I may or may not have started a circular conversation on this one. And what I started may or may not be true. I had noticed that my number of visitors had been steadily dropping for the last couple of months, even though my topics and frequency of posting had not really changed much. Technorati was still ranking me in my usual range.
This puzzled me. Technorati really measures a blog in relationship to all the others. If my ranking and so-called "authority" was holding steady it mean that everyone else was experiencing the same thing. I started asking other bloggers--only a small handful--but they all told me that they were experiencing some slippage over the past couple of months.
The last person I asked was Scoble. Asking Scoble something quietly is like issuing a press release. It is his nature and I should remember that. It isn't that I wanted to maintain a cloak of secrecy on the subject, it's because I'm not certain that I have spotted a trend or that he has.
Scoble posted on the subject. Then Hugh posted as well, although Hugh spun it to announce the decline of A-Listers, which is different than what Robert or I has said. This would not be true, because if that were happening other bloggers would be on the rise, and there is no evidence of that happening either.
Of course, once something about blogging is declared by Scoble and MacLeod, it is very likely to become conventional wisdom in a very short time. Today I got asked if the apparent decline of blogging refutes "Naked Conversations." I'll get to that in my closing paragraph.
When I talked to Scoble, I had not yet begun my SAP Global Survey. The soon as I started posting answers from A-Listers like Scoble and Hugh as well as Doc Searls and David Weinberger, my rankings shot back up to a higher level than I've enjoyed in quite some time.What was most interesting is that my Technorati ranking--you guessed it--has stayed the same.
I have no idea whether or not blogging is in decline or not. Nor so I know whether or not A-lister are sinking further down the alphabet. Many of us would feel relieved if that were to happen. For me, I love having conversations with people and I hate being pitched. So a lower letter would be comfortable.
I am more agnostic than you may think about the rise or fall of blogging. Naked Conversations focused on blogging because, way back in 2005, blogging was the only social media power tool. It's a very different story now. Today, Robert and I would most certainly cover different ground. Naked Conversations, like Cluetrain Manifesto, a book that profoundly influenced what we wrote, championed conversations over message sending. It argued for an interctive internet rather than a static one. It was about the business advantage to listening, instead of just talking. The rise or fall of blogging as a tool is simply an interesting data point along a fast moving bitstream of data points.