I can’t help but notice a decline in commenting here at the Fix and at the 50 or so blogs I try to visit each week. Furthermore, unless I am wrong, few if any of Mack’s Top 25 show weekly increases in readership. More often than not they are showing some decline. (Mack, correct me if I am wrong.)
Now, we can all think of reasons why commenting may be in decline: we’ve exhausted our ability to write about fresh topics; our new posts sound much like yesterday’s posts; it is summer and people are doing other things; the writing generally across posts leads toward rumination and redundancy. Or new readership is in decline and our current readers have heard us before on a similar subject so are not motivated to comment.
As for Mack’s numbers, I’ll leave it to him to explain. But here’s my point: I am reading lots of posts about the advantages of companies launching their blogs now, before the market is saturated by blogs. Makes good sense. Just as there are limited dollars to spend on our products and services, their are limited eyes to read our blogs. Building a solid audience now can lead to success in the future. Maybe.
What if, instead however, blogging is a social media fad? What if the audience has peaked or it is reaching its maximum potential and growth and it will slow in the future? If comments continue to remain in that one percent of readership range (the one percenters as defined in Citizen Marketers), does blogging prove itself to be a useful conversational tool?
Even if blogging remains a valuable social media, marketing and branding tool, assuming that it is, where will the fresh ideas and fresh writing come from? Can we expect today’s bloggers to continue to post provocative and engaging material for years on end?
In many ways, this is a social experiment awaiting the results, especially in terms of the quality of writing. All other media use a variety of writers, producers, actors and so on to keep their material fresh. Most of us are single purveyors of the word. Even here at the Fix, I have noticed that Ann seems to rely on a few of the many writers listed as contributors.
How long can we satisfy our audience’s wants and needs? Because at the end of the day, if we can’t meet or exceed their expectations, they will shop elsewhere.