Quoted: Community at the core?

From this week’s Media Guardian podcast:

Emily Bell, editor-in-chief of Guardian Unlimited: “In the next two to three to four years, community goes from the edges to the core. Otherwise, you’re not going to have a business.”

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, at the Tory party conference in the UK: “We have 35 million blogs, doubling every six months. The average blog has exactly one reader: the blogger.”

Hmmm. Why own Blogger, then? Why place ads on them? Why diss them? Perhaps it’s because the core of Google remains not people but machines.

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  • I don’t think that’s quite right. Google live off people, their whole strength has been using the extra information that people give to a network in the way they use it, but it’s never individuals, always the crowd.

    35 million’s a big crowd. It’s good to own blogger because you’ve immediately got 35 million people being very interested in a few pages each. Who cares if anyone else reads them?

  • I’ve found that you can no longer measure the number of your blog’s visitors reliably, especially since rss; they have alternate ways now of accessing your material which may not be recorded on a site meter. It can be discouraging.

  • From your quote it is hard to discern whether the quote is taken out of context; however, Schmitt has exhibited an arrogance in instances before and this may be another occasion. There are a number of tools to help bloggers build their ‘community’ but it is not a simple task and one indeed that can be frustrating. RSS does seem to undercount the traffic. I hope Schmitt is reflecting on the power of publishing tools like blogger and the opportunity that remains to harness the intellectual output that these tools enable. If that is not the case then ‘why own blogger’ is really answered cynically – more ad inventory.

  • bittorent

    If it averages out at one reader (the blogger) then some mustn’t even be reading their own blog because how else could some blogs have more than one reader? :-)

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