Neil McIntosh looks back on the year of blogging in British papers — at least five years after the year of blogging among readers — and reveals a few figures from the Guardian:
To lift the lid on stats we normally keep pretty quiet: blog traffic of 1.2m page impressions in December 05 grew to a record 7.1m pages in July 06 as the World Cup and troubles in the Middle East sparked lively discussion across our sites. . . .
Technorati records more inbound links to Guardian blogs in the last 180 days than to any of our UK rivals – Comment is free, by itself, gets more links from the blogosphere (12,027 at time of posting) than the Times, Telegraph and BBC blogs combined (a total of 11,552 at the time of posting). Our other blogs do even better (17,128 links).
But let’s not get too smug. For all the success we’ve enjoyed, the fact is blogs are the horseless carriages of social media, when fleet-footed rivals are already cranking out Model Ts. Social news sites such as Digg and Newsvine show how users don’t just want to talk about the news – they’d quite like to decide what it is, or add to it because they happen to be experts in the subject at hand.
Myspace and Islandoo, to name but two, prove that vast communities of interest can spring up around mainstream media content. The conversations, properly nurtured, can end up being bigger – in scope and popularity – than the material that sparked them off. . . .
But what of what we do? All this presents a huge challenge, and opportunity, for journalists. It’s difficult for us to accept we might create sites that are only tangentially about our journalism. It’s even harder to admit that, fanned by the viral winds that sweep the net, those conversations might be much more popular than the other things we produce, and start replacing them. . . . .