eMarketer‘s recently released report The Blogosphere: Colliding With Social and Mainstream Media is intriguing. There are two key points: first, the number of blog readers continues to rise appreciably, while the number of blog writers continues to grow, but very slowly. Makes perfect sense. Many of those self-expressive bloggers are, instead, putting their words down on Facebook pages and in bullet-like Tweets. And why not. I’m guilty myself. It’s so much easier and quicker if you’ve got a quick thought or link to toss out.
Of course, eMarketer has the stats to back that up: there are some 26 million bloggers in the U.S. in 2010, compared with about 150 million Facebook users.
The second point the report makes is less obvious and more interesting. It’s also congruent with what I’ve been saying. The word blog continues to have negative connotations. Thus many folks don’t knowingly read blogs. They read the Huffington Post or Mashable or the dozens of blogs written by New York Times or Wall Street Journal reporters. If a corporate blog is cleverly designed and well written, they may be reading that and not realize that it’s a blog.
The point is that blogs are gradually morphing into the online media landscape so that they are indistinguishable from Web sites. I predict that in the near future the word blog will disappear from the main navigation of most sites. Good corporate sites will become interactive, real-time social sites, closely connected to the social web. And no one will know the difference.