Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tech blogs: The Canary in the Coalmine

The pending demise of Red Herring (hinted at in Forbes earlier this week) is hot gossip in silicon valley these days as - not surprisingly – tech blogs eat away at tech pubs revenues. It’s simple and fast to develop a blog and in a world where everyone is connected 24/7 and cocktail party conversation is about technology it’s very comfortable for pundits and journalists alike to turn to blogs as a way to publish content and opine.

However we see such strong growth in blog content across all markets that I believe tech blogging is just the canary in the coalmine. We track:
- the number of documents we process per day (hundreds of thousands and growing fast based on source research)
- the number of documents we “publish”. ie. that we promote into the underlying knowledge base because they are bona fide content - in some way relevant to an investor
- the percentage of those documents that are of each type: press releases, news wires, duplicates of the same, filings, local or international news, blogs etc. so we can monitor the makeup of content we are processing.
- the breakdown in the type of blog by industry

Between January 15 and July 15 this year the absolute number of documents from blogs that were published grew 10X. And only 21% of the blogs we source from are tech blogs. So, while tech blogs continue to grow in absolute terms, their proportion as a percentage of the total will decline, over time, to approximate tech as a percentage of total published content worldwide.

It is only a matter of time until other specialized publications are eaten away by blogs and only the best publications – like the Wall St Journal and the Washington Post– will survive.

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