Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Chessdom Interview Part 2: Trends

Chessdom: You are maintaining an impressive list on your blogroll and bloglines. What are the trends in chess blogosphere?

DG: Well, the first trend is the explosive growth of the chess blogosphere which makes it almost impossible to keep up. As of today (6/11/07), my listings include 259 Active blogs (which have posted at least one item in the last 45 days), 209 Inactive blogs, and another 132 blogs which were Inactive for more than one year, went 404, or were highjacked. In Bloglines, I am subscribed to over 520 chess blog feeds and receive between 100-200 posts per day (of course, Susan Polgar’s blogs account for 10-20% of the daily volume). It’s a lot of skimming to find the small handful posts worth a read, a comment, or that might make good fodder for a post of my own.

And the onslaught continues… I add new blogs every week and could probably do so daily if I wanted to. To make this point, I accepted a bet from About Chess’ Mark Weeks where he challenged me to find 5 chess blogs he had never seen before in two hours. I found about 5 times that many in only one. The good news is that there are many more interesting, unique, high quality chess blogs available to find; the downside, however, is that you have to weed through many mediocre ones, often covering the same old ground, to find them.

Another trend is the increasing use of video in chess blogs – both posting of content found on sites like YouTube and self-produced chess videos. I remember how unique it was when Chris Kilgore posted a homemade video on his blog a couple years back. Now dozens of chess bloggers do it. Chess Vibes has produced a very high quality, “semi-professional” blog largely based around their unique chess video content. There’s even a community site specifically focused on developing and sharing chess videos.

One other trend I might note is the use of advertising on chess blogs. In the early days (you know, 2004-2005!), we used to have long debates about the appropriateness of putting Google ads on chess blogs. Today, that debate is over; almost everyone has them. However, if my experience is a guide (and I think it is) then no one is getting wealthy from them (no one except Google, that is).

You can read the entire interview here.

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