Technorati’s annual “State of the Blogosphere” is full of interesting findings, but the headline is that the influence of the blogosphere on everything from politics to marketing continues to grow. [Note: the survey is limited to bloggers and data from the U.S.] Here are select findings:

  • The blogosphere (in the U.S.) is doubling in size every 230 days
  • Hobbyists (who blog for fun) make up 72% of bloggers
  • Though Pros (who blog full-time for a company/organization) make up only 4% of bloggers, they are becoming more prolific and influential
  • Twitter has had a big impact on the blogosphere, fueling the dramatic rise of micro-blogging…up to 74% of bloggers now use Twitter
  • The blogosphere continues to take over turf historically owned by traditional media sources and journalists
  • Self-expression and sharing expertise continue to be the primary motivations for bloggers, and 70% of all respondents say that personal satisfaction is how they measure the success of their blog
  • For pros, the key measure of success is traffic – or unique visitors
  • Blogs cover a wide and diverse range of topics – including many niche subjects
  • Most bloggers describe themselves as “sincere”
  • Reasons for blogging range from sharing opinions and expertise (popular with hobbyists) to attracting new clients or business opportunities (more important for the pros)
  • 30% of respondents say it’s important they conceal their real identity – most for fear or harassment
  • Most bloggers are positive about the impact of their blogging on their personal and/or business lives

No real surprises for me in these findings, though the relatively small number of core professional bloggers seems disproportionate to their profile and influence. Then again, this tendency mirrors the trend of the small minority of people who contribute or comment on blogs. The one finding that seemed dissonant is the plurality of bloggers who feel compelled to conceal their identity. I’m not sure how this fits with the ethos of transparency, but they clearly feel compelled to separate their blogger persona from their personal identity.

FYI: Technorati is posting additional comments and articles, so look for updates in the days ahead. A couple of third-party comments on the report are here and here.