Pleasing to see blogs are still growing in importance

By March 9, 2012Blogging

I have been writing this blog since we founded DFJ Esprit five and a half years ago. When I started blogging was hot, and still growing fast. VCs like Fred Wilson and Brad Feld had already been blogging for a couple of years and (like me) many others were jumping on the band wagon.

Now blogging is not so hot, and many have stopped blogging, or blog less frequently. I regularly used to get asked for advice about starting a blog. These days not so much. When I started writing new blogging tools were being released all the time, now I can’t find a decent blog editor in the Android market.

There is, of course, a new hotness every six months or so, but Twitter and Quora stand out for me as the two platforms that professionals in the VC/startup industry have become most excited about over that period. I have flirted with Quora and use Twitter regularly, but have stuck primarily with blogging because my thoughts are of the long-form variety and I value the discipline of committing my thoughts fully to paper.

However, I wonder from time to time whether blogging as a medium is on the wane and I ought to look elsewhere. I write to build awareness for DFJ Esprit and our portfolio companies and to engage in debate around the topics that interest me (many of which relate to investment themes) and whilst I could write my thoughts down fully in private, these other reasons for writing require an audience, with the implication that I should go (or at least consider going) where the audience is.

To change would be a wrench though, so I was pleased to see the chart below this morning, which shows that active blogging is still on the increase. Not crazy growth anymore, but steady growth appropriate for a medium that is hopefully becoming a permanent part of the news, analysis and media landscape.

Number of blogs tracked by NM Incite, from October 2006 to October 2011

Seeing this chart prompted me to do a bit more research, to see if it was really true. The Technorati (disclosure: DFJ portfolio company) State of the Blogosphere Survey 2011 largely confirmed that blogs are still growing and important, although they found (predictably) that many marketeers have shifted time away from blogging to other forms of social media (mostly Twitter, Facebook), and perhaps most worryingly they published the chart below which shows there isn’t much new blood in the blogosphere.

Finally, it is also good to see that WordPress.com is holding it’s position as a top 20 site globally.