Trashing weblogs

Trashing weblogs
: Rogers Cadenfield is in a right proper snit about the AP’s miss-the-mark coverage of yesterday’s Pew survey, which revealed — as I saw it yesterday — surprisingly large numbers for the creation of and audience for weblogs. The AP, instead, poo-pooed the numbers. Says Rogers:

Headlines around the world for this story: “Study: Blogging still infrequent,” “Very few bloggers on Net,” “Small number choose to blog,” “Web users slow to post journals,” and my favorite, “Blog hype belies use.” All because the number of webloggers is only 2.7 million, a number larger than the circulation of any newspaper in the U.S. Does anyone still wonder why amateurs are creating their own media?

Amen. And the number of bloggers from later Pew surveys is actually between 8 and 9 million and, as we know from Technorati, it’s growing fast: 11,000 new weblogs every day; one every 7.8 seconds.

Dave agrees and so does Doc, who says:

Hey, what percentage of the adult population would describe themselves as writers at all? Earth to AP: blogging is driving that percentage up, hard and fast.

Reminds me of Gandhi’s oft-quoted line about disruptive movements that are misunderstood by the institutions they disrupt:

First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. The you win.

Seems to me we’re midway between 2 and 3

I’m surprised that one of my favorite blogs, Lost Remote, takes up the AP spin here and here, linking to this guy, who decides to quit blogging because Pew convinces him the audience isn’t big enough and thus not worth his time.

Wipe the snot off your face, fellow; it’s unbecoming.

Not big enough. That’s old, big media think. That’s powerlaw think. That’s consolidation think, in which only the biggest two players win.

Those days are over.

How big is big? Big enough.

I have more audience for this humble personal blog than I ever imagined I would have. But I will admit I had to adjust my own old, big media thinking about how big is big in the blog world. I’ve given this illustration before: Back before I was a hasbeen in a suit, I used to write for TV Guide and People, where — according to the inflated readership numbers — I supposedly had an audience of more than 20 million. Granted, there was no way to know how many skipped over, tore out, or spat upon my page but even taking away a large percentage, that’s big, measured in millions. Then I started blogging for an audience measured in the low thousands. Felt small. But then one Sunday, I looked out on the congregation in my church and saw about 70 attentive faces looking up at the minister, who had worked darned hard — much harder than any weblogger — on his message to them. Is that audience big enough? As him and he’ll tell that two or more gathering is big enough.