Thursday, December 23, 2010

Interesting Poll Results

I've mentioned before that I take online surveys. This is the homepage of one of the survey companies whose surveys I participate. This one has a different "fun" survey - and this time it was obviously seeing how many people read blogs.

This is hardly a scientific poll based upon sound survey principles that assure an accurate cross section of the population. However, I submit that the average person isn't as "internet savvy" as the typical online survey participant. These people are comfortable on the internet. And they don't read blogs.

I've held for a long time that blogging is a sort of dead end and that there is a very insulated populace surrounding the community. Most commenters on blogs are bloggers themselves.

It amuses me when bloggers get into "fights" or others bask in their supposed influence based on the traffic they get. When it comes to the big ocean of the intertubes, blogging is just a small backwater in the overall scheme of things.

Not that I don't enjoy the social aspects of blogging and the experience of encountering so many different personalities over time - that is the reward for the efforts, and I feel quite rewarded, thank you very much.

But the whole idea that blogging is a platform for moving and shaking things in a big way - well, let's just say I have my doubts about that.


threecollie said...

But it is fun. lol

Jinglebob said...

I thought of you yesterday, while I was driving on the icy roads. Thank you for the work you do out there, good buddy!

Brian J. Noggle said...

I've compared blogging to CB radio many times over the years.

Jeffro said...

Brian: I like that. I like it a lot!

Tam said...

Blogs are strange. It's hard to classify exactly what they are when there are so many different kinds of blogs...

For some people, blogging is an intensely social activity. They leave comments at others' blogs and respond personally to every comment, and treasure every comment and hit and link.

On the other hand, it would be hard to argue that bloggers like Markos Moulitsas or Glenn Reynolds are not influential.

There are lots of medium-size blogs that focus on some niche or another that have readerships about the size of a small-town newspaper or middlin'-size fanzine.

It's a weird and varied corner of the internet.

Jeffro said...

Tam: I agree with what you're saying. I'm just saying that the blogosphere does not have the influence that some of it's practitioners seem to think it does. Blogging just doesn't attract the eyeballs. Strictly anecdotal - but in my "meatspace" social circle there are under ten people who actually read blogs on a semi-regular basis.

I also have doubts about it's future in this world of Facebook, Twitter and so on. I'm sure a Venn diagram of the general internet population would show far more members in the intersection with Facebook, and the intersection with Facebook and blogs would be considerably smaller. Just imagine if Oprah got into blogging. And she definitely has a specific type of audience. She had the ability to affect book sales in a big way with her television book club. I'm also convinced she helped Obama hugely as well.

Blogging isn't going anywhere real soon, one way or another. I suspect the blogs that are being read on a regular basis are declining - some due to abandonment, some due to market consolidation. Many bloggers have moved their main efforts into alternate social media - again - Facebook and Twitter. Are those platforms going to supplant blogging? I doubt it. But who knows what kind of new social platform is coming? Facebook and Twitter should be paranoid about the future, AFAIC. I also think blogging's adherents are fiercely loyal and set in their ways - at least the ones in the little corner of Algore's intertubes I see. That definitely has value.

Just not as much value as, or the NYT (even if it is a dying, gasping dinosaur), or other influential commercial sites. Ebay and Craigslist have utterly changed the free marketplace forever. What has blogging done that had a similar magnitude of impact?

I did mention on Chaz's post about the successful efforts of the gunblogging community. You and so many others have altered the average person's ability to exercise a right. No doubt about it.

But ultimately, I really like what Brian J. Noggle said above about comparing blogging to CB radio. That, in a nutshell, is it.