I was reading Technorati's State Of The Blogosphere report yesterday. It has a lot of data on bloggers but not so much on readers. And I'm more curious about readers than bloggers.
I believe that blog reading has gone completely mainstream based largely on discussions I've had with friends who are not in the tech business (one advantage of living and working in NYC) and based on talking to my kids and their friends. I really don't know anyone who doesn't read blogs these days.
Here is some interesting data to think about (click to enlarge):
Comscore says a Blogger powered blog is viewed by almost 300mm unique visitors worldwide every month.
Tumblr had 50mm visitors in July (click to enlarge).
Quantcast says Disqus powered blog comment systems reached 60mm people worldwide in the last month.
These are big numbers. Blogs are being read by hundreds of millions of people worldwide every month and the growth numbers for companies like Tumblr and Disqus (both of which are Union Square Ventures portfolio companies) are very encouraging.
I think it is clear from a quick review of these numbers that blog reading is a mainstream and a mass medium. And the companies that serve this market, both bloggers and blog readers, are in a very interesting position.
We started investing in blog related businesses early in the development of our first fund and have now invested in delicious, feedburner, adaptive blue, outside.in, disqus, tumblr, and zemanta. We also invested in twitter because we thought it was a quicker and faster form of blogging.
The thesis that blogs were a new form of publishing and self expression is playing out nicely and we are pleased with the progress of our companies and the market as a whole. And I think we are not anywhere near the end game.