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August 08, 2003

Blogorama

Steve of Begging to Differ thinks that traffic from the AOl blogs has the potential to dwarf present traffic levels.

I agree that it's possible, but it's just not likely. As I learned after a year or so slaving for Heckler's Online, AOl has content aplenty to distract its users with; odds are there won't be a great rush of new users to the blog format. After 5 years, only about 4% of Internet users blog or read blogs, though that number is climbing. At best, AOL usage numbers will mirror this percentage. If anything, I expect AOL to add a tenth of a decimal point or two to the growth rate.

It'd be nice if I was wrong, and the inrushing AOL users tide lifts all the blogs to new levels of readership within the year. Just imagine what the media coverage of the blogosphere will be like at that point.

This post has been edited for clarity.

Posted by Bigwig at August 8, 2003 11:53 AM | TrackBack
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Comments

4% of internet users blog? Really? That seems like a high number. Do you mean 4% of people with web sites?

I think most people have never heard of blogs - this is based on anecdotal evidence, that is, the blank looks I get from virtually everyone in the "real world" over the age of 25 when they learn I write for a blog. Blogging is only now beginning to get big media attention, and most of that is related to Howard Dean and other presidential candidates' efforts. Most people aren't engaged in the presidential election yet... but they will be. And 2004 will be the first national election in which blogs will be a recurring theme on TV and in the press.

The reaction to my piece has been mostly along the lines of yours - cautious skepticism. I think between AOL and the upcoming election, a few blogs will rise to the level of Media Players within the next year, and the rest of us will scoop up the spillover.

I hope I'm right, anyway!

Posted by: BTD Steve at August 8, 2003 12:47 PM

2% actually blog. 4% of the Internet reads blogs. The stats are here

Posted by: Bigwig at August 8, 2003 01:46 PM
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