A Tree Falling
Still at mom’s helping out after her surgery. Interesting article in the (now $6) Sunday New York Times yesterday on blogs (in the Styles section, which I usually skip, having little interest in rich people’s romantic crises, parties, makeup or weddings).
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.
The article talks about how many people hoped to monetize their blogs, only to see even a site with tens of thousands of hits a month fail to convert into a profit center. Even popular topics like fashion, gossip and pictures of things your dog ate aren’t profitable. So in the end, it’s a labor of love, unless you come up with the next Icanhascheezburger. One example did catch my eye:
“Stephanie,” a semi-anonymous 17-year-old with a precocious knowledge of designers and a sharp sense of humor, abandoned her blog, Fashion Robot, about a week before it got a shoutout in the “blog watch” column of The Wall Street Journal last December. Her final post, simply titled “The End,” said she just didn’t feel like blogging any more. She declined an e-mail request for an interview, saying she was no longer interested in publicity.
I’m always keen on these stories about the opportunity for success coming just after you give up; admittedly there are probably other factors in this story (the vagaries of teenage girls, for starters), but it reminds me that even though my traffic has fallen far from the days after my Slate.com mention, persistence is a virtue I need to learn. So even days like this, with no research in hand to write up, no new chapters or anything close to one, I have to think of myself as “on deadline” and post something – if only to stay in that five percent category of undead blogs.