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Most Blogs Now Abandoned 290

The Narrative Fallacy writes "Douglas Quenqua reports in the NY Times that according to a 2008 survey only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days meaning that "95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled." Richard Jalichandra, chief executive of Technorati, said that at any given time there are 7 million to 10 million active blogs on the Internet, but it's probably between 50,000 and 100,000 blogs that are generating most of the page views. "There's a joke within the blogging community that most blogs have an audience of one." Many people who think blogging is a fast path to financial independence also find themselves discouraged. "I did some Craigslist postings to advertise it, and I very quickly got an audience of about 50,000 viewers a month," says Matt Goodman, an advertising executive in Atlanta who had no trouble attracting an audience to his site, Things My Dog Ate, leading to some small advertising deals. "I think I made about $20 from readers clicking on the ads.""
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Most Blogs Now Abandoned

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  • OMG I just got my new blog on blogspot, everyone I know is now reading hilarious stories about my cat. Yesterday, he threw up on my carpet and I spent four or five posts describing the *huck huck huck* noise he started making, the vomit on the carpet, removing the vomit, getting the stain out, you know just things people love to read about! Mr. Freckles was sick but he got better! Oh yes he did! Yesyesyesyes!

    *one week later*

    Oh, blogpost is so last week. It turns out only about one person was reading it but now you can see Mr. Freckles on Flickr! You can actually see the vomit and the piece of yarn covered in bile that Mr. Freckles produced! And we have pictures of Mr. Freckles at the vet getting his temperature taken! People LOVE IT!

    *one week later*

    Oh, Flickr isn't as great as Mr. Freckles thought. It turns out only about one person was looking at Mr. Freckles but that doesn't matter because I just figured out how to get my own podcast! Now people can hear my awesome squeaky super opinionated voice explain how cuddly wuddly my cat is! Who's more cuddly than Mr. Freckles? Nobody, that's who! Listen to Mr. Freckles complain about his ear infection!

    *one week later*

    I guess those five podcast downloads were really just me if you count my laptop/desktop/work computer/iPod/iPhone but that doesn't matter, Mr. Freckles is a movie star! We have our own YouTube channel and we get over 100 views a week! Mr. Freckles is friends with Play Him Off Cat too! We just wish they weren't from the same bad egg posting that "nobody wants to watch your fucking cat!" Well, I know the world loves Mr. Freckles almost as much as I do and you're going to hear about him. No matter where you live or what you do, I'm going to leave a bunch of accounts that are nothing but shells like a trail of used condoms behind a frat boy. And if you post painful anti-Mr. Freckles posts about me and Mr. Freckles, I shall only redouble my efforts. I will not stop until I find a way to bring Mr. Freckles' love to you!
  • Blogs != Get Rich (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:25PM (#28255819)
    I've had my own site since last millenium, primarily as a way to journal my family's life for myself and people in my extended family. It's been a great communication tool to keep up with everyone, and a huge time saver when it comes to sending individual e-mails to everyone.

    It's also been a great historical record of when things happened. I'm embarrassed to say that I've checked my blog more than once to make sure I remembered my daughter's birthday right.

    It was also a great way for everyone to stay in touch on 9/11. Two of my family were flying that day, and it was a central place where everyone could post their flight delays and locations.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Haoie ( 1277294 )

      Like most all web 2.0 things, it doesn't make any moolah, blogging.

      And no surprise is it? With all the topics covered from pointless to inane.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by msimm ( 580077 )
      The thing I like about blogs is I always looked at them as a semi-anonymous public diary. I don't read them, but I did a project for about a year where I posted my thoughts, uncertainty and insecurity on my own sexuality. Some of the things I'm less proud of and a lot of the kinds of things I might not have shared with anyone. I tried to keep it as honest as I could and avoided being titillating or self-serving as well as I could.

      The responses I got were mostly positive and intelligent and the whole thing
    • by Patch86 ( 1465427 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @05:46PM (#28257221)

      Here here. I don't blog, because it has never interested me. I don't use social networking sites either, seeing as most of my friends don't. But I don't see them as inherently bad if they're used right.

      If you treat a blog as just something for your friends and family, or as essentially a non-private diary, that's fine. If you're using a blog as a get-rich-quick scheme or are just whoring for attention, it's not fine; but then you're probably an obnoxious pillock in everything else you do too, so that isn't really the blog's fault.

      If you treat a social networking site as just a way of communicating with variable groups of people (and that's something Facebook can do better than phone calls or emails), that's fine. If you're using it to install 300 apps about turning people into zombies, or stalking your friends/girlfriends/relatives, it's not fine; but then you're probably not someone I'd like in real life either, so you can't blame the website for that.

      I'm still trying to figure out a legitimate use for Twitter though. Twitter seems to be up there with herpes as something desirable and fun to try with my friends.

  • No dream (Score:5, Interesting)

    by beefsprocket ( 1152865 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:25PM (#28255837)
    The dream is not dead, there never was one.. But what there is is a public, searchable record of things that people who have "abandoned" their blogs have magnanimously left online for all to search and see. As a system administrator, searching what Quenqua or Technorati deem abandoned has saved my ass more than a few times. Seems like a typical perspective on blogging that has been clouded by a few years of some major bloggers gaining commercial success. If you aren't a sell out, you aren't a blogger. No small timer's allowed. Come on, we don't all blog to get rich and famous, and I guess if that isn't in keeping with Technorati's business model (whatever that is) then bloggers are all failures in their eyes. I for one will keep searching and using blogs, however (in)frequently they might be updated.
  • by AioKits ( 1235070 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:27PM (#28255861)
    I tried to keep a blog once, but I honestly had nothing interesting to say. Most the time it was just my idle thoughts, and even _I_ didn't care to read them having just thought them. What few blogs I do read tend to be research or tech blogs. Apparently the millions of monkeys at millions of keyboards do get bored eventually.
  • by edittard ( 805475 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:27PM (#28255867)

    Only most? Well at least it's a start...

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:27PM (#28255873)
    It was a peculiar form of narcissism that ever led people to think anyone gave a crap about their day-to-day lives in the first place. These are the same people who think I need to be updated every few seconds with a tweet detailing every single piece of inconsequential minutia from their lives.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by vertinox ( 846076 )

      It was a peculiar form of narcissism that ever led people to think anyone gave a crap about their day-to-day lives in the first place.

      I dunno. It might not be interesting now, but someone in 100 or 500 years might be interested.

      Suffice to say, at least the 21st century has opened made the whole process redundant so future historians won't to worry about a fire burning down the Great Library of Alexandria again.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by fulldecent ( 598482 )

        If by redundant, you mean hosted in a few google farms and susceptible to EMP, which is the most likely weapon of the next world war, then yes I agree it is redundant.

  • Spam Blogs never die (Score:5, Interesting)

    by loftwyr ( 36717 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:29PM (#28255891)
    How many of those 50,000 were spammers throwing junk on blogspot or other sites to get pageviews for spamvertising? They'll continue to make tiny amounts of money for the spammer community forever!
  • Journaling (Score:5, Interesting)

    by prakslash ( 681585 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:30PM (#28255911)
    Scientists and psychologists have long proven that keeping a personal journal or diary to keep track of your accomplishments, failures, goals and dreams is a very beneficial.

    So, blogging is still a good activity for people. Even if no one else reads their blogs.
    As for the people who thought they could make a career out of it, well, they were just idiots.
    • Re:Journaling (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bigbutt ( 65939 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @05:02PM (#28256505) Homepage Journal

      It's the same at work. I keep a log of what I do throughout the day and every week I update a database. Management asked for a weekly status report so I whipped up a php script that formats the weekly output into the form they expect to see. So I just copy and paste it into an e-mail and send it off.

      It's been a great help, especially at the end of the year when they want justification to give you a 3% raise. Organize it into projects, summarise them, throw in a few highlights and they're very happy.

      I've been told several times that I provide twice as much detail as anyone else in his group (he manages three groups of which, I'm a member of one of them).

      Part of the reason though is that I was a consultant for many years. I also spent a couple of years telecommuting. So keeping detailed information on what I did kept them aware that I was a valuable member of the team.


  • by line-bundle ( 235965 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:30PM (#28255925) Homepage Journal

    I think whoever thought the name up was a twit. The name sounds like someone barfing (which is what it usually is).

    Don't get me started on twit^W tweet.

    • This is so true.

      Don't get me started on "snowclone", which is just a fancy and incredibly stupid word for cliche.

      • by piojo ( 995934 )

        on't get me started on "snowclone", which is just a fancy and incredibly stupid word for cliche.

        A snowclone is to a cliche as a (bash) function is to an alias. (I'm sorry.)

        • A snowclone is to a cliche as a (bash) function is to an alias. (I'm sorry.)

          No, the snowclone is the radiator cap needed for the Volkswagen Bug engine of a cliche.... Or was that the buggy whip for the dead horse? I forget...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by teko_teko ( 653164 )

      You can call it a Blag if you like...

  • ....that is, those autogenerated blogs on free sites that just contain a mishmash of keywords - or a bunch of stolen content. Those lie fallow because there's no real blogger behind them.

    I used to blog technical stuff once or twice a week... now I twitter the little stuff and save blog entries for something more involved, like using setrlimit on Mac OS X []. Hard to boil that down to 140 characters... unless it's "setrlimit apparently not working, but the server's running Linux, so, meh".

  • by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:34PM (#28255991)

    It seems the ideas behind twitter, facebook, and blogs are "my thoughts are so important that I'm almost obligated to allow everyone else to read them." Or in twitter's case, "my stream of consciousness is so important [or insert "funny," "witty," "cool," or whatever] ..."

    In my experience, while listening to people is definitely a Good Thing, I don't need to listen or read your every thought. For the most part, it gets fairly predictable after a few blog posts. And, frankly, for the most part, I don't really care. I don't care what someone's dog ate :)

    The idea that my thoughts really SHOULD be read by other people seems to be an egotistical way to go about your life. And, incidentally, if most people have that attitude - which I think most do, it seems to be human nature to overinflate one's importance in one's own view - then reading other people's blogs won't be very consistent...

    And of course, I'm posting this on slashdot because this comment is important and everyone should read it.... :P

    • by Sj0 ( 472011 )

      Why do you think you need to be important to have a blog?

      I had a blog through college. It wasn't anything special, just my thoughts at various junctures.

      If someone finds it and gets something out what I read, cool.
      If someone finds it and thinks it's a waste of space, also cool.
      If nobody finds it but me a ways down the road and I get to re-live my memories, cool.
      The only thing that would suck if nobody, including me, ever finds it again. That's unlikely. In a few years I'm certain to check it out again.

      • Why do you think you need to be important to have a blog?

        He doesn't. He thinks you need to think that you are.

        I had a blog through college.


  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:36PM (#28256029) Homepage

    The people who have nothing to say are all on Facebook now. The remaining blogs are typically either from people who are serious writers, or those who simply need a place to post operational info like software updates.

    And the, of course, there's Twitter.

    • by macemoneta ( 154740 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @05:02PM (#28256507) Homepage

      This is what I came here to say. I used to blog, mostly as a way of keeping in touch with friends and family that we aren't physically near. Some of them reciprocated with their own blogs.

      Now, everyone that I used to interact with is on Facebook, so that's where I (and they) post. In addition, many of the blogs I might have followed (e.g. celebrities, causes, technology, entertainment) are now on Facebook as well.

      It's not that blogs have gone away, it's that they and their audiences have transitioned to social networking.

      When the "next big thing" comes along - like Google Wave - people will be lamenting that social networking has gone away. Change happens, and communications improves. It doesn't go away, it gets better.

    • This isn't really true. The parenting-blogosphere is alive and well. I think it is because parents find it helpful to have a place to share their impressions of parenthood, stories about their kids, and other random things. People self-select into little communities based on their parenting styles, their kids' traits, and other things, but not necessarily geography. I have "friends" who live on the other side of the country or even in different countries. We may never meet, but we have enough in common that

  • The last post I made on my blog looked like this: []

    I am undoubtedly one of these dead bloggers. But somehow don't feel bad about making posts like this once a year, when looking at the site of the guy who's posting every day about what his dog eats!

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Hognoxious ( 631665 )

      I am undoubtedly one of these dead bloggers.

      When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "dead blogger storage"?

  • During my time in college I was required to make one in at least 8 classes, I suppose I could have argued and said I already had one but when it came down to it, I didn't care so I just did a new one. Hell those assignment were basically free points but I don't think I ever got full marks on them.
  • Blog Business Model (Score:5, Interesting)

    by actionbastard ( 1206160 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:40PM (#28256113)
    1. Start a blog.
    2. Start blogging.
    3. ?
    There is no four. I quit.
  • by multisync ( 218450 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:40PM (#28256117) Journal

    According to a recent survey, 0 editions of the NY Times have been updated in the last 120 days, meaning that 100 percent have essentially been abandoned, left to lie fallow in landfills, recycling plants and at the bottom of bird cages.

  • by dank zappingly ( 975064 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:40PM (#28256125)
    Every now and again I create blogs with my name prominently featured to throw the man off when he tries to google me.
  • some people post less often than 120 days. I started mine to let my family know how I was doing in Iraq and posted once in a while to let them know I was OK. Now I post various updates to my life, book reviews, or anything else I feel like. Surprisingly, some people in my and my wife's family actively read and await the next post. I have a friend who sometimes posts less often than 120 days, but I wouldn't call his abandoned either.
  • 2102 morf tsop toDhsalS

    NY Times that according to a 2012 survey only 7.4 million out of the 133 million FaceBook Pages had been updated in the past 120 days

    6102 morf tsop toDhsalS

    NY Times that according to a 2016 survey only 7.4 million out of the 133 million Slashdot Users use Tachyons to revise old posts in the past 120 days

    9102 morf tsop toDhsalS

    Ridley Scott releases BladeRunner Penultimate Edition, with "prophetically accurate" vision of 2109

  • Blogs don't cut it. Twitter is for imBESils. I write down all my random, meaningless thoughts on Slashdot!!

    Hey! Is anybody reading this??
  • by MikeURL ( 890801 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @04:58PM (#28256431) Journal
    The power of modern search engines makes all those dormant blogs searchable for obscure bits of data. Many is the time I've had a question about some ridiculously obscure thing and I can find an answer (or at least a lead) in an old blog somewhere that the person long since forgot.
  • I only signed up for those blog things to try and improve my SEO, nothing more... For whatever reason Google likes to rank them higher
  • It sucked.

    The other one sucked too. Even I didn't read it.

    And the other one sucks, but I don't add to it, so I don't bother.

    Yours pretty much sucks also. Just sayin'...

  • Does it matter? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by weave ( 48069 ) * on Monday June 08, 2009 @05:03PM (#28256515) Journal

    I usually blog about technical things that I think might help people out. I don't care if I'm famous, and I leave personal stuff to Facebook where friends and family that might care can read it.

    My blog gets about 50-75 hits a day, all from search engines searching for items I write about. Of course they aren't going to come back and read me every day, and that's not why I write it. I do it mainly to give back a little, since I've been helped so often from googling (er, I mean blinging) for info whenever I get into a jam.

    And I'm not even going to link to my blog from here just to prove I'm not an attention whore!

  • Now if I can just remember how to get to my blog...

  • Who would have thought.

  • Most Obvious Stories are Obvious, Full Story at 11!

  • Most Blogs Now Abandoned

    Thank god.

  • Maybe he's doing it wrong. My site [] which mostly documents a big home renovation project, consistently brings in about $30/month from Google ads. Pays for my DSL line it does. I started the site mainly to keep distant relatives informed about the remodel. I have only updated it a few times in the past 5 years and have done nothing to promote it, but it's usually the top Google result for "lifting a house".

  • My site stats are crap, but there is a small audience. It's about the love more than anything though. As well a way to keep those who care in touch. Yes my ads have earned me a whole zero dollars but I sill hold out hope :-) and Amazon integrates well with my blog anyways.
  • Let's face it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SpaghettiPattern ( 609814 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @05:38PM (#28257099)
    Let's face it. Only a handful pursue with tenacity the desire to regularly inform the world of what they're thinking about or what they are doing. A fraction of these actually have something interesting to say.

    Blogging will go down the route of 27 MHz CB radios. Nice to have tried it but most information you think interests the world just doesn't.
  • ...blogging was a fad. The truly first wave blogs have probably been dead for two years now already; and the blog was also probably more needed during the Bush administration, (as a form of indie media) than it is now.

    It will come back around, in time. Fads always do.

  • I can see why he never made more than $20.

    Site is an eye-fright.

  • by mugnyte ( 203225 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @05:56PM (#28257347) Journal

    For a long time, the information on the web was put there magically by the techocracy that architected it. For non-tech users, getting their information online has been through ever-easier methods of publishing. Web-logging, aka blogging, was just another step in this phase.

      The motivation for providing content varies, but psychologists would say that part of it is in the feeling of belonging with peers you identify with. From forum posts, Wikipedia editing, Amazon reviews, posting youtube vids of kittens in sinks, etc - there's a clic for everyone. These are new-found "friends" that people interact with by simply making something appear online.

      There's also a compelling push to do what the longstanding "professional" journalism has done for years. So, there's a group that pushes to create look-alike content that fills a niche, but do it online and for free (except for ads). We get "independent" media outlets, political commentary, diy comedy routines, and websites covering local issues. Quality and regularity varies.

      All of these things are good - it pushes the body of human knowledge and interaction into a universal format. The transmission (physical wires) and delivery styles might leave something to be desired, but it's in a fairly searchable format as uncontextual text (that context part is still a challenge, all you search engines out there).

      I look forward to the slow spread of not just content, but the focus on a universal context system that gets us a more semantic web. Also, we might also get live connections directly to 1 or more senses in real time, someday. Putting these together and you pretty much get an augmented reality stream, completely customizable, so that you won't have to remember so much as be able to process the extra info fast enough. That'll probably hit an upper limit on our brainpower, but we always seem willing to try (driving while using phone and more). After that, jumping over the senses to just filling artificial neurons with the info, accessible by our natural ones, will be the challenge.

    Exciting times, this Information Age, still in its infancy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      That'll probably hit an upper limit on our brainpower, but we always seem willing to try (driving while using phone and more).

      Driving while using a phone seems to redline brain power for most people -- to the point that they can't even process the fact that they are impaired. To the point, in fact, that reading and writing on a tiny device while driving seems like reasonable idea.

      So much for that.

      Quasi-quote from the TV sitcom Becker, "Reality TV is the petri dish where America grows its idiots". That was a crack on the first season of Survivor, and it has been more than vindicated by the way that reality TV has pushed the body

  • by Slugster ( 635830 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:00PM (#28258315)
    Most people's blogs suck for the simple reason that they have no content.

    A blog is only interesting if you can post info that others would not have been able to find on their own, and that they would want to find. Most blogs fail on both counts, so they only post short commentaries and links--links that often only lead to posts in other people's blogs, instead of straight to the content that is the subject of the discussion.

    {-blogs do work well for posting personal information and stories for family and friends to read; that is a realistic use--but then, the target audience is only a few closely-related people-}

    Now if Google would just introduce an "ignore blog results" option, the dreck of this part of the internet would finally get the attention it truly deserves.
  • Lack of Scheduling (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LizzyDragon ( 740435 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @07:36PM (#28258723)
    I think one reason many blogs fail is because the blogger didn't set up a posting schedule beforehand. Many blogs that I like to read promise they will put up a new post every Sunday, or every M-W-F or whatever works for them. I like it because I know when to look for new posts and also because it shows commitment on the blogger's part to the blog.
  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Monday June 08, 2009 @11:50PM (#28261251) Homepage

    First, some blogs simply exist as part of spam and SEO objects. Furthermore, there are many specialized blogs out there that only update rarely because their specialties only require infrequent updates or have to do with topics that have bursts of news and then very little. (See for example [] (disclaimer: one of the people who runs that is my twin).

    In any event, humans go through many different things on a temporary basis. Would one have made a big deal in 1938 or so when there would have been more cars disposed of than currently functioning as evidence that cars are going out of style? This really doesn't tell us anything useful by itself.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10