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22 November 2005

The Wider Implications of Business Blog Survey

Interesting piece of research (via iMediaConnection) from Dallas Chapter of the International of Business Communications (IABC) which found "that blogging is a well known communications tool but is not yet mainstream." According to the research - 34 percent of respondents said "blogging is something they or their company do as part of their communications efforts."
Personally I see this as a barometer of wider blog acceptance and the inherent implications for blog advertising. For all the prevarications of exponential blog growth, I think we all need to pour a dose of cold water over ourselves and put some perspective on where blogging actually sits at the moment. Some interesting figures on ClickZ indicate that there may be only about 10,000 regular bloggers (by regular I mean posting daily) out there. A tiny number really, even if you use ClickZ's comparison of up to 40,000 full time journalists in the US - which is a little like comparing apples with oranges in my view. Various projections say this will hit 75,000 -100,000 within the next couple of years. Various surveys (See our previous post - Blog Boom or Bust) have also indicated that the average person on the street really hasn't a clue what a blog is let alone something like a podcast. So is it all doom and gloom?
Far from it in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, you won't find a bigger blog protagonist than me. It's just that I think we need to put in perspective how fast blogging is infiltrating the consciousness of the mainstream, and that afterall should be the benchmark of it's success. Yes there is continued rapid growth in blogging ahead. Yes blog advertising will continue to play an important part in monetizing. Yes there is a similar buzz and excitement surrounding blogging and other Web 2.0 social media(Web 2.0 definiton) that existed in the early days of the internet boom of the late nineties. There is even venture capital beginning to flow. But if we have learnt any lessons from the first incarnation of web technology, it was that there is always a people lag. i.e a time lapse between tech enthusiasts, venture capital funding and adoption by the wider population. How quickly will the time lag be with blogging and other web 2.0 Media? Personally, I think it could be anything upwards of two years and that may be optimistic.
I'd be interested in hearing what you think on this topic?


Anonymous Daniel Nerezov said...

Great post.

I sell blogging software to businesses. It's important for me to know how businesses perceive blogging, so maybe I can extend some of your ideas.

a) In the wider business community, I am talking about 11 odd million small businesses in America, operated mostly by 35-50 year olds, it's more accurate to declare that no one has even heard of blogs, not to mention RSS, podcasting or any other new tools for communicating with customers.

There is a definite echo chamber effect in the Internet industry, when in reality, businesses still go to web designers, subscribe to newsletters, call people on landlines and communicate in groups by using email (rather than private blogs or wikis).

b) The reality is different with younger people, who have largely not yet entered the workforce, to force older people to use newer technologies.

When this does happen, however, spectacular results occur. For example, today an established (out of all people) airline opened their business to being a fully fledged online community.

So...I do agree with you...we'll just need to wait 2-5 years for younger people to start entering the workforce and integrating blogging, wikis, tags, rss, social software into their marketing mix.

It's all just a matter of time.

This said...I think the issue of online advertising, and blog advertising by a completely different neck of the woods all together.

I don't think the 30%+ annual growth rate in online advertising is driven by demographics.

Demand for pay per click campaigns is of a different nature to that of a demand for a publishing platform.

Good post! Raises lots of issues.


Tuesday, November 22, 2005  
Blogger Peter Brady said...

Thanks Daniel. You make some excellent points.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005  
Blogger Netpowersoft said...

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Tuesday, December 27, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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Monday, October 16, 2006  

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