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12 March 2005

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Christopher Carfi

Trevor, your "long tail" point is spot on, but I disagree with the conclusion. Yes, there will be a handful of "A-list" bloggers in the "short head" (and we all know what the "A-" in A-list stands for... [grin]).

However, the bloggers in the long tail of blogs, each the nucleus of a small, passionate community, may NOT get discouraged by their "small readership." They may, instead, be further engergized by the fact that they are finally able to connect with other like-minded individuals. More thoughts here.

Trevor Cook

Christopher, I certainly hope that blogers don't get discouraged by small readerships. From my own experience I know its the connections you make by blogging - and the massive amounts of stuff you learn along the way - which matter and not the aggregate numbers.

But what can we say about the increasing number of people who read blogs but don't write blogs. I already know people who read just a few blogs and seem to think of them as just extra media outlets - and not something that is a qualitatively different experience along the lines of your site's tagline.

Secondly, how do we explain the high attrition rate of bloggers. There maybe 10 million blogs but most are inactive by any definition. These people perhaps are not finding blogging to be a compelling experience or perhaps the 'costs' of participation (time, effort, creativity) are just too demanding for most people?

Darren Rowse

I think you could be onto something. Just posted on it myself - but basically I wonder if its like all 'movements' which slowly and inevitably become institutionalised. Fascinated by your paper - wish I could get up to Sydney for the conference but I suspect I might not get there as we've just bought a house...

Mark Jones

Hey Trevor.

It's interesting that your starting point seems to be that bloggers will become more like traditional media. It's a great insight, and one that I can see happening already. But the other angle is that traditional media is shifting from its historic one-way communication stance to become more conversational and blog-like.

Combine the two thoughts and we get different way of looking at the same thing. To use a political spectrum analogy the Left and Right are both moving towards the Centre. The philosophies that created two separate publishing revolutions are merging to create a larger whole.

Trevor Cook

Mark, it will be great if trad. media changes in response to blogs but I think that only emphasises the absorption / moderation thesis. Maybe, a dimunition of revolutionary fervour will be a good thing for blogging - a sign that we're all growing up a bit.

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  • Trevorcook
  • I have worked in politics, public policy and strategic communications for over 30 years. I was recently awarded a doctorate in Australian politics at the University of Sydney. My thesis was on the (changing) relationship between the ALP and unions. I have been blogging since November 2003 and over the past decade I have written many articles on politics, public relations and social media for newspapers, magazines and websites. I love literature particularly John McGahern and James Joyce. The header photo is of the Clarence River taken before dawn at Ulmarra in 2012.

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