07 June 2009

Blogs in an empty forest

Why do people start blogs? According to some experts, blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants. Genealogy blogs are not mentioned; conclusions might have been different if they had.

According to a New York Times story,

...many people start blogs with lofty aspirations — to build an audience and leave their day job, to land a book deal, or simply to share their genius with the world. Getting started is easy, since all it takes to maintain a blog is a little time and inspiration. So why do blogs have a higher failure rate than restaurants?
Author Douglas Quenqua wrote:

According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.

Judging from conversations with retired bloggers, many of the orphans were cast aside by people who had assumed that once they started blogging, the world would beat a path to their digital door.
So why do so many disappear?

According to the story, not all them die from lack of readership. Authors find themselves too busy with outside lives [Note: Geneabloggers can relate to that one, at least in a wistful nostalgic sense. Do we remember when we had outside lives?]

Some bloggers graduate to Twitter and Facebook [most geneabloggers are already on those sites] - for immediate results while some bloggers prefer to retreat into privacy[what exactly is that?].

Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra said said there are 7-10 million active blogs but that the there are between 50,000-100,000 that generate the most page views. “There’s a joke within the blogging community that most blogs have an audience of one,” he said.

Many people who think blogging is a fast path to financial independence also find themselves discouraged.

Well, at least geneabloggers don't go into this field for the supposed riches. The story quotes some bloggers who are looking for book deals.

Do read the complete story at the link above.


  1. I started my geneablog with the hopes of making a little money (Adsense) and helping other researchers. That didn't happen. Now it's what it should be...a way to share information with the family and an outlet for me to summarize/anlyze my research findings when the family doesn't seem too interested in what I'm doing. It did help a cousin and I connect...he was googling the one famous person we have in the family and he found my blog.

  2. Paul Hosse5:22 AM

    Oh so true! I've been writting my political editorial blog (Another Opinion http://hosse.blogspot.com/) for just over 4 years now. It started because our one local newspaper, which you to publish everything I wrote, stopped after I commented about how they did their endorsements. I guess I did it, in part, because I refused to be silent at what I saw (and still do) as a public injustice.

    A lot of folks locally started their blogs after me, but within a year or so faded away. And a life outside my blog? I keep telling myself it was only a dream.