Chiming in on the discussion over at Fred Wilson’s place about whether or not anyone reads blogs. I agree with Fred. Clearly, there are many, many blogs and some of the more popular blogs are hit quite often. Fred points to Wonkette’s huge number of hits. But there are a number of factors at work here that lead me to believe that at some point soon, blog creation and blog readership will top out.
First, there’s the novelty of the medium. We’re well past the early adopter stage and into the growth stage. But not everyone wants to write a blog and not everyone wants to read stuff on the screen. And not everyone will have a Blackberry to read blogs on the subway. At some point the market is saturated and you run out of time to read and write. Second, it’s an election year and there’s a war going on. So there’s more breaking news and gossip than there might normally be. More to write about, more to read. Finally and most importantly, there just aren’t that many people in the world with smart things to say on a regular basis.
It seems to me that unless a blogger posts often, he or she will lose their readership. The only exception might be a very domain specific blog, where new and valuable information can’t be expected that frequently. So the most credible and prolific journalists and bloggers will attract the most readers and reading time, largely to the exclusion of everyone else. It might be a stretch but I think the CB radio phenomenon is a good analogy. Listening to and talking like a trucker was fun for a while and then everyone but the truckers went back to listening to music.