Who’s Bringing Blogs to the Mainstream?
Dave Sifry reports that on average, over 3,000 new blogs each day are created, in dozens of languages; Technorati, a service that tracks links to news sources, blogs and blog postings, has over 200,000 blogs in their indexing group.
Nevertheless, is anyone developing blog software that has the ease of use that will push blogs into a more mainstream audience, much as AOL software pushed the Internet to a broad range of consumers? I’m not seeing it, yet.
Moveable Type is elegant, but requires installation on your own server, which is a deal-killer for most people, Radio Userland, Diaryland and Live Journal are all growing services, with good consumer applications, but none of them have the marketing and relationships that indicate they want to go after a mainstream market– Diaryland and Live Journal seem to have tremendous teen and college followings, and Radio Userland seems more focused on the enterprise and group market if there is any market they are looking at. That leaves Blogger, and it is unclear what Blogger’s distribution strategy is, if any.
Blogger now has the funding and support to build a base in a consumer market and strategies to acquire users, but will they? And if so, how?
As a friend said the other day, “Is Google going to put a blogging tab on the Google search box? And, if so, will people be searching blogs or writing them?”
To put it another way, there is a definite opportunity to have someone step forward and move blogs further into the mainstream by making the applications friendlier and more accessible.
There’s a clear market opportunity to create and more importantly, market a product that can capture a large segment of the mainstream adult audience as well as be branded the blogspace of choice for teens and college students. Who’s got the best chance of moving into this space? Who would you bet on?