by: Yann Gourvennec

Since the beginning, the Web 2.0 craze has triggered thoughts by many an observer as to whether the concept was a fad, a bubble or even just a rehash of earlier Internet ideas that failed. Now, as in this WSJ article, debating this subject is pretty much a matter of ‘yes I’m right’ ‘no, he isn’t!’

But another article published by Les Echos in Paris on December 18th is more precise about the web2.0 phenomenon. Their title reads ‘is the golden age of blogs already over?’ and they are fairly pessimistic when they quote a Gartner report and numbers which may hurt a few of us.

Gartner warns us namely that:

  • only 56 out of a total of 260 million blogs are active
  • only 2% of web users are regular contributors to blogs
  • the myspace and facebook social networks respectively lost 4% and 12% of their unique visitors between August and September 2006

Now I won’t comment too much on point 3. August numbers are usually bad and in 2006 I realised that many users had kept out of sight. The other numbers may seem more worrying to some. Below are the references of the Gartner report mentioned by Les Echos.

  • report title: Gartner’s Top Predictions for IT Organizations and Users, 2007 and Beyond (Dec 1, 2006)
  • direct access to the Gartner report on the top 10 predictions for IT organisations and users, 2007 and beyond
  • excerpt :
    • “Community Marketing and Blogs
      • Blogging as a phenomenon has entered the public consciousness in a big way. However, there are limits to the growth of even a Web 2.0 phenomenon like blogging, as the initial excitement about it has begun to be replaced with a more rational view of how blogging technologies should be used. This leads us to ponder whether there is a peak point in blogging growth, after which the phenomenon will become the norm.
    • Prediction
      • “Blogging and community contributors will peak in the first half of 2007″.
        Analysis by Ed Thompson, Adam Sarner and Esteban Kolsky”
      • … time will tell

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