Blogging peaks

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Last updated on July 16th, 2017 at 10:48 am

Ted Olsen reports:

As weblogs proliferated earlier this decade, Andy Warhol’s famous aphorism was modified to read, “In the future, everyone will be famous to 15 people.” Now it looks like Warhol was right after all: Thanks to widespread blog burnout, everyone will be famous to 15 people for 15 minutes.

Tech researcher Gartner Inc. reported earlier this year that 200 million people have given up blogging, more than twice as many as are active … Given the average lifespan of a blogger and the current growth rate of blogs, Gartner says blogging has probably peaked.

Possibly, if judged by number of participants. More certain is that blogger influence – particularly on the left – is in decline. David Brooks:

Both liberals and Republicans have an interest in exaggerating the netroots’ influence, but in reality that influence is surprisingly marginal, even among candidates for whom you’d think it would be strong.

Several weeks ago, I asked John Edwards what the YearlyKos event was like. He couldn’t remember which event I was talking about, and looked over to an aide for help.

Posted by Tim B. on 09/27/2007 at 09:31 AM
    1. This is where I believe Democrats are making a huge mistake: publicly throwing in their lot with some of the more left-wing blogs, in the assumption that the strategy is going to materially help them in the elections (without damaging their credibility with the saner parts of the electorate).

      O/T, but fellow Jon Stewart non-fans might appreciate this.

      Posted by paco on 2007 09 27 at 09:43 AM • permalink


    1. It was pronounced wrong, he meant to say “Jones-Town”. Johnboy woulda got it right away.

      Posted by CB on 2007 09 27 at 09:45 AM • permalink


    1. I asked John Edwards what the YearlyKos event was like. He couldn’t remember which event I was talking about, and looked over to an aide for help.

      That’s because his wife wasn’t there to tell him what he thought. Now the hair stylists show he would remember.

      Posted by Retread on 2007 09 27 at 10:22 AM • permalink


    1. John Edwards, who him?

      Posted by stats on 2007 09 27 at 10:26 AM • permalink


    1. I think the blogs have given a voice to the voiceless.  Whether one chooses to listen or not is a personal choice.

      I personally only read bloggers who agree with me.  It saves time and doesn’t raise my blood pressure.

      Posted by miriams ideas on 2007 09 27 at 10:49 AM • permalink


    1. 200 million people have given up blogging, more than twice as many as are active

      I’m still in!


      Posted by Rittenhouse on 2007 09 27 at 10:54 AM • permalink


    1. Personally I went away and came back.  (Gratuitous Shameless Plug Number 2 for the post)

      I think what you have now is almost a consolidation of the media (in its loosest sense of the word) Similar to the consolidation of the Mainstream Press.

      The vast majority of bloggers no doubt would start up on a Blogger Account and post a bit for a while then slowly merge in to one of the larger sites such as this or LP.  Then most would quickly realise that it is much more fun to post something where someone would actually notice, rather than some obscure site about cats.

      Posted by tmck on 2007 09 27 at 11:10 AM • permalink


    1. All those hair care products are having an adverse effect on his mental processes.

      He should sue.

      Posted by Leslie Bates on 2007 09 27 at 11:18 AM • permalink


    1. Blogs have had an enormous impact. Rather Gate, Reuters Photoshoping, countless msm “journalists” busted for blatant misreporting, etc etc.

      How would we know the Fake Turkey story was itself a fake if not for blogs?

      The only real pushback against enemy sympathetic and defeatist propaganda has been through the blogosphere.

      A portion of the blog world has been a very real triarii for the rest of us to rally around in the infospace battlefield.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2007 09 27 at 11:35 AM • permalink


    1. #2, CB

      So would Larry the Cable Guy.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 09 27 at 11:44 AM • permalink


    1. I am not in agreement with Mr Brook’s thesis.

      Blogs represent a repository and a litmus test for a certain body of thought. There is some old adage about one person writing in complaint actually represents X amount of people who don’t write.

      The bile that a Kos cranks out on a daily basis represents the thinking of a massive group of people out there who don’t necessarily appear in the Kos or MoveOn numbers.

      If you were a Democrat Pol wouldn’t you believe that a statement by MoveOn or Kos not only represents the thinking of the author but also about 75% or more of the entire entertainment industry and a similar amount of people in the education community.
      How many millions of people are present in California public employee unions and their families?

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 09 27 at 11:58 AM • permalink


    1. The fact is, many Democratic politicians privately detest the netroots’ self-righteousness and bullying.

      Well, NSS. But try telling that to the Kos and Moveon folks who think they “own” the Democrats and represent the future of the party. They seem to truly believe that it was through their efforts that Democrats took over Congress when in fact it was despite their efforts as voters chose Democrats who seemed more conservative than the Republicans they replaced. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Democrats get elected in spite of their nutroots, not because of them. That the nuts think just the opposite will lead ultimately to their downfall.

      As for the right side of the blogosphere: we’re good at shining bright lights into dark corners and we work hard at keeping all the facts straight and correcting errors when (which is often) and where (usually over there on the left) we find them. And we harbor no illusions–or delusions–of grandeur.

      The blogs are very important. We can’t go back to a system where the legacy media has us over a barrel of their choosing.

      Posted by Kyda Sylvester on 2007 09 27 at 12:20 PM • permalink


    1. I’m in agreement with Olsen. Look at American automobile manufacturing. In the early 1900s, there were hundreds of manufacturers in America. By the 1950s, this had dwindled to a handful, with surviving companies such as General Motors and Ford desperately trying to sell their increasingly irrelevant product to an increasingly apathetic public. That’s why the iconic image of the 50s in America was the hopped-up horse & buggy.

      Posted by Dave S. on 2007 09 27 at 12:33 PM • permalink


    1. Well, let’s just look at that massive moral response by the Democratic Senators on the Senate Resolution that didn’t even mention MoveOn by name.  Oh wait…

      My point is that polipeople look at these blogs as a representation of a certain body of thought held by a large group of people.  The average teacher or union member does not belong to MOveOn or read it.  But the union thug and activist who will tell that member how to vote next Nov. does read it and you had better be on their good side.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 09 27 at 02:34 PM • permalink


    1. I’m not sure what MoveOn, ANSWER, etal represents besides Georg Soros’ money.  It is a mistake to think that these people represent a large constituency.  That is what Congress thought about the so-called campaign reform “crisis,” which was tauted as a grassroots demand, but was actually drummed up–and paid for–by the Pew, and other, lefty foundations.  Neither political party felt any compunction in passing a law that constitutes blatant government censorship on political speech.  The MSM never questioned it, either, even though there had been hints that all was not as presented.  We wouldn’t even know this much if it were not for alternative media.

      While Rather-gate was important, I think the Swift Boat campaign was the most important overall.  Can you imagine Jon Cary as president?  He might have been had it not been for the blogs getting the news out.  Again, the MSM was either silent or studiously ignored what this country’s veterans were saying about the twit.  They never would have reported the repeated gaffes he made during the campaign, nor those of his hideous wife.

      For those of us who live in this world, and not some construct of our mind, the web has been the only outlet (not to mention a balm to the soul in the midst of the insanity).

      Posted by saltydog on 2007 09 27 at 03:43 PM • permalink


    1. Saltydog has it, as usual.  I depend on the blogs to give me the straight skinny, even if I have to sift through varying opinions to get it. I know if they get it wrong, other bloggers will set it right.  Certainly since 2001 and the explosion of blogs, my eyes have been opened to how much manipulation and outright bias the mainstream media has practiced on the public on behalf of their political masters.

      Without the blogs, I’d never have heard of George Soros and what an anti-American menace he is.

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2007 09 27 at 04:00 PM • permalink


    1. I like this blog.  You lot affirm my thinking.. even post my thoughts (which is why I sometimes dont post!, and you have opened my eyes to things of which I was not quite fully aware.
      Then there is the creative writing, the jokes, the snarky remarks, the parties, the debates, etc.  I don’t think I need to list them all. And you make me laugh.
      Thank you

      Posted by missred on 2007 09 27 at 04:09 PM • permalink


    1. A lot of people have given up blogging?

      Well, blow me down.

      I thought once people picked up a new hobby, they stuck with it for life.

      I for instance still have a yo-yo, pet rock, tamagotchi, frisbee, razor scooter and the detritus of 50 other fads.

      Actually, no I don’t.  But it sounded good for a moment.

      People tried it, found they couldn’t write for shit, and went on to do something more productive, like plaiting their own shit.  That’s life.  Just go to any municipal dump and try counting the number of scooters.

      Posted by mr creosote on 2007 09 27 at 05:01 PM • permalink


    1. Being an artist, I frequent a lot of music and arts blogs.  The rate of decay in that area is significantly less than that among the political blogs.  In fact, when I updated my sidebar last, only three out of about thirty had quit, while most that had changed moved into better hosting situations.

      To run a good political blog, you have to do a lot of work and be good (Funny, like Tim, helps a lot, IMO).  Artist blogs just need a fresh perspective and to be fun and interesting.  Much easier.

      I think political blogging, as a percentage of the whole of the blogosphere, will continue to dwindle as the ‘tards are winnowed out, which is good: Less background noise to filter through.  Conversely, I don’t think art and hobby blogs have even peaked yet.

      Posted by Hucbald on 2007 09 27 at 06:05 PM • permalink


    1. #17
      What missred said at #17.
      I’d have my own blog, but it wouldn’t be very interesting. Here there is a cross section of people from all over the modern world (and some from the not so modern), and it’s informative, interesting, snarky and so on.
      There are blogs that I visit, but not often, as the writers don’t post very much or often, like RWDB, Cablog, Nick & Nora, Pommy. There are others, like LGF, Jules Crittenden, and Bolta, I visit occasionally, but it’s just that I like this one the best.
      I reckon you get a better quality of snark here, too.

      Posted by kae on 2007 09 27 at 06:32 PM • permalink


    1. #13 Dave:  General Motors and Ford desperately trying to sell their increasingly irrelevant product to an increasingly apathetic public

      Terribly bad comparison, Dave.  Surely you aren’t suggesting that Americans and the world will soon turn to Japanese, Korean and Chinese-made blogs in hteir millions, while Americans stop talking to each other vigorously in the market place of ideas?

      Beware. It’s the Chinese who want only a few sources of blog info, and they’re going about it in the best fascist-socialist tradition, while their arms manufacturers sell big to places like Burma amd Iran.

      Posted by Barrie on 2007 09 27 at 06:38 PM • permalink


    1. #20, Kae, so true.

      Unfortunately, there are the annoying ones whom don’t want to start their own blog, but decide to hijack someone else’s. This satisfies their craving for attention without having to put in the hard work.

      A whole world of information opened up to me when I bought my computer and went online four years ago.

      Posted by Pogria on 2007 09 27 at 06:45 PM • permalink


    1. For a decent perspective on blogging, read this post by Dean Barnett.  I don’t think he’s far off the mark, especially with his concluding sentence:

      Ideas matter. Online activism and action alerts? Not so much.

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2007 09 27 at 07:42 PM • permalink


    1. #23, TRJ,

      Ideas matter.

      That says it all for me.  But they have to be ideas.  Not notions, assertions, presumptions, baseless opinions, etc., but actually thought out and rationally argued ideas.

      Posted by saltydog on 2007 09 27 at 08:49 PM • permalink


    1. To me the important part of blogging appears to be grounded in network theory and the connections between nodes.  Communities (like this one) form around particular nodes (like for, mostly, singular reasons.  However, the probability is high that the shared interests, while fairly large in number, aren’t all-encompassing and across the board.  That is, each member also has non-shared interests.

      In addition, each community member in all probability has individualized knowledge and expertise that can be shared but that also make the members of other (blog) communities.  Thus, each largish blog is connected both to other largish blogs and to many, many smaller blogs through individual members.

      It would be interesting, for instance, to trace, say, the 10 or so most frequented blogs by each community member and graph the results.  My guess is that, if centered at, it would spread outward irregularly, with heavy connections to a few other blogs and a great many connections to a huge number of smaller blogs.  I’m not sure you’d get that pattern at DailyKos, where the number of totally shared interests is probably higher.

      Anyway, it would be interesting to test, and it would probably demonstrate that blogs aren’t going to leave any time soon, since they serve such a useful networking function.

      Posted by JorgXMcKie on 2007 09 27 at 09:22 PM • permalink


    1. Fine, everyone has it right as usual.  That’s why all those Dem Senators just fell all over themselves to vote for a resolution that wouldn’t even mention Moveon by name.  Glad to see such overwhelming support.

      Posted by yojimbo on 2007 09 27 at 10:41 PM • permalink


    1. The fact is, many Democratic politicians privately detest the netroots’ self-righteousness and bullying.

      I’m not surprised.  Professional politicians think self-righteous bullying is their personal turf, and resent anyone horning in on their game.

      Posted by R C Dean on 2007 09 28 at 12:15 AM • permalink


    1. R C Dean

      I’m not surprised.  Professional politicians think self-righteous bullying is their personal turf, and resent anyone horning in on their game.

      I just thought that merited repeating, with prejudice.

      Posted by saltydog on 2007 09 28 at 12:26 AM • permalink


  1. Kos is a kind of Cabbage? Lettuce? Help me here.
    I tried having some female bloggers run my PR, but they were a bunch of cum-guzzling booze hounds flashing vertical smiles.
    It just didn’t work out.
    </channelling Edwards>

    Posted by blogstrop on 2007 09 28 at 07:39 AM • permalink