Thursday, October 02, 2008

State of the blog: Useful, usable, desirable

We advocate a view of design online that incorporates three elements: useful, usable, desirable. If a design is deemed by an individual to be these things, then it is good. If not, it's not. So though this lens, let's look at blogs, bloggin and the blogosphere.

Actually, let's look at what Technorati says first. Technorati has released it's fourth annual report on the state of blogging and the interconnected community referred to as the 'blogosphere'.

You can read the whole thing here.

A few thoughts:

Advertising: Only 53% of blogs globally sell advertising space. Given that advertising is the predominant means of monetizing content on blogs, we are confronted with the reality of most blogs: they are created primarily with non-financial motivators in mind. Among those blogs that do offer advertising, the median revenue is less than $100/year.

Trendiness: While it's easy to start a blog, anyone whose doe it will tell you that the heavy lifting comes in continuing to publish. Estimates by McCann, Technorati and other place the number of US bloggers between 22 and 26 million. Technorati reports that 1.5 million of these have had postings in the last 7 days (see graphic below). In addition these blogs have more than 66 million readers according to eMarketer and comscore.

Demographics: While US blogger would seem to be more evenly divided by gender, the average tenure of a blogger in the US is 35 months. These folks mostly (74%) also have college degree; a slim majority make more than $75,000 annually; and, a majority are over the age of 35.

So what?

Blogs, blogging, and the blogosphere are just terms to describe personal web publishing. Much has been made of high profile, journalistic approaches to the use of these tools. In the end, though, blogs are created and maintained because they support individuals in their need for useful, usable, and desirable content publishing tools.

When blogs are read, its for the same reasons. 

(Click to enlarge)

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