Slashdot: Most blogs for an audience of one

I the early days of EclipseNow when I used to run the URL EclipseNow.org it was getting a few thousand hits a month, especially when I was also negotiating activist deals with the “End of Suburbia” movie on behalf of Sydney Peak Oil. Many people, finding out about peak oil for the first time, shot across from the End of Suburbia website to EclipseNow. Heady days for a first time activist / first time web designer / first time blogger. Then finally my son’s cancer ordeal and immense dissillusionment with many of the ‘doomer – leaders’ in the peak oil movement took their toll, and I quit the EclipseNow.org url and all the activist expectations that went with it, and just archived my stuff here at blogspot. It is more of a Harry Potter “Penseive” than a blog, a public place for storing some of my conclusions and references. So it is with no surprise that I read the following commentary on blogging.

However, below may be a rather cruel and cynical summary. Many blog for recreation. As long as there are no silly expectations about how popular one’s blog will be, it can be a useful — if somewhat slow motion — way of maintaining a dialogue on certain ideas. I have a variety of blogs I visit regularly, such as the fantastic Worldchanging.com and Inhabitat.com, and others I visit less regularly but can quickly scan to see if they have changed their overall position on certain themes I follow (such as peak oil, climate change, theology, politics, etc). There is not the immediacy or pressure of an email list, which means it is a more leisurely paced activity. One can take one’s time, read up a bit, write a careful response to someone’s blog, post it on my own blog and link to it in their blog post. It is more of a slow motion email debate. And that’s fine with me.

Blogging is a more “focused” version of facebook.

The Narrative Fallacy writes “Douglas Quenqua reports in the NY Times that according to a 2008 survey only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days meaning that “95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.” Richard Jalichandra, chief executive of Technorati, said that at any given time there are 7 million to 10 million active blogs on the Internet, but it’s probably between 50,000 and 100,000 blogs that are generating most of the page views. “There’s a joke within the blogging community that most blogs have an audience of one.” Many people who think blogging is a fast path to financial independence also find themselves discouraged. “I did some Craigslist postings to advertise it, and I very quickly got an audience of about 50,000 viewers a month,” says Matt Goodman, an advertising executive in Atlanta who had no trouble attracting an audience to his site, Things My Dog Ate, leading to some small advertising deals. “I think I made about $20 from readers clicking on the ads.””

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