The Statistics of Blogging

Today's foray into the wierd world of the New York Times Styles section produced an informative and interesting article on blogging statistics. (*1) The short version is as follows:

  • Many people decide to blog.
  • The vast majority soon abandon the effort (95% of the blogs clogging the web have been abandoned by their owners).

What the article does not tell us is the average life span of a blog. Six months? A year? Three years?

I posted my first entry on June 29, 2006, and hey, I'd like to know where that puts me, statistically speaking.

I gather from the article that many people go into blogging the way they go into, say, tryouts for "Survivor" or "American Idol": They wanna get rich, famous, or both.

If so, no wonder the failure rate is so high. This ain't easy, folks. It requires a huge investment of time and an even larger investment in intellectual energy.

Indeed, I think that's why I collapsed into a heap last week. On any given day, I'm essentially putting out the brain power necessary to create and sustain two completely different intellectual and creative endeavours: a book and a blog.

And yes, they are different animals, and yes, blogging is a serious brain-energy hog. If my intellectual life is a house, then the book is the refrigerator (which, in a typical house, consumes the most energy), but the blog is all those electronic gadgets with their little red and green lights (computer monitor, DVR, flat screen TV, chargers, etc.), which, if left plugged in and even if not turned "on," consume an inordinate amount of energy.

(We're working up to do a major remodeling project, and houses are much on my mind at the moment. Another energy sink.)

(The remodeling project, I mean.)

Anyway --- I can't decide if I'm glad I'm in the five percent of bloggers who manage to keep the motor running. Certainly it would be easier to write the book without the blog, and vice versa. But there wouldn't be much point to the blog if I weren't writing the book.

So, there you go. Another of life's conundrums, one I shall, for the moment, leave unresolved.


*1: For a brief explanation of why I read the Styles section, see the note at the end of this entry.