Blogging started in the 1990’s as online diaries. In 2011 Huffington Post, which became the largest blog in the world was sold to AOL for $315 million.
We are witnessing the biggest revolution in publishing since the Gutenberg press was invented over 570 years ago. The printing press enabled writers to become best selling authors by providing them with the means to mass produce books for the first time. Authors that were in the right place at the right time included Luther and Erasmus (who was reputed to have sold 750,000 copies during his lifetime).
Italy became the early publishing center of Europe with print shops established in 77 cities by 1500.
Blogging platforms such as WordPress and a web that makes sharing efficient and viral are transforming how we produce, consume and engage with knowledge and information. Publishing is evolving to whole new level that is global, instant and multi-media. Welcome to the new world of publishing!
Blogs as Global Online Magazines
Many blogs are transforming into online global magazines that measure readership in the tens of millions every month. Most blogs provide information that is targeted to a certain interest group or niche whether that be politics or technology. Almost all of these blogs started from humble beginnings and a passion about the topic.
Corporate blogs enable companies to display their knowledge and thought leadership and professional bloggers can make income from their passions.
Micro blogging platforms as Twitter are adding speed and mobility to spreading our thoughts, ideas and media in real time and have added another dimension to micro publish or link to a detailed article.
Why is Blogging Transforming Publishing?
There are many reasons why, but there are four main drivers that have enabled and synergized bloggings rise from a hobby activity to global business platforms.
1. Ease of Use
WordPress and other software make it easy to write and publish in a multimedia format. Programmers no longer needed!
2. The Rise of the Social Networks
Twitter and Facebook have made it efficient and cost effective to self market the blog to a global audience that was not possible before
3. Low Cost and High Speed Broadband
Multimedia including videos and high definition images that are vital to the modern online blog would not be possible with out high speed internet that is within most people’s reach and budget. Video bloggers need bandwidth and lots of it!
4. Low Cost Hardware
A laptop can be bought for under $500 with 300 Gb hard disks, so even students in primary school have the computers with the speed and capacity to write and share online.
These four factors combined provide the perfect storm for blogging to grow, all you need to add is some passion and innate ability and a blogger is born.
So How are We Blogging?
Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes from the professional corporate blogger to the occasional hobbyist who pens their thoughts at random. Blogging platforms can be developer hosted such as Tumblr and Blogger or Self hosted on open source software using Drupal or WordPress.
Blogging and Social Media
Social media has provided the horsepower for blogging to spread to a global audience. The growth of corporate blogging has seen a growth from a base of 16% of in 2007 to a projected 43% in 2012.
The Blogging Economy
North America is the epicenter of blogging and the average income of a blogger is $42,548 with the self employed professional blogger earning $122,000. Twitter and Facebook are the two main drivers of traffic for bloggers at 26% and 28% respectively.
Where do you think blogging going?
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Image by Daniel Henríquez