Will Blogs Be The Death Of News

Today is National Call In Day for The Freedom Of Choice Act. But I did not learn about it in the newspapers or other mainstream media, it was a blog entry that sparked my interest.

So I did a little research to see how prevalent this shift has become.

First newspaper circulations are at their lowest in nearly 40 years. The number of daily newspapers is also dramatically shrinking.

But blogs with news stories and commentary are flurishing. The coverage of disasters (like the Virginia Tech murders) gets immediacy from blogs that is hard to beat.

I used Google search to get some additional numbers. I chose three news items: Yahoo Panama, the Freedom of Choice Act, and the French elections.

Doing a Google news search they had 1,062, 1,010 and 6,091 stories respectively. But using the blog search these numbers went through the roof. Panama had 34,023, FOCA had 55,836 and the French elections 65,858.

There are caveats obviously. News items are dedupped (not totally but it impacts) while blogs mix news and comments so are all different. Readership of the blogs may not reach the numbers that grab news stories directly from various news sources.

We are becoming even more of a 'global village' and are moving back to a form of oral tradition that may be high tech and interactive but also has alot of the allure of the old village storytellers passing on the history of the community around a fire.

Maybe the web has become the new 'global campfire' and the bloggers are the oral historians of old.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.