The World’s Leading has posted an excellent piece of research on the apparently declining frequency of UK PR blogging. It fair caught my eye, not least because of the title (“UK PR bloggers giving up the ghost..?”) given the name of this blog.
He’s had a hunch that the frequency of blogging overall has been declining, but has taken that crucial extra step of actually finding out whether this is the case. And, by Jove, he’s right!
After what must have taken a month of Sundays to compile, he’s totalled the number of posts made by nine prominent bloggers, and the chart looks like this:
Can you see what I see? Yes, there is a definite downward trend here – although it could just be me but it seems to have a slight recovery towards the end.
For someone who loves compiling sets of figures this is great stuff. I’m currently setting about crudely automating my data gathering for the PowerPR index – which is why it hasn’t been updated for a while – and as part of this it had occurred to me that I could, just as an interesting exercise, add up the totals across all blogs, both for individual metrics (eg total Technorati Authority) and for the whole lot. This would give a similar indication not necessarily as to the number of posts or frequency, but as to the size of the PR blogosphere (or, rather, the size of my little PR blogosphere according to my PR blogroll – more a sort of PR blogalaxy in the blogverse, or a little fluffy PR blogcloud in the blogosphere perhaps).
There are several comments on the TWL post trying to account for this pattern. My take on it is that you would need to look at the age of the blogs to get a true picture of what’s going on. New blogs will probably start with a post a day, then tail off as the blogger sets a routine. So perhaps the declining number of posts is just an indicator of a growing maturity in the PR blogs measured, in which case one would hope this reflects a greater quality of posting. I could be wrong – I could be very wrong in fact – but my gut feeling, as with TWL’s initial gut feeling, is that I tend to post a bit less but that I’ve found my blog ‘voice’ and have crystallised some of my views and themes since starting. Thing is, how do you measure this? As with the copywriter’s lot in a PR agency, it’s hard to tell. I just have to hope that the metrics I use in the PowerPR index indicate that I’m doing something right.
But wait! Do you really have to post every day? I read a piece in a blog the other day – and I wish I could find it, but cannot – which put forward the idea that really, although it’s good practice to do so, you don’t have to. How often do you notice whether a blogger has taken a bit of time off from day to day? So this goes back to my original thinking: perhaps the chart reveals a maturity in posting rather than a decline.
Great stuff by TWL though, and a genuine contribution to understanding the current state of PR blogging.
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