Technorati recently released these stats (along with some very cool pie charts) about the blogging phenomenon:
The blogosphere is doubling in size every 6 months
It is now over 60 times bigger than it was 3 years ago
Technorati now tracks over 37.3 million blogs
On average, a new weblog is created every second of every day
19.4 million bloggers (55%) are still posting 3 months after their blogs are created
Technorati tracks about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour
With millions of blogs clamouring for attention, making a niche for oneself is an uphill battle. I've always believed that if you have something to say and say it well, people will listen. But saying things well, with sufficient verve and originality, requires considerable thought and energy.
Which leads me to wonder if it's worth it. Do the rewards of blogging outweigh the costs?
It's a legitimate question being asked by many bloggers. This years' ACFW conference has even included a late night chat session entitled "To Blog or Not to Blog," most likely to be attended by conflicted bloggers like myself. A while back, Dave Long over at Faith in Fiction linked to this article. Freelance author, Sarah Hepola, pulled the plug on her blog and explains the reasons why.
At times, I started to feel that jokes and scenarios and turns of phrase were my capital, and that my capital was limited, and each blog entry was scattering more of it to the wind, pissing away precious dollars and cents in the form of punch lines I could never use again, not without feeling like a hack. You know: "How sad. She stole that line from her own blog."
Blogging had been the ideal run-up to a novel, but it had also become a major distraction. I would sit down to start on my novel only to come up with five different blog entries. I thought of them as a little something-something to whet the palate—because it was easier, more immediately satisfying, because I could write it, and post it, and people would say nice things about it, and I could go to bed feeling satisfied. But then I would wake feeling less than accomplished because a blog wasn't a whole story told from beginning to end. I had shelves lined with other people's prose while my best efforts were buried on a Web site somewhere, underneath a lot of blah-blah about American Idol and my kitty cat.
Then this comes along and makes me schizo.
Each year, the GodBlog Conference brings together influential bloggers and new media personalities to fellowship, network and discuss the explosive possibilities of this rapidly expanding medium. This years' list of speakers is quite impressive, spearheaded by Hugh Hewitt, who's been at the forefront of the blogging movement for some time. What's more, the event is reasonably priced and being held at Biola University, a hop, skip and jump from my lily pad.
I feel so Mr. Hyde-like. One minute I'm bemoaning the distraction and the next, I'm ready to spend the weekend with a bunch of blogging fools. Someone pass me the antidote.
According to Technorati, there's about 1.2 Million new blog posts each day, about 50,000 per hour. This is only one of them. It's taken me 2-3 hours to assemble and edit. Hopefully, it's written well, contains verve and originality, and has provoked thought. Nevertheless, it is 2-3 hours I will never get back, time I could've spent writing my novel or watching clouds drift across the sky or romancing my wife.
Was it worth it?