Wednesday, February 15, 2006

State of the blogosphere

Via Uma, I found this New York article by Clive Thompson about how blogging is getting corporatized, and lots of money is being made.

... he blogosphere is slowly developing solid business models, which take roughly three forms.

The first—and most common so far—is the accidental tourist: A lone writer who starts a blog as a mere hobby but then wakes up one day to realize his audience is now as big as a small city newspaper. [...]

The second basic blogging business model is the record-label approach: Crank out dozens and dozens of sites and hope that one or two will become hits. The pioneer here is the new-media entrepreneur Jason Calacanis, who founded Weblogs, Inc., in September 2003 and began rapidly shotgunning new blogs into obscure niches: Tablet PCs, Microsoft Office, “telemedicine,” and the like. ... Calacanis scored an enormous hit with Engadget, the second most-linked-to site on Technorati. “AOL basically paid $25 million for Engadget,” more than one envious blogger carped to me.

The third and final model? The boutique approach: a publisher who crafts individual blogs the way Condé Nast crafts magazines—each one carefully aimed at some ineffable, deluxe readership. This is Nick Denton’s modus operandi. Though he set up shop three and a half years ago, making his the oldest blog empire around, he has launched a mere fourteen blogs. They are all, however, in niches that target high-spending, well-educated readers—such as gossip, sex, and politics. The aim is to hit the sweet spot: big readerships, but not hoi polloi.

It covers a lot of ground, and the general message -- for those individual bloggers who are into blogging for the money -- is quite bleak. It gives you the feeling that the big boys and girls hog all the revenue, with nothing but crumbs for the rest. However, that's not true, thanks to the Long Tail phenomenon. It's all of only academic interest to people like me (I don't intend carrying ads here), but you might be itnerested in this short piece that accompanies the main article.

Over at Technorati blog, David Sifry (CEO of Technorati) has the first two parts of his four-monthly exercise in giving us all the low down on the state of the blogosphere from his unique vantage point. At last count, he says, some 75,000 new blogs are being created, 12 million posts are being written every day. Out of some 27 million blogs that are tracked, almost 14 million blogs are still in business 3 months after their birth. Blogosphere is doubling every 5.5 months.