Comment on Duncan Riley

Duncan Riley posted a long analytical piece on the state of blogging now and into the future. I tried to post a comment, but for whatever reason, it didn’t make it through. I thought I’d repost my comment here as it will give you an idea of where I think blogging is headed this coming year –

Hi Duncan, just a response to some of your points –

“AOL is said to be launching Blogsmith in an already saturated market”

do I really want my blog to look like it’s part of the Weblogs Inc Empire? ie 3 columns, ads under the banner, categories in the center, contributors and plugs on the right?

“It’s sad to note that there has been no great innovation in the blogosphere since the successful uptake of WordPress some 2-3 years ago”

think of WordPress as Firefox with its extensions. There are any number of plugins that can be dropped into WordPress in a snap. Sure, there’s been no new competitor on the scene, but that’s because WordPress is capable of great adaptation to individual needs. (ie there hasn’t been a need for a new blogging platform)

“In terms of blog providers, such as SixApart and Automattic, 2007 should see growth slowing, if not plateauing”

I think Steve Rubel said something along the lines of – anyone who was going to take up blogging probably has tried it by now.

Maybe the amateur, hobbyist blogger might level off, but I see huge growth in the Hosted WordPress market. Given the chance to give it a real shot, get a domain name, buy hosting, all for $100, these Blogspot punters might decide to go pro. They’ve built up readerships, have got 12-24 months experience, can drop in adsense, I think there could be some big shakeups.

“In the past I have predicted that SixApart would be sold, and in the year passed I predicted it would not be, only because I was wrong in the years preceding.”

you go on to mention Yahoo as a suitor. I think they’re really gunning for Facebook (that’s my perpetual buy). SixApart is just too much of everything – delicious was a nice swallow, as was flickr. Lot’s of integration issues, and question marks on ROI. As with digg, I think they waited for too long.

All up, nice summary. You seem a bit down on things, but I think 2007 is going to be huge for blogging. I see blogs (or quasi blogs) totally replacing print mags, lots of new voices (freelance writers with no other avenue) and crazy new plugins for WordPress.

– So there it is, everyone man, woman, and child is their own publishing press. Now to find that mythical best-selling audience …

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