Bloggers Abandon Blogs For Several Different Reasons

Posted on June 6, 2009

The New York Times has a story about abandoned blogs. The article cites a 2008 Technorati study that found that about 95% of people who start blogs end up abandoning them.

According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream � or at least an ambition � unfulfilled.
Blog abandonment is not a new issue. There have always been people who have started blogs and then stopped blogging. Some quit because the issue or event that motivated them to blog faded away. Some quit blogging because of time constraints with work, family or health. Others quit when they found out blogging wasn't the quick path to riches they thought it was - this reason is probably less of an issue today. Some people have also left their blogs without updates for months because they found it easier to use Twitter or another microblogging service.

The Times says some bloggers quit blogging even though they managed to create a popular blog. They found the lack of privacy disconcerting.

"Before you could be anonymous, and now you can't," said Nancy Sun, a 26-year-old New Yorker who abandoned her first blog after experiencing the dark side of minor Internet notoriety. She had started it in 1999, back when blogging was in its infancy and she did not have to worry too hard about posting her raw feelings for a guy she barely knew.

Ms. Sun's posts to her blog �, named for a fake word from "The Simpsons" � were long and artful. She quickly attracted a large audience and, in 2001, was nominated for the "best online diary" award at the South by Southwest media powwow.

But then she began getting e-mail messages from strangers who had seen her at parties. A journalist from Philadelphia wanted to profile her. Her friends began reading her blog and drawing conclusions - wrong ones - about her feelings toward them. Ms. Sun found it all very unnerving, and by 2004 she stopped blogging altogether.

As you might suspect, the Times story also says that many bloggers quit because it is difficult to attract blog readers.
Judging from conversations with retired bloggers, many of the orphans were cast aside by people who had assumed that once they started blogging, the world would beat a path to their digital door.

"I was always hoping more people would read it, and it would get a lot of comments," Mrs. Nichols said recently by telephone, sounding a little betrayed. "Every once in a while I would see this thing on TV about some mommy blogger making $4,000 a month, and thought, 'I would like that.'"

Building a readership can be a struggle and not being able to build one is the reason many bloggers evenutally quit. At the same time there are bloggers content to continue writing even for very small audiences. Richard Jalichandra, chief executive of Technorati, told the Times a joke about blog readership. He said, "There's a joke within the blogging community that most blogs have an audience of one."

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