Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Will somebody do a real study of blogging, please?

There is absolutely no useful study on blogging. The ones that we do have are from people who have vested interests. We are well past all those studies about what software people use to blog. People blog, period.

For example, Blog search Engine Technorati says there are many bloggers with 100,000 + monthly pageviews making $75,000/year. What kind of blogger would be making that money on that small a traffic other than affiliate spammer or the gadget blog rewriter?

Scott Rosenberg picks apart, one by one, all the wrong facts cited in an unusually bad and totally incorrect Wall Street Journal article by Mark Penn about the rise of blogging as a prominent profession in America.

The quality of bloggers/online journalists may be suspect in many cases but I reckon we have entered the Iron age equivalent for blogging as serious journalism.

Cases in example, Pulitzers for online journalism, public funding for online journalism and successful blog-based opinion networks.

1. We need serious studies of blogging to learn about skill sets, skill deficiencies, revenue models; and to look into new regulations for online journalists.

2. We need to how much of blogging is reportage, opinion, analysis, rewrite, investigation, unique comparison, spam, cross-post, pr-blog/fluff-blog, ghostblog and so on.

3. We need to know the inner-workings of blog networks [I was the founding managing editor of one]

I tend to think that a blogger does not only deal with words. She posts videos. She networks on social sites. Most of all, she is a starter of conversations.

Blogging is no more a fashion. We need actionable data to help us take blogging onto the next level - as a serious replacement of all overpaid, under-performing, lazy reporters.

That is why we must not let its study fester in hands of sundry marketers.

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