Is Blogging on the Decline?

Teenagers are blogging significantly less now than they were four years ago. At least, that’s one interpretation from a recent study done by the Pew Internet Project.

Here are the facts cited by the study:

  • Only 14% of 12-17 years-olds report that they blog today versus 25% in 2006.
  • Only 52% report that they comment on blogs versus more than 3/4 in 2006.

In contrast to this, social networking is on the rise:

  • 73% of wired teens are using social networking versus 55% in 2006

It is always good to take statistics with a healthy dose of caution.  ReadWriteWeb, for example, has suggested that these numbers may have more to do with the rise of Facebook (no blogging)  and the decline in popularity of MySpace (has blogging) among teens.  They propose that “it’s possible that teens weren’t ever really into blogging to begin with.”

If you check out the Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere, it is clear that teen bloggers are not a significant part of the blogging population:

  • 95% are 18 and older
  • 60% are 18 – 44
  • 75% of bloggers have college degrees

At HubPages, for example, you have to be 18 or older to open a HubPages account.

But, there is another number that is worth considering: rate of traffic growth over the last year.  Using quantcast.com as a source:

Now, compare this with the crowdsourced information sites such as HubPages and Squidoo over the past year:

While these numbers just scratch the surface, it will be very interesting to see if these numbers hold over the next year.

So, is blogging on the decline?  I don’t think I’ve cited enough data to answer this question one way or another.

Still, there is one big trend that is unmistakable:  for easy public communcation, blogging is no longer the only game in town.

27 thoughts on “Is Blogging on the Decline?

  1. I predicted the downfall of blogging a while back, based on the social networking revolution.

    Social networking replaces some of the key components in blogging, and makes it easier to share those components with your friends. Updating people on your day to day life now takes seconds with facebook status updates, negating the need for a blog post you could spend hours over.

    It’s a shame, but the world always evolves, and blogging will always have a place in that world.

  2. I believe it is due to sites like facebook and twitter. When I was in high school, it was ‘cool’ to write about your day and random thoughts on your own personal blog. Now, I think kids are just used to writing short blurbs that can be updated frequently, especially on their mobile devices. Talk about narcissism at its finest! 😉

  3. I am sad that this is happening.. when I am now getting into blogging. As an avid facebook user.. and someone who is now starting blogging (I signed up an account in 2008 and did absolutely nothing until 2010) I can definitely see the ease with using facebook. Writing on my blog definitely takes up a lot of time and I am finding it very difficult to direct people to go read what I am posting. A lot of my friends rather check out my facebook page and comment on all my photos.. at least that’s what I’ve noticed.. that go see what I am blogging about!

    I do hope that it picks back up though!!!

    Let’s wait and see what the stats will depict in a few months!

  4. Target the audience, target the audience, target the audience. This maxim remains true no matter what the medium. Teens are also using text messaging quite a bit. Getting traffic to a blog is hard work. But if the audience being targeted uses the Internet for business and buying online, then keep blogging.

  5. I agree that facebook has changed the game for a lot of teens. One problem with blogging is that you have to update on a regular basis or your readers disappear. Many have no clue how to generate traffic and gave up.

    I see crowdsourced information sites like HubPages largely replacing blogs because there is power in numbers. As a whole we generate way more traffic than 1 person ever could. This gives HP major authority in the search engines. I have learned so much in my short time here and found many great resources I wouldn’t have otherwise .

    HP has some very nice quantcast stats. That 89 ranking is very nice. I knew HP was a major site, but didn’t realize it was top 100. Well done.

  6. I don’t think blogging will “disappear”, but as businesses and other purposes for blogs have moved in I think the whole picture changed and made blogging seem like something that wasn’t just for teen blurbs any longer. I think, when all is said and done, teens are most interested in keeping in touch with their friends.

    MySpace was once primarily for teens. Facebook started out for college kids. Now businesses and other adults have moved in on those too. It’s almost like teens get make these things popular, everyone else joins in, and then teens move on. I don’t think blogging will disappear. I think the nature of it will continue to change.

  7. I think the fact that it is mostly adults blogging points out an important fact. A blog is more beneficial for advertisers and content publishers who rely on blogs than social networking sites. Obviously as a content writer who uses ads to generate online revenue I want people that can actually click those ads and make a purchase. I use a blog to bring readers who are interested in my topic to see tidbits of information and then lead them to more fully featured pages from there. All of my pages rely on adults reading, clicking, and buying.

  8. Either way teenager should be focusing time on school not blogging.

    But, the question is, since bloggers may be declining, is that a good thing for those that continue to publish information on their blogs?

  9. Just started blogging again after maybe a year away. Right now I can’t see a reason why blogging would die. Blogging is just a way of putting content on the web.

    Personally, I tried Facebook and hated it. Each to their own I guess.

  10. I believe blogging will get more popular, mainly due to corporate blogging. I always advise my clients to add a blog to their existing websites for 3 reasons:

    1) To incresase the number of pages on your site

    2) To Increase the number of internal links in your site

    3) For long tail keywords strategies.

    Gareth

  11. I don’t think blogging is on the decline. I would think it’s going through that natural phase of a market. Stats in Canada are population high in teens and elders with the rest inbetween and blogs are now most likely being used for different purposes altogether and reflecting just that. 🙂

  12. I just started a blog after deciding writing a book would be too time intensive. I also noticed that several people hiring writers were asking for their wordpress page rather than a sample of work. As a teacher, I often find myself in a mess of blogs locating all kinds of unusual pictures, articles, new musicians and visual artists. There’s a wealth of information out there of people blogging that aren’t just ranting about their day or politics – but are actually contributing through thoughtful information.

    I do like HubPages because the potential to make money – but think both have their strengths.

  13. I think celeb, gossip and personal blogging is on decline. Earlier people used to take interest in personal blogging but not now. Twitter is replacing personal blogging, so reading 300+ words is pain for many people, twitter is just scoring over there. Now when it comes to informational stuff i think blogging is on rise.

  14. i agree, 2ergo, the WAP Software giant (who bought up the US Proteus not long ago), has seen a huge rise in mobile micro blogging. Which coincides w/ the rise in Twitter.

    If blogging is to stay, it must go micro-mobile.

  15. I was really scared , worried about the blogging being on the decline , But as you say the numbers ..are always decieving and cant tell facts all the time . And Teens . Man with all that ..raging play station hormones , I am glad they could atleast say two sentences wholly without spelling mistakes ! They better remain where they are ..I mean in playstations and xBoxes

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