Friday, February 17, 2006

The Influence of Small Blogs

While visiting La Shawn Barber's Corner today, I came across an interesting statement by Joe Carter of Evangelical Outpost on the potential influence of smaller blogs:

"If you have a blog that is read by more than a few dozen readers, then you are making a bigger impact than you probably realize. If you have 50 people reading your blog, then you have more people in your ‘classroom’ than most professors at Harvard. If you have 90 readers, then you have more people in your ‘pews’ than most pastors have in their churches every Sunday. And if you have more than 1,000 readers a month, you have a larger ‘circulation’ than most poetry and short story magazines."

A very thought-provoking perspective, particularly if one considers that at least a couple of the people who read a particular post might share the information or opinion they've read with another person.

Hugh Hewitt writes a bit about a related issue in BLOG: UNDERSTANDING THE INFORMATION REFORMATION THAT'S CHANGING YOUR WORLD. He says that David Sifry of Technorati taught him about "the power of the tail."

"The tail" is comprised of low- or medium-traffic blogs which may get anywhere from ten to a hundred to a few hundred visitors a day. Hewitt says there is a huge audience in the tail and that if a point of view from a large blog makes it way throughout the tail, the audience for that point of view will far surpass that of the biggest blogs.

Hewitt goes on to say that "low- and medium-traffic blogs generally enjoy the trust of their visitors" (who are often friends and relatives) and suggests commentary on a smaller blog might actually have a greater impact on its readers than the effect a high-traffic blog might have on a brand-new reader.


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