17 July 2007

UK PR bloggers giving up the ghost..?

I've had a funny gut feeling recently. To be honest, I should probably stop with the cabbage, broccoli and mixed bean baps.

No, no...a proper gut feeling. And it's one that is shared by Collister and some bloke called Rob. It's the feeling that, in recent months, the number of blog posts being produced by UK PR bloggers has been falling steadily.

Happy as I usually am to rely on gut feelings, this time I thought I'd do a bit of analysis to see if my intuition holds true. And I'm happy to say that...confirming my confidence in my inherent top-class perceptive skills...it does!

I counted up the number of posts made by nine of the higher profile UK blogs over the last 12 months (took me bloody ages, to be honest...). These were the blogs from Benvie, Pullin, Bruce, Waddington, Collister, Davies, Smith, Dyson and Lewis 360. OK, so Dyson isn't a UK blogger, but I figure that quite a few UK-based PRs read his thoughts. Links for all these blogs can be found on our blogroll, apoart from Lewis 360.

Here's a graph (I know you love a graph) with all the blog posts added up, month by month:



See what I mean? Sure, it looks like a decent March weekend in Val d'Isere, but the trend is obvious.

Now, I'm not saying this is a bad thing. Over the past year, any number of new UK PR blogs have popped up and with their posts and even with a declining number of posts from established bloggers, there's still plenty of rubbish to read. But do you think it might end in a heap at the bottom?

I've got another graph for you too. It's a bit messy...though I quite like it...and shows the number of posts from each of the blogs I looked at (and I've thrown TWL into this one as well, because we come out looking quite good...). You can see that some bloggers (e.g. Wadds, Lewis, us) have maintained a relatively steady level over the past year, others have been in decline (e.g. Bruce, Benvie, Smith) and a couple (Collister, Davies) appear to have lifted their game in recent months.



However, the big question, of course, is: "Have I got too much time on my hands..?"

And I think we all know the answer to that one.

17 comments:

David Brain said...

Very interesting. The standard answer would of course be that everyone is now Facebooking away and that we only have so much time to do this stuff. Steve Rubel said today that he is posting less (still a lot by most standards) and each post is longer. I suggest you make your charts even harder to comprehend by adding a word-count score too.

....the world's leading.... said...

Yes, I guess I could do a similar exercise but with 'words per month' as opposed to simply posts - that might show a flatter line. But it'd take me from now until the end of time to do it, so I'm not going to! And of course it wouldn't take into account that some blogs (like yours...) contain a decent proportion of video content.

Stephen Davies said...

Funny you should mention it. I have indeed been trying to increase the volume of posts in recent months.

Thing is though, my blog's designed so each post should be ideally no less than four paras. Not a lot I know but it's much easier to bang out one or two liners like some.

Other excuses are I've recently switched jobs (ahem) and recently relocated.

My thoughts are (and I could be wrong) is that most PR people were banging on about social media last year but were doing very little client based stuff.

This year they are and it takes up time or 'blogging time' rather.

....the world's leading.... said...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for people to excuse themselves. I many ways, I think it's quite a natural thing for volumes to tail off after a while.

After all, we can only discuss the same things a certain number of times...and with all the new blogs, there's more people chasing the 'news', I guess.

Stephen Davies said...

I agree. That's why some high profile bloggers are claiming the death of blogging simply because they're losing traffic.

No. There's just simply more content available to readers. And most people are taking their 'where the media is headed' pronouncements with a pinch of salt.

There will always be a need for blogs which provide the end user with useful information and my thoughts are that blogs which do this will soon become more 'traditional media like' in the way in which they work. In other words, advertising based.

I mean, how long can an individual spend a significant part of their day writing blog posts when there are no financial incentives?

....the world's leading.... said...

Tell me about it...

Anonymous said...

I think bloggers are probably realising that nobody is reading what they write. I only read and comment on this blog because I like its tone and I find it (mostly) entertaining.

Personally, (and the main reason I don't read any other PR blogs) is that I couldn't give a stuff what some 25-year old monkey in a minor tech agency thinks about the future of social media.

Nor (with the greatest of respect to my peers) do I care what anybody else thinks about it either. As a blogging topic, it really isn't that interesting.

Andrew Smith said...

Real work to do + Facebook + trying to have some semblance of a normal life = fewer blog posts.

And I agree that longer posts seem to generate more interest and a (slightly) rising Technorati blog authority ranking - assuming of course that the content isn't total bollox.

Simon_collister@hotmail.com said...

Bloody brilliant! I was trying to find time to do a comparison of posts because I was convinced of the same.

I have also consciously tried to up the ante in terms of blog posts... so I'm glad your graph shows that! :)

The 'blog market' is pretty saturated now so I've also been trying to make them longer, more in-depth and interesting to differentiate myself from others. Other than that it's business as usual.

Stephen Davies said...

Anonymous: Eh? You don't like blogs but you read and comment on them?

....the world's leading.... said...

No, Davies, anonymous only reads and comments on this blog...

Which is fair enough.

Anonymous said...

Do you not think this a trend across the whole blogosphere though as opposed to just UK PR bloggers? The most influential blogs really stand out and have done for the past few years, whether they sit across tech, news, politics etc and it seems that despite other blogs being set up people are reluctant to trust these as reliable sources. And I think anon "Personally, (and the main reason I don't read any other PR blogs) is that I couldn't give a stuff what some 25-year old monkey in a minor tech agency thinks about the future of social media" has a point, not just across UK PR blogs, but blogs in general.

....the world's leading.... said...

Yes, I think you're probably right (but I'm not about to start counting posts on all UK blogs...)

There's probably been some consolidation and readers are sticking to their preferred blogs now - I certainly don't seem to add as many into my reader as I once did.

Neuro said...

a sample size of 9 seems a bit low to draw any meaningfull results from

Flemming Madsen said...

Great work!

Have you mailed the bloggers you analysed and asked them why their posting frequency has gone down?

....the world's leading.... said...

Neuro - I'd agree completely. I never said it was meaningful...

Fleming - we don't need to email them...they all read TWL religiously!

Alex Pullin said...

Actually we were kind of hoping to get away with it...

This 23 year old monkey is hanging her head in shame.