If you build it, they won’t come

Last month I presented a paper about Web 2.0 broken expectations at a conference in Sweden. It seems relevant as there is once more talk of the death of blogging. Last year’s Technorati report first raised the alarm when it was noted that out of 133 million indexed blogs, only 7.4 million had been updated in the last 120 days. The New York Times commented on the state of blogging as well, interviewing some former bloggers who had quit due to unfulfilled expectations. This quote from a former blogger is quite telling:

“I was always hoping more people would read it, and it would get a lot of comments,” Mrs. Nichols said recently by telephone, sounding a little betrayed. “Every once in a while I would see this thing on TV about some mommy blogger making $4,000 a month, and thought, ‘I would like that.’ ”

Why do people start blogging with such inflated and unrealistic expectations? No wonder so many decide to quit eventually. Building an audience takes time and effort, and some people seem to expect instant gratification.

Gartner's hype cycle

Someone commented that blogging is going through Gartner’s hype cycle, and I thoroughly agree. There is a moment called the trough of disillusionment, where most of those who adopted a technology because of the hype did so with false expectations of fame and fortune. The reality is that the technology requires a lot of grafting.

ETA: What the heck is going on with Technorati authority anyway?

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