Monday, February 21, 2011

FTT Off-Topic: Your Blog Is Old

According to the Gray Lady and the Pew Research Center, blogging is down by half among children ages 12 to 17 in the last four years. What's replaced it is increased Twitter and Facebook usage. Which makes all the sense in the world...

Except for, well, the existence of content farms.

Content farms, for those of you who aren't deeply involved in online nonsense for a living, are sites that suck up content for the sake of linking and organic search engine links. Examples in the sports blogging world include Bleacher Report and Distributed Content, but there are others. And many of them are now squarely in the crosshairs of Google, who introduced a modification in the latest form of their popular Chrome browser so that you can exclude a content farm from showing up in your search results. If enough people blacklist a site, that's information that the engine will use to exclude a site from, well, everyone's results.

So the consolidation of media continues, and the amateurs are leaving to talk to each other on social media... which means that it's just like every other post-boom business, right? Not really, because the boom has just moved to social media. Thanks to declining response rates in online display, delivery issues for email, and less action in console gaming (and more in casual, online stuff, especially in mogile and handheld machines), social media is now the new land rush. So if you blog, you also Tweet and pimp your Facebook account about your work, and you really hope that other people push your work out to those feeds, because that's how traffic booms now.

It used to be that we all lived and died on links from big traffic sites. Those still help, of course, but for the most part they have dried up; Deadspin doesn't push out links anywhere near the level they used to, SI's Hot Links aren't going to little guys, and YardBarker's traffic has been pretty much spread out among other sites.

So, well... the traffic sources aren't as good as they used to be, which means the money isn't as good as it used to be.... but the audience? Better. Because really young people don't interest most advertisers, and if the content farms really go by the boards, the search engine traffic's got to be better. And since most keyword advertisers find you via those engines, the chance for a nice, out of the blue payday can definitely happen.

Besides, I'm stubborn. And not, well, young. Chances are you aren't either. So on we go, confident that we'll bury all of those young punks, or just outlast them, really...

No comments:

Ads In This Size Rule