The Blogosphere in 2006
Posted on January 3, 2006There have been many predictions already about the blogosphere and tech industry in 2006. We have added some of our general thoughts about the Blogosphere in 2006 to the growing predictions pile.
This really doesn't need an explanation. The high growth rate of blogs will continue in 2006. It will be interesting to see if the rate of expansion will still be as high by the end of 2006.
Personal blogs will grow significantly in 2006. Don't be surprised when someone close to you -- mom, dad, uncle, aunt, cousin, grandmother, sibling, spouse -- starts a blog. Companies will devise many new tools and blog add-ons for people with personal blogs.
There will be some cool new blogs launched in 2006 that will make the blogosphere more interesting. And there will be even more boring blogs launched in 2006 that make the blogosphere less interesting. That reminds us of this post: Must you read your friend's boring blog?
Even though we are tired of top ten lists and great hack lists there will be many more of them 2006.
This is an easy prediction. Splogs will continue to rise and clog blog search engines and make the blogosphere less useful over time. Blog search engines will add more and more search options to try and filter out splogs like "search only blogs with 100 or more inbound links" or "search only blogs that are at least one year old." The downside is that blog filters will also remove non splogs. A search option that only searched blogs one year or older would eliminate this blog, which debuted last February, from the search results.
The blogosphere is unlikely to earn many bloggers a salary worthy of a full-time job. Paid blogging staff positions will be the exception. Blogging for money bloggers trying to build revenues with programs like AdSense and Chitika may even see revenues fall below 2005 because of increased competition from other blogs -- the blogosphere is no secret starting out in 2006. Click fraud fears are rising and this could also work against bloggers that focus solely on revenues from pay-per-click advertising especially if there is a switch back to CPM. By all means start a blog and go for it but don't expect to be telling your boss "I quit" anytime soon.
A battle is already underway to determine which blog search engine will be the dominate blog search tool. Technorati clearly has the lead but others like BlogPulse, IceRocket, Google BlogSearch, Yahoo News, Feedster and Topix remain in play. Bloglines still has not launched the blog search engine that was promised last summer.
There will be more organized blog networks in the blogosphere -- so many that keeping up with them will be difficult. There might even be software created to help bloggers network. Bloggers will also network together in different niches like food, sports, crafts, etc. to build and share traffic.
The mainstream media -- newspapers, magazines and news networks -- will make great strides to launch blogs and develop a significant space in the blogosphere. MSM blogs will put pressure on existing independent blogs and independent blog networks that are trying to maintain high traffic levels. Blogging for money bloggers are going to have to work even harder than in 2005 to stay ahead.
We saw the beginngings of this in 2005 with blogs by Flea to promote the NBA's Blog Squad; Elisha Cuthbert to promote the NHL's blogs and Hilary Duff's blog to promote AOL's Red service (see this post for details). The Philadelphia Eagles used a playmate to promote their blogs. Expect hordes of celebrity bloggers and guest celebrity bloggers used to draw traffic in 2006. And expect television and movie blog tie-ins to become a standard in 2006. The Carver's blog on MySpace.com used to promote the Nip/Tuck TV show is just one example of the kind of promotional character blogs that will be more common in 2006.
Whatever bad news occurs in 2006 bloggers will be there to cover it.
AOL held firm in 2005 about running ads on AOL Journals blogs in 2005 -- despite complaints. Other free blog services will likely increase the amount of ads by the end of 2006. Free blog hosts may also start offering fee-based ad-free options. At some point these free hosting providers will want a return on their investment.
Advertising on blogs and on the Internet will continue to increase like in 2005. Even if the economy slows in 2006, which is likely, blogs and websites will continue to see rising ad revenues as advertisers continue to move ads from print, radio and tv to the Internet.
And like 2005 this new year will probably raise more questions than it answers.