Technorati’s 5th annual report commenting on that which it focuses on so well – Blogs – citing a pot pourri of mind boggling statistics, insights and conclusions around the “State of the Blogosphere“.
The reports comprehensive nature was delivered across a 5 day period, and split across a host of areas looking at variables such as background, time commitment, income, influence and value both in the blog itself and the erstwhile Hemmingway types who dilligently peck out on their keyboards thoughts, observations and other such eloquent turns of phrase.
- Day 1: Who Are the Bloggers?
- Day 2: The What And Why of Blogging
- Day 3: The How of Blogging
- Day 4: Blogging For Profit
- Day 5: Brands Enter The Blogosphere
I was particularly interested in this, seeing as I have really only been commited to blogging on a regular basis for the past 6 weeks or so. I’ve been slowly pooling together content from a range of different sources which have made their presence known over the years – A neglected Travel Diary from 2003/2004, an experimental Image Gallery and an Areeba Facebook Page. Most recently – and most interestingly – the vast bulk of my literary inspiration has been my job, prompted by work colleagues and clients who have seen fit to pick at my thoughts from a professional work context point of view. With the hopeful intentions of applying some discipline and order to this “stream of consciousness” is the presence of this blog, which is forcing me somewhat more quickly than originally anticipated to articulate what I am hoping to be a rationale, clear, concise and engaging dialogue. Cripes.
So reading such observations within the State of the Blogosphere apparently:
- Not a homogenous group: Personal, professional, and corporate bloggers all have differing goals and cover an average of five topics within each blog.
- Savvy and sophisticated: On average, bloggers use five different techniques to drive traffic to their blog. They’re using an average of seven publishing tools on their blog and four distinct metrics for measuring success.
- Intensifying their efforts based on positive feedback: Blogging is having an incredibly positive impact on their lives, with bloggers receiving speaking or publishing opportunities, career advancement, and personal satisfaction.
On this basis, I profile myself as part of the Professional and Corporate Blogging set, but I’ve thrown in some personal stuff for good measure. It’s a mess really, by this definition.
I certainly don’t do much to drive traffic to my blog site, although I am tinkering in this area. Cross links from work colleagues, joining up to Technorati, playing around with the Tags for different search results…. Google Adwords, Adsense and some SEO/SEM activity may step in there if I can be convinced. Manually fettling the Permalink post names has been useful i.e. changing the About page to also include Colin Yeung
Metrics for success? This is where it gets interesting. Currently I’m just writing this because I enjoy it. I’m getting asked to offer an opinion on particular things and rather than repeat it 5 times over (I hate going over ground I’ve already travelled) I’d rather write it once and reference it. However the derivations of success by the millions of bloggers out there and their levels of satisfaction with a “job well done” vary so widely that subsequently measures of success are also widely divergent. The focus by way of questioning bloggers, assessing their methods and highlighting the tools and approaches with which they are availing themselves of improved market data were all fascinating to myself and my shiny new 6 week blogging awareness.
What also had me intrigued was the notion of 5 different topics groups was the average. Looking at my list, this translates roughly as:
- Opinion on Digital/New Media
- Interesting Stuff that Makes me Smile
- A little bit about my Family here and there
- The odd Movie , Book or Website review
- Interesting & Noteworthy images and articles of cool stuff – or more correctly what I rate as cool – usually photography, cars, web culture maps (driving the office nuts in the process) and other such popular culture.
Now looking at this statistic, I couldn’t help but be reminded of a Philosophy of Science subject I took during my Uni years which assessed, theorised and extolled the notion of “natural kinds” and the empirical limit that these states enforced on a system. Looking at my above groups, they’re pretty broad. Vaguely objectified, they are Reviews, History, Opinion and Emotion (the Family & Make me Smile). Problem is they aren’t “kinds” as such, being abstracts. Gah. Stuffed up there.
Anyway, in a nutshell, there is much to learn about Blogging “successfully” and this report gets you thinking about it in a different and factually presented light, by virtue of its participants and the vast amounts of data they have put together. The eye opener for me was the droves of people who are earning upwards of $75,000 USD per year by blogging part time.
That sounds like an existence I could get very comfortable with.