The Statistics of Blogging

Today’s foray into the wierd world of the New York Times Styles section produced an informative and interesting article on blogging statistics. (*1) The short version is as follows:

  • Many people decide to blog.
  • The vast majority soon abandon the effort (95% of the blogs clogging the web have been abandoned by their owners).

What the article does not tell us is the average life span of a blog. Six months? A year? Three years?

I posted my first entry on June 29, 2006, and hey, I’d like to know where that puts me, statistically speaking.

I gather from the article that many people go into blogging the way they go into, say, tryouts for “Survivor” or “American Idol”: They wanna get rich, famous, or both.

If so, no wonder the failure rate is so high. This ain’t easy, folks. It requires a huge investment of time and an even larger investment in intellectual energy.

Indeed, I think that’s why I collapsed into a heap last week. On any given day, I’m essentially putting out the brain power necessary to create and sustain two completely different intellectual and creative endeavours: a book and a blog.

And yes, they are different animals, and yes, blogging is a serious brain-energy hog. If my intellectual life is a house, then the book is the refrigerator (which, in a typical house, consumes the most energy), but the blog is all those electronic gadgets with their little red and green lights (computer monitor, DVR, flat screen TV, chargers, etc.), which, if left plugged in and even if not turned “on,” consume an inordinate amount of energy.

(We’re working up to do a major remodeling project, and houses are much on my mind at the moment. Another energy sink.)

(The remodeling project, I mean.)

Anyway — I can’t decide if I’m glad I’m in the five percent of bloggers who manage to keep the motor running. Certainly it would be easier to write the book without the blog, and vice versa. But there wouldn’t be much point to the blog if I weren’t writing the book.

So, there you go. Another of life’s conundrums, one I shall, for the moment, leave unresolved.

_________

*1: For a brief explanation of why I read the Styles section, see the note at the end of this entry.

8 thoughts on “The Statistics of Blogging

  1. Not sure what you mean by “the point” but I’m glad you keep the motor running.So you are blogging to support the meat book or the beer book?

  2. Keep at it Maureen. Your voice is a valuable one. Your prose packs a fact-laden, thought-provoking punch. Cheers, Ray

  3. If you could illuminate me as to the point, too. Any point will do. Six years, over 6,600 posts and almost 33,000 comments in and I still don’t know exactly why I do it.

  4. I have started six blogs since January 2003. Three are still active. The oldest of the three (BlueOregon) I co-founded in July 2004. I founded Beervana in January of ’06. I recently started a blog for my work union–hard to know if it will continue or sunset naturally.that also means I’ve abandoned three–and it’s because the effort required is so relentless. And now we have Twitter!

  5. Ha! so true, i have 3 [of sorts, one or two are either only or morphed into photo like blogs] that all started with great intentions, but a- i can’t write, and b- i give up or get involved in “life”… [95% well i don’t feel so bad now….]so they lay out in cyberspace… mostly abandoned…i still send photo’s to the “last” one…Now i mostly read others..mmm the point is an outlet for those that are creative and prolific[and diligent] enough… and keep it goingso… keep it up… if you want… [but no more collapsing]There are those who seem to be able to put down a semi regular blog entry that: informs, entertains, that keeps readers coming back…and also, does a little advertising, or allows us to see some of the cutting room floor…dave

  6. Thank you, Ray!As for the rest of you: I have to lay down. I’m exhausted just thinking about all those blogs. All those posts. Alan, nearly 7,000 posts? Seriously?And Jeff, you have HOW many blogs? I knew about the two, but now three? Ohdeargod.I gotta lay down. Oh. No. Wait. Can’t. I have to get back to writing a book. Uffffhhhhhhh….I’ll lay down later.

  7. I had two personal political blogs–I started the first about ten minutes after I learned what a blog was (having seen it in a Krugman column). That died and then was restarted a year later and then also died–after Obama was elected. The other blog was a local politics blog that morphed into BlueOregon. I haven’t hit 7,000 posts yet, but five is a likelihood. But there are upsides. The DNC let me blog from BlueOregon during the convention last year. I had an all-access pass to all venues–better even than some major news outlets.Oh, plus I get free beer from time to time. As my colorful father always says, it’s better than a poke in the ass with a broken beer bottle.

  8. Yes, there are definitely upsides to blogging (other than not being poked in ass w/broken beer bottle.) I got the TV gig via the blog and several of my op-ed pieces, so yes, there’s a payoff. Of sorts.Oh, plus, of course, I’ve gotten to know all kinds of great people — like all of you!

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