But how many readers, I wonder?

Britain apparently now has 4 million bloggers:

Of Britain’s web population of 26 million [a study] found that 15% kept a blog. Of those running a personal website, almost one in five were blogging at least once a day – the high water mark for an internet phenomenon that is transforming the way people voice their opinions.

But what’s the value of voicing one’s opinion if no one’s actually listening? It would be particularly interesting to study how much of all that text is being read, and by who? (In fairness, of course, there aren’t that many folks reading this, so mea culpa, etc., etc.)

Thanks to John Naughton for the pointer.

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4 Responses to But how many readers, I wonder?

  1. CoryQ says:

    I have often wondered about this very thing myself as I not only write for a website that I don’t think qualifies as a blog, and keep a myspace page as well. I can only approach such an endevour with two thoughts. A) I am shouting or mumbling into the void and B) I do such things only for me and if others find it and like it then that is a bonus.

    I am plesantly surprised at how much response email I get from the articles I wrote for MonkeyRiverTown. And, according to our page counter, my article on how to build your own flux capacitor has something nearing 80k hits. Go ahead. Google (did I just use that as a verb?) “flux capacitor”. In the top few hits my article will show up. How strange is that?

    Now, on the flip side (was that an archaic record reference?) that is one of something like 350 things I have written. Most of those pieces have few hits.

    So, who reads them? I have no idea but I do know that if there is a reasonable way to stay on topic, have that topic be an interest to people, and that there is a reasonable way to search for written pieces on that topic, folks will keep clicking the link.

    As a less enigmatic answer, it is mainly our friends who read this stuff, and even they can hardly be troubled to do so. Blogging makes us feel like we have something to say and that maybe others are listening. We have no way to confirm or deny that anyone is tuned in, so we assume the best. Kind of like doing a show on KUMM. How many people are listening? We hope a lot, but in out hearts, we know it is a handful.

  2. Phi says:

    There are times when my ego really wants to “make it big”, especially with a monster just down the hall. I’ve largely come to terms with that not happening – I’m just not that kind of writer/blogger, and that’s OK. So I really do it for myself, and the support of you folks is a wonderful bonus.

    I do think our readers tend to be our family and friends and, as you say, not always them!.

    Recently I’ve started using Google Reader pretty seriously, and I’ve found that has helped quite a lot. Unfortunately MRT doesn’t have a feed I can subscribe to, which definitely makes it less likely that I’ll see something there. The other big problem, though, is just how many great sources of information and ideas there are out there, and picking and choosing! There are worse problems to have, I supposed :-).

  3. CoryQ says:

    Maybe that is something we can get (a feed) when the MRT upgrade (fingers crossed!!) happens.

    You have a very good point about having to pick and choose. There is just not the time or energy available to read, comment, and get work done all in one day!

  4. Phi says:

    Having some sort of feed really does make your website a lot more accessible in a variety of ways, so I definitely recommend it :-).

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