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:
- WordPress US traffic growth has been roughly flat (World traffic has grown by roughly 25%)
- TypePad US traffic growth has been roughly flat (World traffic has also been roughly flat)
- Blogspot traffic has grown by roughly 40%
Now, compare this with the crowdsourced information sites such as HubPages and Squidoo over the past year:
- HubPages US traffic growth has been roughly 100% (World traffic has also been roughly 100%)
- Squidoo US traffic growth has been roughly 100% (World traffic has also been roughly 100%)
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.