The changeosphere

The blog world is seeing more change right now than I’ve seen in years.

Mike Arrington is close to those changes, and reports on some of them (money, linking, and cliques).

Mark Cuban caused a bunch of noise a few days back by writing that newspapers shouldn’t call their blogs “blogs” because it destroys their brand. Hey, I agree with that. FastCompanyLive is really my videoblog, but I don’t call it that. Cuban followed it up with another post that’s very astute. Says what matters is why you do what you do.

Mike Arrington, again, told us about stats that Yahoo Buzz brings blogs (millions of readers). I find it interesting that bloggers are interested in the huge audiences. I really don’t care, I want the right audience, not a large one (believe it or not, so does my sponsor, Seagate).

And then there’s the FriendFeed thing. That’s bringing me a bigger change in the people I’m reading than I’ve seen in many years.

If you are a blogger, or a blog reader (hey) are you seeing changes?

Comments

  1. Robert, change is in the air! From the campaign trail to the web… 2008 seems to the year of “shake it up”….

    services like friendfeed are rocking the way people consume, data portability and open id efforts are rocking the way services “own” their users, and services in general seem to be now focusing more on niche audiences… in stark contrast to 2007 the year of the “all in one” services like Ning.

    Twitter & friendfeed alone are more exciting than any “social network” i’ve participated in… and I can’t explain why, it just is. The other day FF became my hompeage… my homepage has been Google for eons (since before they were “popular” even…)

    Change is in the air and I’m excited!!

  2. Robert, change is in the air! From the campaign trail to the web… 2008 seems to the year of “shake it up”….

    services like friendfeed are rocking the way people consume, data portability and open id efforts are rocking the way services “own” their users, and services in general seem to be now focusing more on niche audiences… in stark contrast to 2007 the year of the “all in one” services like Ning.

    Twitter & friendfeed alone are more exciting than any “social network” i’ve participated in… and I can’t explain why, it just is. The other day FF became my hompeage… my homepage has been Google for eons (since before they were “popular” even…)

    Change is in the air and I’m excited!!

  3. I thought Mike’s piece illustrates how what they call “the blogosphere” is actually a recreation of the tech press. Nothing wrong with that, but tech blogs serve a purpose, sharing information user-to-user. The tech industry is an incestuous place, if you say the wrong thing about someone you lose access, but users never had access, they don’t think in those terms, so there’s nothing stopping them from saying what they experience and what they think.

    TechCrunch is that, sometimes, but less often these days, and if they make the transition Mike talks about, it will happen even less often.

  4. I thought Mike’s piece illustrates how what they call “the blogosphere” is actually a recreation of the tech press. Nothing wrong with that, but tech blogs serve a purpose, sharing information user-to-user. The tech industry is an incestuous place, if you say the wrong thing about someone you lose access, but users never had access, they don’t think in those terms, so there’s nothing stopping them from saying what they experience and what they think.

    TechCrunch is that, sometimes, but less often these days, and if they make the transition Mike talks about, it will happen even less often.

  5. I agree with Mark Cuban about the wretchedly uncommercial name, “blogs”. However, it’s only cosmetic to change it unless you adopt more MSM techniques, like paying loads to get really big writers onboard and forging a brand outside the web.

    Michael Arrington’s dream — it seems to me — will only reach that halfway house between serious blogs and the press online. I don’t see anyone getting the traction needed to take the blogosphere’s content businesses into the big time.

    Robert, you’re right about getting “the right audience not a big one”.

  6. I agree with Mark Cuban about the wretchedly uncommercial name, “blogs”. However, it’s only cosmetic to change it unless you adopt more MSM techniques, like paying loads to get really big writers onboard and forging a brand outside the web.

    Michael Arrington’s dream — it seems to me — will only reach that halfway house between serious blogs and the press online. I don’t see anyone getting the traction needed to take the blogosphere’s content businesses into the big time.

    Robert, you’re right about getting “the right audience not a big one”.

  7. “Mark Cuban caused a bunch of noise a few days back by writing that newspapers shouldn’t call their blogs “blogs” because it destroys their brand.”

    This one makes me think of that weird segment on CNN(?) where one of the reporters turns a monitor towards the camera and browses the web to see what’s on the blogs for the day. It’s really no more impressive to watch a professional journalist surf than when I do it myself and makes me flip the channel to something with better production values.

  8. “Mark Cuban caused a bunch of noise a few days back by writing that newspapers shouldn’t call their blogs “blogs” because it destroys their brand.”

    This one makes me think of that weird segment on CNN(?) where one of the reporters turns a monitor towards the camera and browses the web to see what’s on the blogs for the day. It’s really no more impressive to watch a professional journalist surf than when I do it myself and makes me flip the channel to something with better production values.

  9. I’m definitely seeing the changes. You’ve even shared 1 of my stories! (Thanks for that)

    I’ve definitely been reaching ‘the right audience’ for SheGeeks. And I agree that companies should not make the word ‘blog’ into a corporate and capitalistic icon! They need to come up with their own world that has no relations to the word blog, because blogging isn’t something that they do.

  10. I’m definitely seeing the changes. You’ve even shared 1 of my stories! (Thanks for that)

    I’ve definitely been reaching ‘the right audience’ for SheGeeks. And I agree that companies should not make the word ‘blog’ into a corporate and capitalistic icon! They need to come up with their own world that has no relations to the word blog, because blogging isn’t something that they do.

  11. I think having the right audience is most important, but you are not going to find the right audience until you have a large enough audience. Getting the first 100 readers can be pretty tough.

    Robert, any idea how long you were blogging before you found the right audience? How many readers per day did you have at that point?

    It would be neat to find-out what critical mass is for a blog. My guess is that it is pretty similar for most who have reached the audience they want.

  12. I think having the right audience is most important, but you are not going to find the right audience until you have a large enough audience. Getting the first 100 readers can be pretty tough.

    Robert, any idea how long you were blogging before you found the right audience? How many readers per day did you have at that point?

    It would be neat to find-out what critical mass is for a blog. My guess is that it is pretty similar for most who have reached the audience they want.

  13. Luke: back in 2000, when I started, I had an audience right from the start because I was helping to plan a Web Design Conference (which is how I started blogging in the first place).

    Dave Winer linked to me within my first 10 days and he sent 3,000 people over with that first link and it’s been off to the races ever since. He also took me to Steve Wozniak’s Super Bowl party, and that accelerated things.

    When I joined Microsoft my audience was 1,000 to 2,000 people a day (that was in 2003).

  14. Luke: back in 2000, when I started, I had an audience right from the start because I was helping to plan a Web Design Conference (which is how I started blogging in the first place).

    Dave Winer linked to me within my first 10 days and he sent 3,000 people over with that first link and it’s been off to the races ever since. He also took me to Steve Wozniak’s Super Bowl party, and that accelerated things.

    When I joined Microsoft my audience was 1,000 to 2,000 people a day (that was in 2003).

  15. Luke: back in the early days it was easier to build an audience because more people linked to each other back then (and because there were less people involved so you could pretty much link to everyone cause the size of the tech blogging world was a lot smaller back then).

  16. Luke: back in the early days it was easier to build an audience because more people linked to each other back then (and because there were less people involved so you could pretty much link to everyone cause the size of the tech blogging world was a lot smaller back then).

  17. After reading Mike’s post, I definitely agree with one of his points that excessive investment money has the potential to ruin blogging. It did that with .coms in 2001 and this ludicrous housing bubble. As soon as you get a bunch of MBAs and clowns who do “x” for the money and not for the love of “x” – it gets petty, superficial, bubbly, and fake.

    As for how things are changing? Well I think we have many bloggers who are moving toward basically a recreation of the old media but with new faces. That is not the direction I’d like to see it go. Then we have other bloggers who “get it” – meaning, open standards, linking, sharing, helping each other out. Generally speaking, the newer bloggers with less to lose are in the latter group.

  18. After reading Mike’s post, I definitely agree with one of his points that excessive investment money has the potential to ruin blogging. It did that with .coms in 2001 and this ludicrous housing bubble. As soon as you get a bunch of MBAs and clowns who do “x” for the money and not for the love of “x” – it gets petty, superficial, bubbly, and fake.

    As for how things are changing? Well I think we have many bloggers who are moving toward basically a recreation of the old media but with new faces. That is not the direction I’d like to see it go. Then we have other bloggers who “get it” – meaning, open standards, linking, sharing, helping each other out. Generally speaking, the newer bloggers with less to lose are in the latter group.

  19. Something else I’ve been thinking about with blogging is the nature of the Engines that run the blogs.

    What is WordPress planning? Or Drupal? WordPress seems to be taking Joomla/Mambo space, in a good way. Not sure about Drupal, don’t use it. But I think that their direction could change aspects of the blogging world.

    Also, all the new Engines popping up. Google “blog engine”. There’s half a gazillion just appearing all the time. I can just see the buso’s thoughts, “Hey, this blogging thing is awesome, let’s hire some nerds to build us an engine that we can then on-sell for millions!”.

    So I think the Engine, while not important in terms of the actual content or the motivation .. will in some smaller way shape blogging’s future.

    Course, I was wrong about Apes taking over the world, so I could be wrong now :).

  20. Something else I’ve been thinking about with blogging is the nature of the Engines that run the blogs.

    What is WordPress planning? Or Drupal? WordPress seems to be taking Joomla/Mambo space, in a good way. Not sure about Drupal, don’t use it. But I think that their direction could change aspects of the blogging world.

    Also, all the new Engines popping up. Google “blog engine”. There’s half a gazillion just appearing all the time. I can just see the buso’s thoughts, “Hey, this blogging thing is awesome, let’s hire some nerds to build us an engine that we can then on-sell for millions!”.

    So I think the Engine, while not important in terms of the actual content or the motivation .. will in some smaller way shape blogging’s future.

    Course, I was wrong about Apes taking over the world, so I could be wrong now :).

  21. I’m curious what people think. While you cite Mark Cuban talking about *newspaper* blogs, what about company blogs? We’re in technology, does the word ‘blog’ carry the same stigma?

    My thought is the word ‘Blog’ tells the audience what type of communication channel you’re using, and what they should expect as far as how content is delivered. For B2B, somewhat tech-savvy audiences, does “blog” still carry the stigma of negativity, snarkiness, and amateur journalism?

  22. I’m curious what people think. While you cite Mark Cuban talking about *newspaper* blogs, what about company blogs? We’re in technology, does the word ‘blog’ carry the same stigma?

    My thought is the word ‘Blog’ tells the audience what type of communication channel you’re using, and what they should expect as far as how content is delivered. For B2B, somewhat tech-savvy audiences, does “blog” still carry the stigma of negativity, snarkiness, and amateur journalism?

  23. I find it quite strange that any of this is going on at all – bloggers have switched to exchanging views on technology, world news, sports etc. and many of the larger blogs are focusing mainly on what they think of the other blogs. It all seems a bit “meta” really.

    My blog (currently with a retro theme as I’m reliving the days before sites were called blogs) has a tiny number of readers but I’d like to think the few posts I make a day can inform them, interest them or make them think about something. It’s not worth money but who’s opinion actually is? Newspapers got it sorted a long time ago, and they thrive. If bloggers just discuss each other the whole thing will implode and a few individuals will walk away with the prize.

  24. I find it quite strange that any of this is going on at all – bloggers have switched to exchanging views on technology, world news, sports etc. and many of the larger blogs are focusing mainly on what they think of the other blogs. It all seems a bit “meta” really.

    My blog (currently with a retro theme as I’m reliving the days before sites were called blogs) has a tiny number of readers but I’d like to think the few posts I make a day can inform them, interest them or make them think about something. It’s not worth money but who’s opinion actually is? Newspapers got it sorted a long time ago, and they thrive. If bloggers just discuss each other the whole thing will implode and a few individuals will walk away with the prize.

  25. Aren’t blogs almost entirely identified with a personal brand as much as their own? If I wanted an objective take on the news, I’d watch the news wires. The reason I read blogs is because I appreciate the personal touch of who’s writing it.

    Blogs will never ‘beat’ CNet, because if they tried, I’d stop caring. I want to be part of an informed crowd, not a faceless servant of the corporate press.

  26. Aren’t blogs almost entirely identified with a personal brand as much as their own? If I wanted an objective take on the news, I’d watch the news wires. The reason I read blogs is because I appreciate the personal touch of who’s writing it.

    Blogs will never ‘beat’ CNet, because if they tried, I’d stop caring. I want to be part of an informed crowd, not a faceless servant of the corporate press.

  27. Totally spot on about “the right audience” versus a large one.

    First thing I look at in my stats is where my hits come from.

    When I see NTIA, FCC, Google, Facebook, US Congress, etc, I know I’m doing what I need to do.

    Some DC publications have “limited audiences” but you know what? Everyone who matters reads them. Getting into National Journal is a pretty big deal, not so much if you hit the Examiner’s “Yeas and Nays” section.

  28. Totally spot on about “the right audience” versus a large one.

    First thing I look at in my stats is where my hits come from.

    When I see NTIA, FCC, Google, Facebook, US Congress, etc, I know I’m doing what I need to do.

    Some DC publications have “limited audiences” but you know what? Everyone who matters reads them. Getting into National Journal is a pretty big deal, not so much if you hit the Examiner’s “Yeas and Nays” section.

  29. The classic shell con-game.

    When numbers low, claim elite right-sized right people audiences, when numbers high, bet on all tables, and stake claims in the fact that you were here before anyone else, and obviously so much smarter, as you saw it all coming well well beforehand. Play it that way, and you can never lose. Down, everyone is more important, but Up and you are more important still, as you forecasted it all.

    Low – keyword themes: ‘elite’, ‘smarter’, ‘more important than you peasantry riff raff’, ‘we matter’, ‘our votes count for more’.

    Up – keyword themes: ‘trend’, ‘evangelist’, Go Dave Winerish, ‘I invented it or thought it all up’, ‘knew it before you’, ‘I was blogging when blogging wasn’t cool’. ‘Took you long enough, stupid as you are’.

  30. The classic shell con-game.

    When numbers low, claim elite right-sized right people audiences, when numbers high, bet on all tables, and stake claims in the fact that you were here before anyone else, and obviously so much smarter, as you saw it all coming well well beforehand. Play it that way, and you can never lose. Down, everyone is more important, but Up and you are more important still, as you forecasted it all.

    Low – keyword themes: ‘elite’, ‘smarter’, ‘more important than you peasantry riff raff’, ‘we matter’, ‘our votes count for more’.

    Up – keyword themes: ‘trend’, ‘evangelist’, Go Dave Winerish, ‘I invented it or thought it all up’, ‘knew it before you’, ‘I was blogging when blogging wasn’t cool’. ‘Took you long enough, stupid as you are’.

  31. Much of the adoption growth in corporate arena unfortunately involves renaming the “press releases” section of their website to “blog” website and just doing the same thing they’re always done. Bleh.

  32. Much of the adoption growth in corporate arena unfortunately involves renaming the “press releases” section of their website to “blog” website and just doing the same thing they’re always done. Bleh.

  33. The changing blogosphere

    In his post, The Changeosphere, Robert Scoble asked the question, If you are a blogger, or a blog reader are you seeing changes? (see his post for context) A change I’ve noticed more than any other is what appears to