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State of the Nation - 2007 trends for SA blogging

The 27 Dinner and all the questions flying around got me thinking about SA's "blogging nation" so to speak. Where's it at? Where's it going? And what's in the way? A couple of thoughts sprang to mind. And they just happen to work quite nicely as predicitions for 2007. Somewhere out there is a video of me saying some of this stuff. Hoping it hits the blogosphere sometime this week.



1. The audience is not a big as we think (but it's growing).
There's nothing wrong with oversees traffic, but I've been on a bit of a hobby-horse lately about developing targeted, defined, LOCAL communities. Because only then do you have a tangible marketing prospect to leverage.

It's a wild guess, but I can't imagine there are more than 1000 active bloggers in this country. We have got to be careful of not just feeding off ourselves - both in terms of covering the same content - and divy'ing up the share of local traffic. The more blogs we have out there that cover exactly the same stuff, the smaller the pie is going to get. That's not to stifle individualism - and personal brands - but lets niche this industry out a bit. Positive stuff abounds though, just look at the amount of new blogs starting up daily. Sure, 80% will drop off. It's the 20% I'm interested in. Tipping point soon? I reckon so.

UPDATE: Really interesting response to this prediction from Paul @ Chillibean. Read it here.

2. 2007 will be the year of blogging conglomerates.
Stopforth and Duarte are not far off in terms of their "emerging" idea. It's been something floating around in my head ever since Africa 2.0 kicked off. And it ties perfectly into the trend of creating larger traffic bases around similar content themes. I see a MASSIVE gap for local implementations / versions of blogging conglomerates like B5 Media.

Can imagine the collective power of such an inter-connected community with no shortage of creative talent? Do NOT doubt for a second that a South African company can dominate a market like this. There are alternatives to Telkom's Bandwidth Debacle. Host oversees at $9.99 a month. Done.

3. 2007 will be the year of sorting the good from the bad
Let's not kid ourselves. There are a pile of truly excellent, original blogs in SA. And there's a bigger pile of crap. Without becoming an incentuous community of an elite few who have beers once a month and pat each other on the back - how do you cut through the clutter and allow new content to come through?

Is it Digg? Is it Reddit? I'm not so sure... But one site that really does interest me is our very own Neville from Muti.co.za. Muti is so new that "digg culture" hasn't set in yet (mindless voting up of articles that happen to have the words "Paris Exposed" or "Top 10 Anything").

The articles on Muti are mostly good, intelligently thought out and topical. How can the blogging community stop Muti from going the same way Digg went? Let's start thinking now.


More thoughts on this coming soon. What do you think? What's right with the industry? What's wrong? Drop us a comment...

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