Thursday, June 11, 2009

Regarding My Quote in the NYT -- A Little Context

Last week, I was quoted in a New York Times article titled "Blogs Falling in an Empty Forest". The article discussed how many blogs are created, then either abandoned or neglected over time as the blogger loses interest. In general, this is true, just like all jump-in-lose-interest phenomenons (think: diets, fitness club memberships, new hobbies, and yes, Geocities web sites, MySpace profiles, and now, even Twitter fatigue).

However, the article missed the real point about blogs: that they've become a legitimate publishing medium with a huge audience. So while the article rightfully says that hundreds of millions of blogs have been started over the years, yet only 7-10 million are active in any given month, that misses the point about blogs as a media category. It doesn't take 7-10 million blogs to create a robust and relevant media experience; it literally only takes thousands or perhaps tens of thousands of blogs to reach the entire US internet audience. For example in magazines, just 2,000 magazines reach over 99 percent of the people in the US. In television, four networks and a hundred cable networks reaches the same.

So how many blogs reach everybody? No one has that exact statistic, but start with Technorati's 2008 State of the Blogosphere, and you can get a sense of what I'm talking about. In the study, we quote three independent research sources that in early 2008 estimated that three quarters of the US internet audience read blogs (and it's surely more now in 2009). If you count every mainstream media outlet, which now incorporate blogs into their sites, you're probably darn close to 100 percent. Further, our study highlights that 76,000 blogs have a Technorati Authority Ranking (blogging's equivalent of Google Page Rank) of 50 or higher, and that roughly a half million bloggers describe themselves as professional bloggers and report income off their blogs.

The net-net is that the overwhelming majority of the billions of blog-generated pages views being viewed as legitimate content are created by a relatively small number of blogs -- relative to the total created since the beginning of blog history. This mirrors what happens in any media type. The sheer number of blogs isn't the point; what matters are the active blogs with deeply contextual content that create a relevant media experience.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Five Random Things I’m Thinking About

I haven’t written anything the past several weeks due to a lot of travel, a much-needed vacation and many small thoughts vs. a large thought worthy of deeper analysis and comment. I’m on a flight back from New York to San Francisco and wanted to share a few thoughts of no particular subject matter or semblance.’s declining usage: here’s a great article on detailing that while Twitter usage is going through the roof, the percentage of people actually going to the site is decreasing at an alarming rate. How? People are accessing Twitter via third party apps. So while Twitter is achieving the much-desired “platform” status, it’s potentially also losing its ability to monetize that status.

Taxes: our tax system is totally screwed up. I just read Thomas Cay Johnson’s “Perfectly Legal”, about how our tax system is abused by the ultra wealthy, at the expense of the poorest taxpayers and the upper middle class (those who make $200,000-500,000). This book is shocking and outrageous – truly amazing how the political class overlooks and facilitates the abuses of the donor class, and more amazing how the ultra wealthy gets the lower and middle classes to vote against their own self-interests around the dogma of less government and freedom BS. READ THIS BOOK!!

Celebrities in airport security: I went through TSA security at JFK this morning with Sarah Silverman, the comedian. She was escorted by some sort of official who helped her with her stuff, and it made me want my own escort to help ME through airport security. I’m funny too, ya know. By the way, she wasn’t as funny in person, though she was pleasant. performance issues: it’s been a BRUTAL month for due to the move of our collocation facilities. People have no idea how hard it is to move 1,000 servers and a complicated real-time search infrastructure. In any case, our service hasn’t been great during the move, and that’s regrettable. Hopefully, we’re almost through it.

Kobe Bryant: I hate when uninformed sportswriters misinterpret the reason why Kobe Bryant is basketball’s best closer: it’s not that he’s the best last shot guy (he is the most feared for that actually), but that it’s the way he closes out a game in general – the way he takes over the last 5-7 minutes of a game and dominates every facet of it.