According to the BBC, crystal ballers at Gartner Group predict blogging will reach its apex in 2007 at 100 million, because just about everyone who wants to blog will have tried it. The respected research group also estimates that some 200 million blogs have been abandoned.
My guess is that they are wrong, but I can see why they are saying it. I think there will be tens of millions of blogs and that many people who wish to blog do not yet have computers or if they do--internet access. I think their are millions of people living in countries where it is dangerous to blog, whose children will be able to do so. I think there are thousands upon thousands of company employees whose bosses will not allow them to blog. Those bosses, over time will be replaced by a new generation of executives who will encourage employees to blog because it will have evolved into a more efficient way to communicate with customers and prospects.
In education, i think in 2007, we will see increased numbers of teachers using social media, including blogs, to teach and communicate with students. In politics, I believe 2007 will see a fire hose of elective aspirants chasing voters through blogs. Nonprofits, likewise, are just now stepping into the blogosphere because they are learning they can interact with far more people than through the physical rigors of grassroots campaigns.
What I do think will happen next year is that blogging will normalize, that a blog will be just another tool that employees are entrusted to use in the course of their job, and counting who blogs will be about as relevant as counting who uses email or the telephone.
Of course, if I am right and Gartner is wrong, they'll just pubish and market a new thick expensive report on how unpredictable this social media market really is.
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