Sunday, October 18, 2009

Day 64 - News about the Blogosphere

Technorati's "2009 State of the Blogosphere" report is due out tomorrow but WebProNews provided a sneak preview of the results today. First and foremost, the Blogosphere is strong. Recently, some traditional media reporters have suggested that it might be dying due to the popularity of microblogging services like Twitter, but this new data indicates it's not dying or even leveling off. It's thriving. Yes, blogs are the new media!

The Technorati report is based on a survey of 2,900 bloggers and it includes interviews with blogging pros like Steve Rubel and Arianna Huffington. Here are some of the key findings:
- 72% of people blog for fun or as a hobby and they don't make money
- 28% are professional bloggers
- 2/3 of professional bloggers are male
- 60% are between ages 18-44
- 40% of professional bloggers have at some point in their life worked in traditional media (newspapers, radio, magazine publishing, TV broadcasting)
- 7% are still employed in traditional media
- 73% of bloggers are using Twitter vs only 14% of the general population
That last statistic is particularly interesting. Chitika has just released the results from a study which found that people who use Twitter are really looking for news. Bloggers who use Twitter use it primarily to promote their blogs. You may have wondered how the so-called "professional" bloggers make money. Here's a breakdown of how the Pros "monetize" today's blogs:
- Display ads - 40% (up from 28% last year)
- Search ads - 39%
- Affiliate links - 36%
- Paid postings - 8%
Self-employed bloggers are mainly selling their inventories through a blog ad network but they may also use affiliate links (this is like the small ads I include at the end of each blog post). Seventy percent of all bloggers are blogging about brand-name products, so corporate America is in fact deep into this shift to new media.

Hmmmmm. ( This really makes me think I should find a brand to blog for.)

What do you think of the idea that so many bloggers are trying to "sell" you something? As a former traditional media professional, I get it. I mean, newspapers, TV and radio have always (blatantly) sold products to a mass audience. Is there really any reason online media should be any different? More specifically, do consumers, like you and me, believe there is anything wrong with companies adding the blogosphere to their marketing mix?

Tools students can use to help navigate the net

Today, I leave you with a list of the most popular tools being used on the web. I've mentioned several of them in this blog previously. How many of them have you tried or do you use regularly? For college students (of any age), I recommend you at least become familiar with the following:

* Delicious
* Digg
* StumbleUpon
* Reddit
* Furl
* Facebook
* Google
* Yahoo
* Twitter

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