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The Invisible Australian Blogger

Louisa Hearn writes a piece in the Sydney Morning Herald titled New kid on the blog and takes a look at the Feedster 500 list. It’s a good background piece on the list but I’m perplexed by this statement that finishes the article.

‘Nielsen is considering more regular research on the US blogging space as the market becomes increasingly influential, but revealed that Australian blogging activity remained too small to measure as yet with a handful of news blogging sites sitting “just below the radar”.’

Obviously Louisa didn’t do much digging into the list to spot the Aussies there. None of them use .au domain names but we’re there – four of us in fact.

Four doesn’t sound much – but statistically we’re over-represented on the list. There are four of us listed there by my count which is 0.8% of the list. Considering the size of Australian’s population (around 20 million) which is 0.3% of the world’s population I think Australian Bloggers do pretty well.

While I can see why Nielsen is not going to spend much time researching the Aussie blogging space, I think its probably got to do more with a smaller population than anything else. I’d actually love to see someone do the research into Australian Bloggers though – I suspect there are more out there than anyone would suspect – this is my hunch because I’m bumping into them every day.

I’m not arguing that every article on blogging that appears in the Australian media should mention examples of Australian bloggers. However I’m left wondering why a piece that specifically mentions how Australian bloggers are ‘under the radar’ fails to point out a few examples of where this is not the case.

End of Australian Blogging Soapbox Rant

Thanks to Duncan for the heads up on this article in the SMH.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Ray says:

    Sour Grapes Darren.

    I think someone is jealous of the mainsteam media’s domination of the the market. People don’t read Australian blogs as much as they read traditional media’s sites.

  2. Darren Rowse says:

    perhaps I’m being a little precious Ray – but I disagree with your statement that people don’t read Australian blogs.

    My city’s newspaper – the Age (which is the sister paper to the SMH quoted above) is quoted as saying it has 2.1 million monthly visitors to its site.

    I just checked my stats for this month for my blogs and I’m on track for a 1.7 million unique readers.

    The Age is a multi million dollar business with hundreds of staff at it’s disposal.

    I’m a one person deal with a laptop and an internet connection at my disposal.

    Now of course The Age still beats me in terms of traffic – but I’m just one of thousands of bloggers around Australia who (if I were a betting man) I’d laid money on having more traffic than traditional media’s websites (and quite possibly hard copy print runs).

    I’m not into blowing my own trumpet but I wonder if people know the scale of Australian blogging when you compare it to other media sources?

    The difference is that blogs are slippery little suckers that are hard to measure – especially because so many of us choose not to use the old .au domain.

  3. duncan says:

    Ray,
    first and foremost if you want to make statements such as sour grapes have the guts to provide a link to your site when you post a comment.
    secondly: Darren’s not jealous that the MSM have bigger airplay in Australia than bloggers, indeed I’d think that Darren would agree that all 4 of us on that list have a readership that’s 95% out of the States. The point trying to be made is that everytime we see a story on blogging in the MSM here in Australia its either about Tim Blair, Margo Kingston (neither of whom I’d note made the Top 500 blogs according to Feedster), or a range of American bloggers and their sites (such as in this article). There are Australian’s who are making a difference and gaining a very large audience who never get a run in the media here, and to be honest if I never got a run personally I’d still be really pleased to see Darren, Cameron, and Mick get a run because at last some fellow Australian’s will actually get some recognition in the local media.

  4. yunasville says:

    I am here with Darren and Duncan. I am an American blogger, however, it was because of those Aussies (big boys like Duncan and Darren, and a significant amount of Aussie readers on my site) that I have had a jump start in my 2-month blogging career. I am sure there are a lot of small tiny bloggers like me who have benefited from those Aussies’ sites because of their helpfulness and their willingnesses to reach out. Maybe the number of Aussie bloggers is smaller comparing with ours, however, they sure make a significant contribution to today’s blogosphere.

  5. Ben Barren says:

    Great unique user numbers vs The Age. You have to tell Hilmer at Revell the comparison with the age : 2.1m vs 1.7m. Small and decreasing margin.

    http://benbarren.blogspot.com (aussie melbourne blogger)

  6. Martin Pluss says:

    Sometimes it is hard to find all the different blogs but I am sure with a bit more effort more could have been found.

    Here for example is almost 80 Australian blogs that focus on running.
    http://www.coolrunning.com.au/runningguide/arg.php?pagename=Main.RunningBlogGuide

    Cheers Martin (Cool Running Plu)

  7. Andy Merrett says:

    He may not get huge amounts of traffic compared to the blogging pros, but I’d say that Daniel Bowen (also authors ToxicCustard and Geekrant) is a good example of an Australian blogger.

    He’s been blogging since before the word existed, way back in 1994. I spent happy online time at Uni reading his material. He has also been mentioned in the media, from what I recall of his posts.

    He’s had international readership and is very obviously Australian!

    PS I don’t work for him :)

  8. Shai Coggins says:

    Sometimes, it takes a little digging to get to know the Aussie bloggers too. For example, my blog site on Web Logs at About.com (NY Times) – http://weblogs.about.com/ – may be published by an American company, but I still consider myself an Aussie blogger. I can’t disclose my actual pageviews and stats, but I have to say that I’m quite pleased with it, even though it’s only been around for a year and a half. My articles there get linked and quoted regularly, even in scholarly papers about blogging… I also run one of the few Aussie video blogs – http://freshwave.tv/ , which is syndicated by Akimbo (currently, the only Aussie vlog on the list) — but that’s just me. There are plenty of other influential Aussie bloggers, who may not be in the Top 500 list in Feedster – but are getting awards, finding a huge following, making important contributions in the world of blogging, etc. too. Maybe Aussie journalists just don’t know how to look? ;-) Or perhaps, Aussie bloggers just need to make more noise and carry on better PRs? :-)

  9. Nicole Simon says:

    When you start to make complains about invisible bloggers, how about invisible non english speaking ones? ;))

    In my case, aussie bloggers represent more than just 0.8 percent on my top read list. ;)

  10. And what about quality? Problogger and Blog Herald are very distinct, even unique, products. They provide a very specific service, hence the high traffic stats. Hundreds of mediocre blogs are not worth tuppence compared to one or two high performing outfits that leave the rest of the field for dead. That’s what the journalist missed.

  11. Andrew says:

    I blog in the wine and food arena – for Australia reknown for its wine I find it odd that I only know of two Aussie wine bloggers. There are a few more based around food but only two on wine. No winemaker blogs? no vineyard or retailer blogs.. even the foodie people dont write about wine. Strange.

    http://www.pinotisland.com
    http://www.camwheeler.com/wine

  12. Dave says:

    Sounds to me like it comes down to poor research more than anything else. The Nielsen statement would have been a perfect opportunity to say ‘no, actually there are x,y and z that are Australian and….. etc etc’

  13. Yaro says:

    My general impression is that the Australian blogosphere is not large and yes for sure there are some hidden quality blogs by Aussies (I consider myself one) I just don’t think blogging has caught on yet in .au

    Which is fine by me, I’m happy to educate people about blogging and have no doubts that eventually like with most things, Australia will catch on.

  14. Don’t mean to interrupt, but I wanted to point out that the following sentence is pretty darned funny: “I suspect there are more out there than anyone would suspect” No disrespect intended. It’s just funny.

  15. Sadly, blogging (and more importantly Aussies reading blogs) in Australia is nowhere near the levels of the US – that’s why most Aussie bloggers “go global”, targeting basically a US audience and using .com rather than .au – it’s basically a numbers game: Aussie pop: 20m … US pop 250m

    Poor reasearch by the journo – yes, probably – but coming across Darren’s and Duncan’s sites for the first time you wouldn’t know that they’re Australian-based … and really who cares – they’re writing for a global market.

    Look at me as an example. I blog about Internet Home business. I’m an Aussie blogger. I thought: there’s 800,000+ home-based business owners in Australia – a decent enough market. So I start my blog with an .au site – homeofficevoice.com.au – and my focus is on Australian home business owners. And I can’t get bugger all for months. A huge generalization : Aussies tend to stick to what they know – they get their information from MSM publications such as the daily metro’s and other business mags: BRW, DSB, MyBusiness etc), so to get any head way you have to get publicity in these mags/papers. Getting your blog mentioned in them is hard stuff … nearly impossible – unless you’re Darren and you make your fame and fortune in the US and then you get the mention !!!.

    So for two months nothing – and then I finally say “stuff it” I’m going global: dump the .au get a .com and guess what … I haven’t looked back since.

    And funnily enough – I read the circulation figures of the main Australian business magazines (anywhere from 30,000 – 50,000 per issue). By my figures, I’m going to pass that mark by the end of the year. Soon after that I’ll have a higher audience then the three main small business magazines in Australia combined.

    It’s sad that MSM in Australia can’t (or don’t seem to want to) work together with Aussie bloggers.

  16. Gone Away says:

    And I’m a pom living in the States, but some of my best friends are Aussies…

    Seriously, though, who gives a s**t what some journalist in the MSM thinks? He’s merely demonstrating his ignorance and the time will come when the blogosphere will be saying, “But whatever happened to all those MSM journalists in Australia? Did they ever get new jobs?”

  17. Stuart says:

    Let’s face it – MSM journos seem to look down their noses at us. We’re just humble scribblers compared to anyone who might have a degree in journalism.

    It’s sad that there is that feeling of elitism that comes simply because you have a degree. I’ve worked with some of the old-school journos – including people like Roger Patching who was working for the ABC back in the days when Sir Joh was ruling Qld with an iron fist – and you couldn’t hope to meet a nicer, more down-to-earth bunch of people.

    Sadly most of those people have long gone from the scene and what we’re left with are not very attractive at all.

  18. duncan says:

    Just on a few of the comments about the Australian blogosphere not being big enough or growing enough, or enough Australian’s knowing about blogs etc….I’ll point you back to my comments because this is part of the point: The Australian media is not covering or mentioning Australian bloggers like the US media is, and this is one of the very reasons why blogging isn’t growing here like it is in the states. I mean, haven’t the New Corp journo’s heard that their boss has bought myspace for goodness sake? Murdoch thinks theres money in blogs and social networking, and yet his employees seem ignorant of it all. And yes, we aim for a global audience, but this doesn’t mean that a little recognition at home wouldn’t go astray. Once Australian’s start seeing other Australian’s making it they’ll want a shot as well, and I’ve always been a believer that more people is for the greater good.

  19. Tanya says:

    Yeah Duncan, I saw that Murdoch did that on the news last night… and look at Packer selling up and buying into the same thing, ironic isn’t it. I guess the tide slowly turns… and for little niche spiritual blogs like mine, it might take a while longer, lucky I’m enjoying the journey.

    Just found this site, awesome Darren.

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  2. The Invisible Australian Blogger

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