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The Blogosphere’s Peak

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Research firm Gartner has predicted that the growth of the blogosphere will peak at about 100 million by the mid-point of 2007.

Gartner rationalizes that most people who would ever “dabble” with blogs have already done so, and many of them have given up.

Steve Rubel’s report of Gartner’s assertions attracted some interesting comments disputing the claim:

  • “Please don’t make me go through the history of really, really bad predictions by Gartner.”
  • “(Gartner’s conclusion) assumes a static population of internet connected individuals. In 10 years, do you imagine there will be more people online?”
  • “Most of the connected population are yet to embrace the idea of participating online rather than just reading stuff. This is a major cultural change and will take a decade or two.”

Ultimately, of course, the growth of the blogosphere will level off just as the growth of anything new peaks after most people who want one get one. I agree with each of the arguments posted to Micro Persuasion, but even if Gartner is right, so what? New blogs will continue to swell the ranks as non-bloggers decide they have something to talk about and opt for a blog as their channel of choice. Somebody not blogging today may take up a new hobby or embark on a new career and suddenly have a reason to blog. Also, any number of young people entering school or the workforce will take up blogging, as well, in whatever form it exists in the years ahead.

No, the size of the blogosphere won’t continue to double every few months, but that doesn’t mean blogs are a fad on their way out. It simply means blogging has become a part of the landscape, just like telephones, televisions, and websites. The growth of all these tools peaked at some point, yet people still continue to acquire them at a healthy clip and their influence is unquestioned.

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Shel Holtz is principal of Holtz Communication + Technology which focuses on helping organizations apply online communication capabilities to their strategic organizational communications.

As a professional communicator, Shel also writes the blog a shel of my former self.

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