This morning I’ve already received a press release and several links to news stories based on it, all telling me that blogging is “set to peak” next year. According to Gartner, the IT consultancy organisation, blogging and user generated content will hit its peak in 2007. Even the BBC has reported the story. Gartner claims that 200 million people have already quit blogging; some claim since Technorati only claims 57 million blogs exist. So how do Gartner get their figures? That’s not clear from their press release. It’s true that many people start blogs and then give up; but that’s also true of many other activities. People start diets and give them up – but that doesn’t mean dieting is near its peak. Equally, people start Christmas shopping in November, but give it up in January, but that doesn’t mean Christmas is finished as a concept. Sometimes statistics give you a false picture and I suspect that’s what’s happened here. The 200 million people who Gartner claim have given up blogging could well start again at some time in the future; it’s not a once-and-for-ever kind of activity. Claiming that blogging will hit it’s peak is to miss the point. It’s a bit like saying “conversation” has hit its peak. Some days in the world there are more conversations than others; some days we see less people than the day before. It doesn’t mean that human interaction has hit its peak. Blogging is an online replication, in part, of human interaction. It will therefore continue, as long as we want to interact with each other. Don’t believe the so-called experts who tell you blogging is over; it’s only just beginning.
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