

    There’s a difference between viewed (page loads) and read (can’t really be measured well).But you may find this interesting:…I crunch some numbers — 9.5% of ALL time spent is on AOL websites, only 4.3% is in Google websites (yes, I guess that’s INCLUDING YouTube! :O ).All in all, my conclusion is that the web is largely controlled by just a relatively small number of mainstream websites — and unless you call sites such as twitter + facebook (+youtube?) “community blogs” (as I do), then my guess is that blogging probably plays a VERY small role (measured in time — and as we know: time is money 😉

    1. fredwilson

      I don’t think that analysis is correct and I also think the trend is away from concentration

      1. Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

        Do you suppose Nielsen Online’s data is untrustworthy, or why do you doubt the validity of the analysis?I would be happy for more decentralization — such that e.g. a community of Venture Capitalists could make authoritative judgments about venture capital news (rather than some one-size fits-all search engine 😉

      2. Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

        oh, I just re-read my comment — and now I see I made a mistake: I said “the web is largely controlled by just a relatively small number of mainstream websites” but what I SHOULD HAVE said is “the web is largely controlled by just a relatively small number of mainstream MEDIA COMPANIES, each running a variety of websites”

  3. msuster

    No doubt in my mind it’s mainstream. My wife reads mommy blogs and happiness blogs. My siblings keep personal blogs as a way to tell our extended family about the progress of their 1 year olds. Many people across the country read Perez Hilton (although I still don’t get this one!). During the presidential election we saw the rise of sites like Talking Points Memo and others. I have been loving Disqus. It has made my life much easier as a blogger to continually connect with people who are commenting on my site.

    1. fredwilson

      Do any of your siblings use disqus? My daughter moved her blogger powered blog to disqus last week. Took her less than five mins and she said it was simple

      1. msuster

        Good idea – they’re both on Blogger. So nice when you comment on someone’s blog to be able to subscribe to their response to your comments. Thanks.

  4. joshuakarp

    …and 36 user selected blogs appearing every morning at your train station in The Printed Blog…

  5. adamwexler

    The news is one thing. Educated opinion pieces are another. I think we want a mix of both, with opinion:news on a 75%:25% ratio.Also, everybody is looking for their niche likings. In your case, I think the startup/VC world is an emerging field of interest and you have become a trustworthy figure that creates a engaging discussion. Thanks Fred!

  6. Elie Seidman

    my father is a professor of engineering in his early 70s and has been using email since the early 90s if not earlier. He definitely knows the term blog but I’d be surprised if he reads any in RSS/reader/website form. That being said, he receives lots of blogs converted into email form. So while he would not identify himself as a blog reader, he is. He’s more of an “email newsletter” reader. Email remains incredibly important.

  7. Tariq

    I think blogging is definitely more mainstream, especially because it fulfills these gaps in publishing for really niche areas, coupled with the fact that 99% of blogs are free to access. There’s a lot of good knowledge out there that used to be hidden in subscription-only trade publications. Or for stock analysis you used to have to be a subscriber Barron’s or pay for research, but now you’ve got tons of people analyzing stocks and following them on their blogs with work that’s arguably better.Now, whenever you publish something it’s likely to get indexed by search engines, making it readable to anyone who’s out there who is searching for a term that you’re writing about. When you think about it like that, you can see the power that blogging can have, especially when reaching niche audiences.

    1. fredwilson

      The search point is important and not as well understood as it should be

  8. Nick Giglia

    Blogs are becoming more mainstream, but I think that’s also a function of the quality and ubiquity of the bloggers themselves. For example, some sports teams have begun handing press credentials to bloggers, Obama has taken questions from sites like The Huffington Post in his press conferences, and most (if not all) newspapers are running blogs. Platforms like Disqus, as have been mentioned, are helpful in creating a unified platform and an easier way to make comments (I’ll be moving my blogs over to Disqus sometime in the next 2 weeks or so).To me, however, the main issue is that bloggers can, in many instances, provide a higher quality of reporting than many mainstream outlets. More people will flock to blogs as more bloggers prove themselves to be reliable and entertaining sources for news and opinion. That, to me, is the big differential: the stereotype of blogger as angry loser blogging in PJ’s from his/her parents’ basement is long gone, and professional bloggers are cropping up everywhere.

  9. Vladimir Vukicevic

    Blogging seems to be correlated with the continued appreciation of trust – both online and in the real world. Most people that I know who read blogs either know or perceive to know the content-creators – giving them a higher sense of trust in the content that is being delivered.

  10. Tracy in W. Seattle

    Many breakouts I’ve seen on this report further legitimize something I’ve been evangelizing for months now: Let’s stop separating “bloggers” and writers; let’s stop separating “blogs” and websites.”Blog” is a publishing format, NOT a description of what you are publishing. Using the generic terms “blogger” and “blogging” doesn’t help further understanding of what’s going on online and who’s involved.For example, we are former veteran traditional-media people who publish a professional, journalist-run, commercial, community-collaborative news service that happens to be in blog format. Our site has “blog” in its name because frankly I started it as something else entirely four years ago and didn’t know any better at the time – but I am adamant in insisting on being called a journalist, not a “blogger” – using the latter makes as much sense as calling a “newspaper” employee a “newspaperer,” or a radio-station employee a “radioer.”Describe your work/hobby with words that specify what you do – are you a journalist? diarist? photographer? advocate? rabblerouser? Etc.In that context, “is blog reading mainstream?” makes as much sense as asking “is reading mainstream?” It’s just a publishing format. Let’s dispense with the languaging that separates “bloggers” from other writers/publishers, and fold them in, because clearly the time has come.

    1. ShanaC

      This is a much better question- we’ve forgotten that serialized content is old. Some of our best literature was and still is published serialized, such as Charles Dickens. Blogs are just a platform. Content is sort of irrelevant, beyond that they are serialized.

    2. fredwilson

      That’s a good point tracy. But I never wrote until I started blogging. And I think of myself and what I do as blogging, not writingI am a blogger

  11. ShanaC

    Mainstream. They’ve been becoming Mainstreamed when you start hearing of the “credible” new sources ie the NYTimes, the Wall Street Journal, quoting bloggers in their news stories…

  12. hardaway

    Part of that is the conversion of main stream media to the blog format. People are reading blogs who never intended to do so, but as you know, once you try it, it’s contagious:-) Suddenly you are not just reading the Times blogs, but the mommy blogs.

  13. Ethan Bauley

    To Diego’s (excellent) point…whenever I have a discussion about “blogging” with communications/marketing folk, I show them screencaps of (yes I know it’s on Drupal as of this week ;-), NYTimes Bits, etc.To Fred’s point about the Twitter investment thesis, “blogging” is just another proxy for “software for publishing on the web”Related:Quantcast has directly measured data on WordPress…61M monthly uniques from the US, 214M globally…

    1. fredwilson

      WordPress and Blogger are both greater than 200mm monthlyWow

      1. ShanaC

        Why are you so surprised- I used to quote translations I got from blogposts because they were better than the ones we found in books for school.

  14. Michael Jung

    “we are pleased with the progress of our companies and the market as a whole.”I would like to see the projections of ‘publishing’ when regions/countries like Africa, China, Latin America increase the adoption rate of technology to do so (PC/Laptop/Phone + Internet connectivity) and reach the level of ‘almost saturated’. Second, borders like censorship and blocking of content breaking down. And third, natural language translation is usable and ubiquitous (eg English to Chinese, Chinese to English, dependent what your language setting is, embedded in your browser [Hello Chrome/Google]).There is lots of head room in this ‘market segment’, and for your fund and expertise to expand. Look outside your comfort zone #China. It might be even more rewarding (not only financially) than being invested in US start-ups.

    1. fredwilson

      China is a huge oppty but you can’t do what we do with our companies from that far away. That is someone else’s oppty

  15. Dasher

    Not surprised to see most of your readers agreeing that bloggin has gone mainstream. It is a case of sample bias. It would be more interesting to poll people on the street.It also depends upon the definition of blogging. If you include facebook and twitter status updates then I would say blogging has gone mainstream. If not, I don’t think it has yet, though I think it is on its way.

  16. ShanaC

    One last question: Back to the blogstars post- do these statistics measure impactfulness in critical populations?Even if your pretend Aunt sally hasn’t read a blog post (yet) -that her nephew Charlie has, and her nephew does ABC heavior because he reads blogposts, and he drags his Aunt Sally into the funnel of whatever that behavior is- can we measure that as being critical mass? That say Viral Videos will now appear cross mediums because of our nephew Charlie is reading blogs and is engaging in social media. So the tipping point has arrived even if there isn’t quite the critical mass, because of how content is being shared across mediums?

  17. petekazanjy

    Trying to suss what is “mainstream” is a challenge in and of itself, so, like Diego above, I think it’s often useful look at simpler heuristics, one of my faves being “the mom test.”My mom reads blogs. And forwards links to friends via email. And posts links on Facebook. As does her mom. And yes, they have me, a web-native, in their family. But still. Grandma’s using Facebook. So that test comes back a whopping “pass” in my book. ; )What’s interesting, is that while they read, the aren’t creating content as much yet. For example, they have a tendency to not comment on my girlfriend’s blog when they read it, though they’ll email her and me with, what are essentially comments.

    1. fredwilson

      My mom and dad (late 70s/early 80s) have been reading this blog since day one. Same with gotham gal’s blog, my girls’ blogs, my twitter and tumblr, my brothers blog, etc, etcThey have never commented publicly. Not onceI do get emails sometimes

  18. lawrence coburn

    Blogs continue to surge while RSS readers become marginalized / unnecessary. I didn’t see that coming – a few years ago i would have guessed that blog readership would pull rss readers into the mainstream. Search and social seem to have picked up the slack.

    1. fredwilson

      I got that one right, thankfully and in this one case, it was my inability to use an RSS reader (never have been able to use one despite trying dozens of times) that helped me out

  19. abhic

    I don’t know if this is the right way of looking at it or not, but user generated content and social distribution have definitely arrived. Whether we call them blogs or tumblogs or microblogs or whatever else are labels, which will keep changing.Amateurs and professionals now generate quality content in every niche possible and with such velocity that they are comparable to mainstream sources in almost every facet. I don’t care if Techmeme links out to CNET or Louis Gray or a new name blogger, if its there its filtered enough for a click. Besides anecdotal evidence, I think this is now mainstream because the discussion around finding sustainable models for journalism and associated institutions is gaining steam. Blogs and community driven models fit squarely in that scheme of things. I am very excited about the evolving models and to see where the buck really stops.

    1. Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

      Interesting — What is it about the techmeme filtering process that makes you trust it so much? Would you say that you trust it more or less than Google? Does the answer depend on the context? If so, in which contexts do you trust techmeme, in which contexts do you trust Google (and in which contexts do you trust some other intermediary / media source)?

      1. abhic

        The answer isn’t a staight forward one.Its a mix of bunch of things. Its a niche I can understand so I can discern individually if the content being propped up is meaningful or not, it has general acceptance amongst my peers so it adds to its brand cache, I follow Gabe and have read his side of the story all over the web. But over and above everything else – The product works. I go there 20 times a day and follow the river of stories for changes and I find myself wanting to click day after day.I think we can all concede that we trust Google for the most part, be it with our searches or emails or feeds or much more. But Google News doesn’t cut it for me yet vs. Techmeme. So if their product starts kicking ass, I will spare my attention.

        1. Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

          Sorry, I don’t understand: Which niche?

          1. abhic

            Technology news.

          2. Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

            OK, that was my hunch — does techmeme have a special algorithm for filtering out “technology news”? Or does everyone simply agree that because the name of the site is “techmeme” that only “tech memes” (i.e. news, buzz, etc.) should be contributed / listed / rated / ranked / whatever?I guess my basic question is: How does it work? Techmeme’s about note says “story selection is accomplished via computer algorithm extended with direct human editorial input.” How is that different than typing “technology news” into Google? Obviously, both techmeme and Google want you to use their products so that they can sell advertising…. (well, actually IMHO… is the future — FTC or no FTC 😉

      2. fredwilson

        I used to trust techmeme but it doesn’t do much for me now. Its all links out to big media and pro bloggersVery few ‘star bloggers’ in kid’s definition on techmemeHacker news is the shit, though

        1. abhic

          I noticed that in a weird way just recently, where I would find that after cleaning up my Google Reader I wouldn’t have much to read on Techmeme for a bit. I think its still awesome on the go and would love for Gabe to take a cue from BNO News.Hacker News is a great community more than anything else and I am regular cause of that. As they have intentionally limited stuff like search etc I find myself digging through their archives in G Reader.

    2. fredwilson

      It may never stop.

      1. abhic

        I definitely appreciate the vision but I think the new paradigm has got to settle, even if its a forced resting period for the benefit of different industries to catch up.

  20. RichardF

    I was about to disagree with this article Fred because I always apply the “man in the street” test or the “do my wife or mother use this technology ?” when I assess whether or not something has become main stream and my initial reaction was no they don’t read blogs so it’s not mainstream. and then I remembered that I keep a family blog which I update almost daily with photos of our son and other stuff…..

    1. fredwilson

      Its hard to get to 300mm uvs/month on blogger and 200mm uvs/month of wordpress without a mainstream user baseThis is facebook territory we are talking about and all of them (fb included) are headed to google territory quickly

      1. RichardF

        yup as you say the numbers don’t lie.Off Topic a little – I just wish facebook was not such a mess. I’d use it much more if I had more control and could tailor the content I output to different groups (friends/relatives/professional etc) which must surely be easy enough if they introduced a delicious type of tag system. I’m starting to see the benefit of “my” social stream but I want much more control of what goes out and what comes in.

        1. ShanaC

          Go to Friends- you can place a tag (or group) there. Man I miss the days when it was theFacebook and it was all about poking…..

          1. RichardF

            Hi ShanaThanks, I already have groups set up but as an application Facebook doesn’t give me real control of my data stream. It just has a very basic filtering system and you have to dig in to get to that much functionality.Thanks for the reply because you made me think a little deeper about what I would like from a social application.

          2. fredwilson

            It still says ‘the facebook’ on my browser toolbar. Never gonna change that

  21. kidmercury

    i don’t know if it’s mainstream or not or how to measure that, but i do think blog stars will be what takes many social networking technologies across the chasm. blog stars, through their media and their community, can create the context needed to market a lot of new stuff that has only garnered interest from early adopters.

    1. andreaitis

      i agree with the concept of blog stars, but if you break it down to the basics blog stars are simply credible and knowledgable sources who chose blogging as their primary platform. there are just as likely to be twitter stars. they may be professional or amateur, but either way the social wrapper around blogging extends their presence. i think there’s a generational change that has had significant impact, starting with the mainstreaming of facebook.

      1. kidmercury

        true, but i think for professional bloggers — i.e. profit-oriented bloggers, who i think in the long run are most likely to have enduring careers as blog stars — the big money is in having their own web site and building their own community. you can sort of build a community on twitter, but how richly can you engage them? and can your twitter followers effectively engage each other? can you track and sort your twitter followers into usergroups for marketing purposes? can you effectively monetize your twitter audience using a variety of means — ecommerce, CPM, etc?i think blog stars will have a distributed presence, but i think they will need their own web site to most richly engage and monetize their community.this was debated a number of times in the previous discussion on blog stars, though — many folks made the same points you did. however i still think from a monetization perspective having your own web site (i.e. blog) will prove to be necessary for new media publishers.

        1. andreaitis

          i like this sentence: “i think blog stars will have a distributed presence, but i think they will need their own web site to most richly engage and monetize their community.”i think need for monetization + distributed presence = networks. i’m thinking about the old movie studios, and the stories of starlets discovered at the soda shop counter. what’s the path to ‘success?’ how do we define networks in the digital media age? maybe a subject for a future discussion…

        2. fredwilson

          I’m with kidA hub/blogActive presence on the impt social nets; fb and twitter (and maybe tumblr now)And very liberal syndication to get on as many aggregation points as possibleMonetize the hub and do the rest as a marketing cost

      2. fredwilson

        Will there be facebook stars? That is the challenge zuck sees with twitter

        1. andreaitis

          facebook def has a tough challenge. for me, facebook is like a multi-dimensional interactive phone book. i don’t have to remember or store email addresses, phone numbers, birthdays, etc. i can keep up with what people are doing either passively or actively. but by and large, it’s more personal. i’m broadcasting to people who know me from various phases of my life. twitter leans more toward the professional for me. i’m connected to a lot of people i respect professionally but do not know personally. once twitter layers in group and communication options, it will be more useful on the personal front.with the friendfeed acquisition i thought zuckerberg was positioning facebook as the repository of information, home base for your life stream. twitter could complement that as a communication tool, public and private: one to one, one to select group, one to all. and both integrated into a collective social search. so, back to your question: will there be facebook stars? i think facebook is yet another marketing platform for stars, but a star emerging from facebook? at this point, less likely.

          1. ShanaC

            *sigh* don’t remind me of my homework. For it to really work, I have to become a facebook star. So not me.

    2. fredwilson

      Already has happened

  22. William Mougayar

    It would be good to see some aggregate stats on the blog readers demographics per industry verticals. Does anyone provide that?The irony is that mainstream newspapers still have their blogs tucked in a corner of their websites, and treat them almost as 2nd class citizens, or as silos. I wonder if one of them will be brave enough to flip the model on its head, and turn a newspaper into a multi-author blog site as its main face, and then have the rest of the journalism/reporting feed it, instead of the other way around- kind of like HuffPost started out.

    1. fredwilson

      Huffpost is the model. Only problem is the newspapers hate them for ‘stealing’. Just like google. Its hard to follow something you hate

  23. mydigitalself

    I’m absolutely convinced that blog reading is just starting to tip over into the mainstream. I wouldn’t say it’s squarely in the centre yet.I think the major reason why it isn’t there yet is related to discovery. By no stretch of the imagination is RSS in mainstream yet. So I would hypothesis that the early adopters are pushing blogs into mainstream media through social distribution on Facebook, Twitter et al.More and more I’m getting excited about discovery. Search largely drove traffic since Google until now. Social media is doing a lot of heavy lifting in driving traffic today, but I think there’s something next. It will be the fusion of search, what we used to call portals (but with large levels of simple personalisation), it will use our social graphs to a degree but it will also leverage principles on which delicious was built on, that being people who share common interests to me, but aren’t in my social graph at all.

    1. fredwilson

      Yup, that’s what is going on

    2. CathyWebSavvyPR

      The first two commentors mentioned RSS readers as not being mainstream, therefore blog reading is not mainstream. I think that is misleading. RSS readers are only one way to read blog content, and they are not that user-friendly to non-techies. Many, even tech folks, prefer to receive a blog in our in box (yes via RSS, but not using a reader); or by going to a blog site and still interacting there; or finding out new blogs to read via our favorite flavor of social networking/bookmarking site: Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Delicious, Stumble Upon, Alltop, Technorati, Google Blog search, and even word of mouth or an email from a friend etc.Before I used Twitter, I used my RSS reader much more, but I have found them cumbersome (although they are improving). So, now, when I find a blog I like I subscribe via email, or check it our manually. My feed reader got too full and busy. I look to my social media connections to feed me new content which I save to Delicuous for future reading and sharing. I think many are using a mix of all of these tools, or just reading ablg and simply bookmarking it on their browser toolbar, like I used to. RSS is not the be all/end all…in my opinion.Granted my next statement is anecdotal, but people I speak with who re not in the tech world, are less and less frequently asking – so what is a blog. Also blogs and traditional HTML websites are beginning to resemble each other more and more. Social sharing options (share this, add this etc – which began as blogging plug-ins I believe) now offer options to add the feature to an HTML site; many newspapers have added the ability to comment which used to be one main difference that blogs had.My vote would be, that while it’s not mainstream yet, it is certainly much closer to the center than it used to be; just a years a it seemed much closer to the fringes.

  24. CoryS

    Nope – I work in an office that is not part of the tech-centered universe where smart phones are used for email and most people here get news from websites, not RSS.Blogs will be mainstream when RSS feeding is mainstream as we largely live in a content consumption world. When Apple comes out with an “iTunes for content” that people can buy or select easily and consume without thinking about, then we’re going to see some real mainstream growth.

    1. fredwilson

      Twitter and Facebook ate itunes for content

      1. CoryS

        Are you implying that blogging and tweeting and/or Facebook updates are the same? I think the two styles and occasions of use are very different.

        1. fredwilson

          Not the same but part of the same thing

  25. leeschneider

    I typically base my technology opinions on four people: me, my wife, and my parents. In the case of blogs going mainstream, I think it’s really a question of how people are accustomed to getting information.Both my wife and I read blogs for probably 90% of our news and information. But I think that is because we are used to searching out information. It’s nothing to open up the MacBook and hit the internet to find what we’re looking for.My parents, on the other hand, probably don’t know what a blog is, even though they are both tech savvy and have been part of the Internet revolution since AOL 1.0 was released in the early 90’s. They are used to information being delivered to them via newspapers, TV, etc. They are much less likely to go search the internet and come across blogs as a medium.So perhaps on the coasts of the country and within certain circles blogs are mainstream, but I think you’d have a hard time making that argument as a blanket statement.

    1. fredwilson

      The numbers tell a different story

  26. zackmansfield

    There seems to me to be 2 very real ways in which blogs are going mainstream. 1) the gradual shift in comfort people have in consuming “real” news from blog vs. mainstream big media sites. And this isn’t just 3rd party blogs which have created brands which are becoming the strongest brands in their particular verticals (TechCrunch, et al). I’m talking the meeting in the middle that is existing between mainstream media and blogs – ESPN is learning how to live in a world in which is must co-exist and riff off of sites like deadspin, The Big Lead, etc. I think you’re seeing some of that in ESPNBoston and ways they’re extending digital strategy. These pro-Blogs are also growing up too and the mixture is more sources of valuable content for the consumer.The other mainstream movement is the long tail effect, or the personal blog which has a readership of 10-50 readers. I’m at the age in which friends are beginning to have babies and the majority are setting up blogs to share pictures, videos and stories with families and friends. Setting up a family website was strictly for techies just 5+ years ago – now it’s definitely more mainstream and the momentum is only increasing.

    1. fredwilson

      Good points. Coming from both sides

  27. howardlindzon

    These are always my favorite posts. reminds me why I love this space and the big trend I have seen aas well.thanks

  28. LIAD

    We cant be so granular anymore.Whilst we might make distinctions on the origins of content, the average internet user doesn’t.They consume what interests them – its source is secondary.Mainstream adoption of “amateur content” has not come about due to a fundamental change in consumption habits or an active decision to consume more of it but as a result of amateur content being easier to find and access and becoming an intrinsic and non-distinguisbale part of the amorphous mass that is the internet

    1. Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

      oh, I have a definition problem here.IMO “blog” does not have to do with amateur / professional — I see it (simply) as any technology for publishing content with a time/date stamp. That’s why I consider twitter, facebook, even youtube (only to a certain degree though, because most of youtube content is not exactly date-specific), etc. to be community blogs.BTW: AFAIK, there are going also rather significant changes coming to WordPress (folding WPMU development into the main WP architecture — maybe with WP3.0).The fact that blogs used to be for individuals was a historical curiosity. I think the reason why that broke down is to a large degree due to the “nofollow” tag (one of Google’s bigger mistakes, it ranks right up there with the YouTube mess) — introducing the nofollow tag basically removed the community element from blogging, and that’s why many such “individual” / “personal” blogs have become ghost towns (and why people moved to twitter to actually exchange information in a community setting). For a while, twitter had a monopoly on this space — but it looks like that will soon come to an end. It will be interesting to see if Google’s + Bing’s treatment of twitter as a “special case” (as if it were “premium” or something like that) will actually make those search engines more or perhaps even LESS interesting. My hunch is that it will only turn out to be a rather minor flop, but it may very well fuel more demand for more valuable search properties (such as abhic noted below WRT techmeme).

    2. fredwilson


  29. AlexHammer

    Intelligent blog post discovery. It’s still (way) too much noise.

  30. obscurelyfamous

    My question is how long it’ll be until blogs cease to be classified as something different. Not that there’s something bad about “blogs”, but there’s a slightly different connotation in that word. A An online newspaper is made to feel trivial compared to its printed cousin (“it’s just the blog version”). It also makes it feel geekier; to my older relatives, reading a blog sounds high-tech, instead of just saying you’re reading a story published online.The term and concept is certainly mainstream now. If someone tells me they have a website, I think blog. Websites with content are updated like a blog, and almost all are structured like one.The most meaningful difference in the word blog is that it implies something personal.

    1. KennytheClown

      Hello Daniel, first of all let me say it’s great to be on Discus, thank you for developing the site. I wish I had been blogging when I ran for Mayor of San Francisco, and Alameda. I can certainly see the potential now.I’d also like to say I feel the exact same way about my profession (clown). Keep doing what you’re doing, and don’t let other people’s lack of understanding/ignorance bring you down. Concentrate on the people who dig what you do. Good luck.Kenneth Kahnaka Kenny the Clown.

  31. David Gillespie

    Looking at that list of companies, I use Disqus, Tumblr, delicious, Feedburner AND Zemanta. I also use Glue, though I haven’t found a way to integrate it into my daily habits. The thing I like about all of these companies is they facilitate sharing and expression, making both of those things easier across the board. It’s a strategy I believe is aligned with the Internet’s core DNA, which makes them more likely to be adopted and grow (though growth is of course still not a sure thing).

    1. fredwilson

      Let’s hope so!

  32. hotmail email

    I think it is clear from a quick review of these numbers that blog reading is a mainstream and a mass medium. And the companies that serve this market, both bloggers and blog readers, are in a very interesting position.

  33. Mark Essel

    The game like energy never ends, it just shifts forms. Glad to see blogging is still growing strong. I’m shocked at how many profound blogs there are out there that I don’t have time to read 🙁

  34. ShanaC

    You know, from this post, I finally understand what the meta tag rel= nofollow means.

  35. Olaf_UCKERMANN

    Hm, why so much reactions from these blog to my post?

  36. JoeJoomla

    I agree that we are not anywhere near the end game when it comes to blogs. This is simply the evolution of communications. Think about it, a long time ago only the very wealthy had books. Newspapers brought communications to a mass audience at a lesser cost. Almost all early communications were one way.Today we have technology that makes communications easier for common people as well as being reciprocal. Most of my time online is spent in direct communications with people who are experts at what they do and have allowed me into their digital world. This is a great way to become educated. Its far better than signing up for a course being taught by someone who is years out of whatever industry that they were once in.Blogging changes everything. The best communicators will be in control of content now instead of business people. That makes for an interesting dynamics. There’s going to be plenty of mayhem as things sort themselves out.Birds of a feather flock together. You’ll become most like the people you spend time with. They are those who influence you. That includes your online time.

  37. Prokofy

    No, Fred.You’re talking to your own demographic only, even if outside the technosphere.Read the polls of Pew Charitable Trust:…Only 19 percent of Internet users use Twitter.Only 19 percent of Internet users are using blogs to work on civil and political issues.Somewhere on their pages is the 2008 poll about only 30 percent of the electorate reading blogs to get their political opinion to see who to vote for.These numbers are not changing dramatically.That is, it depends on what your point is about all this. Perhaps Pew or someone or you can show there are 50 percent or even 80 percent reading blogs. But does that mean just the Shine blog that Yahoo has with the food and shopping tips which is at the Yahoo portal? or what? You’re a Better Worldnik, so I would think you’d want not just blog reading, but blog reading that “goes somewhere”.You are forgetting an enormous number of people in this country live off talk radio, and they are not just the conservatives, but the 60-year-olds that turn on NPR first thing in the morning before they read their *paper*.The only way you could nudge this up is if you start counting sites like the New York Times as blogs. Well, I do.

    1. Norbert Mayer-Wittmann

      I agree — and in the grand scheme of things (zooming out to a geological timeline), popular literacy is a teeny tiny blip… and media literacy is a much much smaller blip… and “new media” literacy hardly even exists at all — see e.g.… )

    2. fredwilson

      I am counting all blogs not just tech blogs or political blogs. I am counting family blogs, fashion blogs, celeb gossip blogsAnd if you do that, close to everyone reads blogs