The Demise of Blogging — Fact or Fallacy?

I slept in yesterday, and deciding to take advantage of my unusual, but obviously much-needed Saturday of leisure, I spent some time digging around about blogs.

I'm a fairly new blogger who only this summer realized that I had things I could and wanted to say about social networking. What started out as a (successful) experiment at work — using social media channels to start conversations about accessibility and build communities — quickly became a personal passion where I'm energized about social networking's potential for personalizing the connections and interactions of our ever more automated and global world.

No, I'm not this bad yet. But it's early still. :-)
 So I started my loosely defined investigation at BlogHer, a blogging site recommended by a colleague and fellow blogger who's been very supportive and helpful with my foray into blogging (Thank you, Laura!). I follow BlogHer on Facebook, so I stay current on featured blogs and topics. BlogHer is a social networking success story. Three women started the site in 2005 in response to the question, “Where are all the women bloggers?” They now have 50 employees supporting 27 million unique visitors a month who visit the site, 2,500 network bloggers, and a free-to-join directory of 22,000 registered private blogs. It's a vital and thriving community, where questions are asked and answered, and new knowledge and insight are gained daily. (And yes, my blog is one of those 22,000, lol.)

Then I started searching for blog directories where I could register my blog, and that's when I realized there are hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands of blog directories out there. Some of them are upfront about their commercial purpose they want several hundred dollars a year from you to list your blog in their directory (sorry, not happening any time soon guys.). But many of them will take a reciprocal link as payment, so I'm testing out a few of those.

My search led me to wonder just how many people are blogging? I've read articles over the past couple of years that claim blogging is dying, but then I look at the success of Huffington Post and find that hard to believe. (Started in 2005 for an investment of $1 million by Ariana Huffington, HuffPost, as it's known, was purchased by AOL in the spring of 2011 for $315 million dollars).

A little more digging (thank you, Google), and I found this illuminating blog post, Are Blogs Growing or Dying? by Oklahoma City University Professor Kenna Griffin. Professor Griffin spent some time analyzing the report, Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2010, and she came to this conclusion:

In 2011, there are millions of blogs in the blogosphere, with nearly 1.3 million blogs registered on Technorati alone.

Make no mistake, there still are personal blogs, with arguably the fastest growing blogging segment being Mommy Bloggers. But many of today’s blogs are corporate, organizational or niche, with a fair number of blogs acting as the sole storefront for entrepreneurs.

And a quick peek at Wikipedia confirms Professor Griffin's conclusion: As of 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.

Maybe I should have added blogs to my list of everyday categories of items where the choices are staggering in an earlier blog post, Overwhelmed by Choices — How Social Networking Can Help, Part 1.

And so, with a hat tip to the brilliant and witty Mark Twain, I'm happy to conclude that, "The reports of blogging's death are greatly exaggerated."