Will Blogging Explode in 2010?

This might seem like a silly question given that Technorati says there have been more than 140 million blogs created in the last 10 years.  Now most of these are now defunct, but there are still more than 1.5 million blogs that post at least once a week.

Get ready for a blogging surge in 2010.

So granted – blogging has already exploded.

But blogging in the next year is about to enter into a Renaissance period.  It will get even more legitimate and become the ubiquitous way in which news and information is shared (in the long form) over the web.  Why?

Consider this.  There are more than 14,500 journalists who have been laid-off in 2009.

Jobs in journalism are not expected to recover next year and, in fact, probably never will.  The jobs slashed at places like BusinessWeek, the New York Times, Forbes, Fortune and dozens of other publications are likely gone forever.  Gourmet magazine and Domino magazine aren’t coming back.  They were shutdown – along with dozens of other magazines and newspapers.

So where are all these unemployed journalists going?

Many of them will start blogs.

Take Chris Gray Faust, who until recently was the travel editor for USA Today as an example.  Last week, she was among 37 employees, including 26 journalists, let go by the newspaper.  She wrote a compelling post at her new blog “Chris Around the World” after she received word that her career at USA Today was coming to a sudden end:

“But what bothers me the most is what my firing represented. See, I’ve been learning all the tricks that a modern multi-platform journalist is supposed to know. In the past 22 months, I’ve blogged, tweeted, shot photos and videos, and handled speaking engagements. I edited my section, managed my high-personality staff and then in my spare time, I wrote cover stories – something that very few other editors at USA TODAY do. I hustled and I cajoled and I ended up out on my ass anyway.”

She goes on to say:

“But increasingly, things have become more interesting outside the newsroom bubble. I’d go to conferences and meet people who were making it just fine on their own. Some were creating niche businesses, busting up the paradigm. Others were parlaying old school media talents into fresh ventures, with a moxie that made me wish I had the freedom to emulate them. The air inside USAT’s towers on Jones Branch Drive always seemed a little stale after that.   These freelancers-slash-entrerpreneurs are smart. They are nimble. And now they are my role models, as I join their ranks.”

Former journalists like Chris Gray Faust are going to take their journalism expertise to blogging.  They no longer will be blogging part-time as a supplement to their “day jobs” as journalists.  They are going to be blogging full-time – trying to make careers out of it.  This surge of professional writers and reporters to the ranks of blogging is going to take blogging in new and creative directions.

Newspapers and magazines that laid-off all of these talent writers and editors will also find that they are now going to be competing directly against them.  Journalists like Chris Gray Faust still have their contacts, their skills, their industry know-how and easy-to-use and mostly free blogging platforms to deliver their stories and articles to the masses.

Blogging is going get really interesting – once again – in 2010.  This time it isn’t going to be driven by enthusiasts and early adopters, but by professional writers, reporters and editors.

What do think?

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14 Responses to “Will Blogging Explode in 2010?”

  1. Blogging is going get really interesting – once again – in 2010. This time it isn’t going to be driven by enthusiasts and early adopters, but by professional writers, reporters and editors.

    What do think?

    I think this piece couldn’t get any more patronising if it tried.

    To imply that blogging isn’t ‘really interesting now’ would be to state that the author of this piece knows and reads everything that is published under the banner of blogging in the world and in all languages. And that is plainly untrue.

    So in answer to your question, I think this piece is untrue and patronising.

  2. Hi Brennig:
    Thanks for stopping by. You are inferring – probably because you had difficulty reading the post – that I don’t think blogging is interesting now, but I’m a huge fan of blogging and, you may have noticed, I blog myself.

    And just for the record, I do read every single blog in every single language each morning with my coffee.

    Doesn’t everyone with an RSS reader?

  3. You are kind of implying though that now the “real” writers are out of work, they’re gonna come and show us amateurs how it’s done and boy, isn’t that gonna be fab!

    And another 14,500 bloggers in a pool of 1.5m blogs? Isn’t that an increase of less than .01%?

    Calling it a “surge” might be overstating it a tad, no?

  4. Hi Drew:
    You are inferring it. I’m not implying it.

    I’m simply observing that professional journalists are going to be flocking online in light of the massive lay-offs in print media this year. The explosion isn’t in numbers – but in creativity and bringing more journalistic know-how to the medium.

    And yes I think they’ll take blogging in new directions. But that isn’t meant as a slight to current bloggers. I’m a bit surprised that you and Brennig are taking it that way.

    Just because you praise one kid – doesn’t mean you’re criticizing the other one…

  5. OK, I’ll admit it. I was wrong. When I said this piece couldn’t get any more patronising if it tried, I had no idea that you are a Grand Master at being patronising. You must be very proud.

  6. Hi Bennig:
    You’re mistaking my sarcasm at your rather ill-conceived whines for being patronizing. But I’m not surprised given the level of your discourse so far.

  7. This article was dead-on. I think what you’ll see with print media is different outlets trying to make rock stars out of their limited staff. The ability to self-market has never been more important in the newspaper industry. Those who are more interested in selling themselves than telling a story will be fine.

    The rest? Hello blogosphere. My only question is how journalists like Gay Faust turn their blogs into money-making ventures. Advertising is only so reliable.

  8. Hi Andrew:
    Thanks. I actually think print media is moving in the other direction. Think of how Bloomberg just fired all the big name writers at BusinessWeek. Most magazines are looking to mimic the Economist – which doesn’t use bylines. The drift seems to be away from stars and to an unknown staff. Why? One reason is that stars make more money.

  9. I think this is a correct assessment of what IS happening and will continue to happen in the blogging world or elsewhere online. It’s not about volume as the writer said – but it will bring more quality to the medium. For years, I have been complaining about the horrible writing that exists even at established websites like Yahoo. There is no doubt amateurs have helped to shape the trends and open up a huge wave of activity, but one responder suggested it was patronizing to the professionals. It’s not patronizing – it’s very clear that the professional have so many more tools and connections available to them, so it seems reasonable they will have a head-start and will produce some very good content. Huffington is a perfect example – she was not first in the blog world, but she is probably one of the biggest.

  10. 15 years ago i was a journalist in a weekend holiday in London when i stopped by a cafe / bar called Cyberia… entered and 10 minutes after i was arguing online with 4 other people in 4 different countries about the future of East Timor… 10 days after i presented my letter of resignation to my newspaper and became an independent media entrepeneur… the best decision of my life…

  11. Hi Giramondu:
    Now that is seeing the writing on the wall… congrats!


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