Monday, November 07, 2005

How Mainstream Can Blogs Get, Anyway?

Nick Carr writes that "...the blogosphere is going to end up looking a lot like the old 'mainstream media'... A relatively small number of high-traffic blogs will dominate the market, and then there'll be a whole lot of more specialized blogs with fewer readers."

I agree that a relatively small number of blogs could dominate blog traffic, and there could be a whole lot of specialized blogs with fewer readers. But I think the orders of magnitude of "relatively small", "whole lot", and "fewer" are radically different than they are for, say, magazines, because of the radically different cost of entry for a blog as opposed to a magazine.

The Magazine Publishers of America represents more than 240 publishers with approximately 1400 titles. Five titles account for 20% of the magazines sold. I'm guessing (hard to find statistics) that (a) a lot more than 5 blogs are needed to account for 20% of the total blog page hits; (b) there are a lot more than 1400 blogs published by bloggers in the US; and (c) the minimum readership for a blog to continue to be published is a whole lot lower - i.e., 0 - than the minimum readership for a magazine to continue to be published. (Like this one, for example...)

I believe in The Long Tail.