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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : September 23, 2008

Technorati: Blogs are media

Across the globe, 184 million people have started a blog and over three-quarters of active Internet users read blogs. Technorati’s annual “State of the Blogosphere” report reveals the latest figures behind blogging in a week-long series of releases.

by Helen Leggatt

The blogosphere is overflowing with content with almost a million blog posts a day. In the U.S. alone, 77.7 million people visit blogs of which two-thirds are written by males, half of them aged 18 – 34.

Blogging has certainly “arrived”, said Technorati’s chief executive Richard Jalichandra, via VentureBeat. “Blogs are media. That is the difference now. They are as relevant as the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. The blogger with 5,000 readers may be just as credible a source of information for those 5,000 people as anyone else.”

And how many unique readers does it take to make serious money out of a blog? According to Technorati’s report, a blogger can earn around $75,000 a year with a unique audience of 100,000. The mean annual revenue from blogging, however, is somewhat more sobering at just $6,000 which isn’t too bad when annual investment in a blog costs, on average, $1,800. Skellie of Skelliewag recently posted 4 ways to increase blog page views via

Keep track of Technorati’s releases over the coming week as they reveal “The What And Why of Blogging”, “The How of Blogging”, “Blogging For Profit” and “Brands Enter The Blogosphere”.

Tags: blogging, blogs

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  • Raymond Edler


    The central tenets of Marshall McLuhan’s concept that “The medium is the message” are either poorly understood by mass media distributors, or not considered at all important by them. It is frequently denied by media distributors that their reporting is doing more than just delivering news and information, but in fact making and radically altering the news events as they unfold. In his explanation of how “The medium is the message”, McLuhan says, “What we are considering here are the psychic and social consequences of the designs or patterns as they amplify or accelerate existing processes.” Who can deny that our 24-7-365 media culture of “All the time” reportage and analysis amplify and accelerate the processes they report on and over analyze to the point of fatigue? For McLuhan (Understanding Media, 1964), and for all of us in the 21st century global information marketplace, the "message" of any medium or technology is the change of reality made by the medium’s distortion of “scale, pace, pattern, and amplification” that it introduces, indeed injects, into human affairs. Nowhere is this increased scale, pace, pattern, and amplification more apparent than in the media coverage of real time, second by second, trade by trade, tick by tick, reportage and analysis of daily financial market trading. Providing not just the real time results of stocks, bonds, commodities, and the rest of the myriad of financial products’ performances, but instant and constant analysis of why the market is erratic, volatile, anticipatory and simultaneously reactionary, as a whole and segment by segment, company by company, both globally and locally, the financial media networks are directly and before our very eyes increasing the scale, pace, pattern, and amplification of the events and their results, thus impacting these results. In other words, they are participating in the creation of the events, knowingly or unknowingly. When CNBC, Fox Business News, Bloomberg News and others cut back to studio after televising a market influencer’s address to congress, or a news conference, or a televised speech, and immediately comments on how much the DOW or S&P had up ticked or down ticked during the talking, that is a direct impaction of the scale, pace, pattern, and amplification of the medium becoming message. The most dramatic and undeniable application of this phenomenon was the recent presentation of Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner’s initial presentation to Congress, during which the indices seemed to go down at about ten points per sentence, simultaneously and heavily reported on as having such effect even while it was in fact happening (scale, pace, pattern, and amplification). Scale: Geitner before Congress. Pace: Now. Pattern: Geitner and Congress juxtaposed with the Dow ticker on lower right of the screen. Amplification: Cuts to studio and sub-screens with inserted commentary on how this bad performance was causing the numbers to tumble. All these separate drum beats of media quickly becoming one blended message. “Is it not evident that the moment that sequence yields to the simultaneous, one is in the world of the structure and of configuration?” (“Understanding Media”, 1964) CNBC et al is not sequential it is complete simultaneity, totally the message.

    And yet, when these networks began to be implicated for becoming the message and driving results, they went into strong denial mode. Subsequent days featured screaming market commentators such as CNBC’s Rick Santelli’s ranting, which made the Oxy Clean guy seem like the mild mannered reporter, that everything was being done wrong (he became the content and the news—including appearing on “Today”). The CNBC on air staff scoffed and laughed at the notion they could be a causative agent within the crash. Clearly they were above criticism from the White House Press Secretary, or any media critics for that matter. Naively, they continue in their belief of coverage, not causation. As if to say, “Scale, pace, pattern, and amplification be damned, we do not create such, it simply is”.

    General David Sarnoff, as McLuhan pointed out, made this statement at a Notre Dame commencement: "We are too prone to make technological instruments the scapegoats for the sins of those who wield them. The products of modern science are not in themselves good or bad; it is the way they are used that determines their value." So despite the automated inevitability of the medium becoming the message (for by their nature media increase the scale, speed the pace, blur the pattern, and amplify the content), there is yet through the very awareness of the phenomenon, the possibility of avoiding the near occasion of media sins. To those who wield it, be careful of the power you wish for. For those who consume it, buyer beware.

    And when we all come out the other side of these difficult days of the first 10% of the 21st century, as we surely will, may we truly have learned again the lessons of the incredible power wielded by media—“The Extensions of Man”. And to those who wield it, attempt not to seize the day, but to whatever extent possible be seized by it—just cover it.



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