Technology becomes popular in certain countries or cultures because of either a) mass events or advertising, or b) social networks. At least, that’s what Ross Mayfield surmises, based on presentations at the blog conference in Paris, looking at blogging in France (hot, due to massive advertising) and in Germany (not much of it) and the success of Orkut in Estonia (one of the founder’s best buddies is Estonian). Being rather a francophile, I like the French blogging point:

The vibrant growth of the French blogosphere is something to behold. French is the second largest language and half of students in France blog. This is due, in no small part, to Skyradio telling their listeners to Skyblog what they think at most commercial breaks — a multi-million dollar advertising investment from an MSM to make blogging cool. Effective, considering they have 1.5 million bloggers according to Pierre Bellanger’s presentation.

Skyblog seems an interesting project. Basically it’s a radio station that’s adopted the internet not simply as a means of distribution or publicity, but as a community that (I think) feeds back into the radio:

L’Internet n’est pas pour nous un moyen de diffusion, c’est une part organique de la radio. (..) Nous ne sommes plus une radio qui a des auditeurs, mais des auditeurs qui ont une radio. The internet isn’t a mode of distribution, it’s an organic part of the radio. (..) We are no longer a radio that has listeners, but listeners who have a radio. (from a transcript of an interview with Pierre Bellanger, who runs Skyblog)

The integration of mass broadcast and community contribution is interesting. Kind of like Slashdot for radiolisteners, I imagine. Though I must admit I’ve not really explored Skyblog yet, so maybe I’m all wrong?

3 thoughts on “what makes whole cultures blog?

  1. Claus

    > “Basically, nobody blogs in Germany despite their population and broadband penetration.”

    This is definitely an understatement. Blogging myself since 2002, I am aware of the (that’s at least my impression) large blogging community in Germany, but “large” is of course relative.

  2. Lars

    Although the evidence is purely anecdotal, I have been impressed with the size of the Icelandic blogosphere, and if it is indeed as large relative to the population as it seemed then, I would expect social networks to be responsible. I’m not going to do any actual research on this, but maybe someone should?

  3. Claus

    P.S.:

    > I am aware of the (thatís at least my impression) large blogging community in Germany

    Although I have to admit that in general the quality is not very high 🙁

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