The 2009 Technorati State of the Blogosphere has just been published, with some interesting findings. The trends seen in earlier Technorati reports continue, particularly in the demographics of bloggers. As a group, bloggers tend to be highly educated (40 percent have graduate degrees) males (2/3) between the ages of 18 and 44. Guess I fit the bill. Interestingly, 72 percent of bloggers say they blog as a hobby.
This year’s report also addresses the rise of Twitter, examining the relationship between bloggers and tweeters. As it turns out, those who use social media tend to express themselves in multiple venues: bloggers are much more likely to use Twitter than the general population. Many bloggers, in fact, use Twitter to syndicate their blogs (a new tweet appears with every new post). About 65 percent of bloggers say that using Twitter does not cut into their blogging time–which means that for now, blogs seem here to stay. If Twitter were eclipsing blogs, as some have suggested, more bloggers would complain that Twitter is infringing on their blogging time. See the graph below for more detail.
The reason for blogging’s longevity (in light of the Twitter surge) may lie in what bloggers do: generally, they blog for personal satisfaction, using their posts to express themselves in personal ways. Twitter users also tweet for personal expression, despite the recent politicized use of Twitter during the Iranian election. But the 140-character limit and constant pressure to update may suggest that Twitter works best as a pointing device, not as a vehicle for self expression. And remember, Facebook already allows for easy self-expression through the status line, along with a multitude of other social functions.
All of this is to say that novelty of Twitter may explain its temporary popularity, but its limitations will finally lead to its decline. The blogosphere, however, will continue to grow, particularly in the areas of politics and technology.
Just to be safe, of course, I’ve added the WordPress to Twitter plugin to automatically syndicate my posts to Twitter.