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December 30, 2006

Good news for the little guy!

Hey all, doesn't it seem like  the bloging, social networks, social bookmarking, and the rest of Web 2.0 is a daunting, mass of craziness where the little guy (you and me) is just fly on a donkey's  . . . you know.  I mean think about, when we are using words like "mashable" and mash-ups this thing just feels huge. It can be overwhelming. 

Well, I got some good news.  It's just the beginning.   I ain't lying, serious, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Only 20% of Americans read blogs.  That is 1 in 5, 2 in 10 and my favorite, 20 out of 100.  That means there are 80 out of 100 people who still don't read blogs.  Now I don't have data, but using my small sphere of influence, half of the people I ask don't even know what a blog is!  Hey, hey, my friends, that sounds pretty greenfield to me.  It gets better, only 9% know what an RSS Feed is.  It may feel that this thing is  mature, but the truth is, it is just gittin started.   Ask people you know, not those online, but just random friends.  How many of them have heard of Digg, Technorati, Delicious, Mybloglog, Facebook, Orkut, or any other of the more common Web 2.0 sites that we take for granted.  I got 100 ant bucks,(with the exception of Myspace) that most people have no idea what you are talking about. 

This is the bomb for us little guys.  We may be little, but we are early.  It is only going to get better.  We have 80 out of 100 people we can potentially, someday, call our own!   Anyone, who is anyone, knows how long and how much effort it takes to grow your subscriber base.  Therefore, we the little guys are ahead of the curve.  How do we capitalize on this good news?  Nothing, if you are doing these things, if you're not, read closely. 

  1. Focus on your content - good posts get readers, even if it takes time. 
  2. Focus on your "talkers" - Reach out and thank those people who are telling others about you.
  3. Have a niche - I don't care what it is, just know what you are posting about and see #4
  4. Stay consistent - readers don't like to be surprised, they like to know what to expect so be consistent
  5. Don't stop - At the end of the day, persistence and commitment win out.  THERE ARE NO SHORT CUTS!

One last thing to think about, If DVD ownership just passed the VCR then we are waaaaaaay out in front.  Relax, smile, and feel good knowing your blog is on the verge of greatness.   

Let's hear it for the little guy, we may not be little much longer. 


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Kevin Henney

I'm actually surprised that blog readership is already as high as 20%. Considering that only 28% of Americans regularly watch the nightly network news, and 40% read the newspaper daily, 20% penetration for blogs is pretty impressive. (source : http://people-press.org/reports/display.php3?ReportID=282) Still, there's plenty of room for growth, but 20% suggests that blogs are mainstream now.

RSS, however, is still a mystery to many, and the RSS article you linked to actually says 9% know what it is, not 19%.


I tried to email you, but got a failure notice. Anyway, I tagged you: http://crystalcoasttech.com/blog/2006/12/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-me/

The Antman

Kevin, Thanks for the correction, it was a type-o. You are right on, it is surprising how high blog readership is. However, I am still not sure, blogging is mainstream. I use two measurements. The first, unlike the nightly news, and the paper, blogging is interactive and personal. When there is an interactive medium where people can participate and have a level of ownership I think we can expect much higher user numbers. I think "mainstream" will be more around 50%. My number two, despite 20% readership, too many of the remaining 80% don't even know what a blog is. My point , the definition of mainstream will be measured differently in the social networking, user-generated, blogging world, where people own the content and participate in the story.

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