Monday, May 23, 2011

Ask Bonnie

Our friend, Six of the Best, raised a question during our most recent brunch. It was off-topic, so I chose not to address it during that discussion. But it is an interesting question.

Are we in a golden age of spanking blogs? [Are we] at the zenith of such blogs, or do we have a lot further to go?

I don't know that my crystal ball works any better than anyone else's. Without question, the richness, variety, and quantity of today's spanking blogs is greater than at any time in the past. But the future is a different question. It's fun to speculate, so let's give it a shot

Scenario One: Blogs lessen in importance as other media take part of their audience. This is analogous to the fate of spanking forums. Ten years ago, they were numerous and teeming with activity. Many forums still exist today, but they have become more specialized and in some cases, less frequently updated. Could blogging be largely replaced by video journals, Twitter, or something we haven't yet seen? I think history tells us not to discount the possibility. Probability: 25%

Scenario Two: Spanking blogs become so numerous that their audiences and the community in general become fragmented. This is sort of a “satellite TV” future where there are so many blogs that few can collect a critical mass of readers. In this scenario, individual blogs become a victim of the collective success. Thomas advanced the theory that readership is already down for precisely this reason. Probability: 15%

Scenario Three: Spanking blogs continue to grow in number and diversity, but at a rate that is close to the growth of overall readership. This is perhaps the ideal outcome. Readership grows as people, emboldened by supportive blog posts, begin to explore their long hidden spanking desires. We get more blogs, more content, and more readers. Probability: 15%

Scenario Four: The population of blogs continues to grow until readership reaches a saturation point. In this case, we assume that the number of potential readers is relatively fixed and at some time in the near future, most of the people who are inclined to read or author spanking blogs will have done so. At that point, a steady state will be achieved and the number of blogs will become fairly constant. Probability: 20%

Scenario Five: A relatively small number of very popular (possibly commercial) blogs will capture the majority of the readers. Second tier blogs will tend to disappear or be relegated to niches that are not otherwise served. Probability: 10%

Scenario Six: Rampant censorship, both corporate and government-sponsored, drives away many of the best spanking blogs and bloggers. This is, to me, the worst possible outcome. But it's not impossible. Probability: 10%

Scenario Seven: Adult spanking gains mainstream acceptance to the point where blogs are no longer as necessary. There's a reason why we choose to discuss this topic online behind mostly anonymous personas. If the reason disappeared, logic dictates that the blogs would as well. Probability: 5%

So let's tally up our probabilities. Scenarios one, two, six and seven support the hypothesis that overall readership will decline in the future. They total 55%.

Scenarios three and four suggest additional growth. They constitute 35%.

Scenario five, at ten percent, doesn't necessary imply growth or decline, just a redistribution of readers. But I wouldn't consider such an arrangement to be a golden age in any sense.

Based upon these numbers, I am inclined to say, “Yes, Six, this may be a golden age of spanking blogs.”

What do you think?


Michelle Carlyle said...

I think we'll peak at a certain number of blogs and maintain there for a time. Since so many people start them and realize what a lot of work they are, many only post for a short period of time. There seem to be a few that last (yours, mine and some others), but many people run out of things to say.

It will be very interesting to see what happens.

Love your blog, darling, and keep up the good work!


Hermione said...

Hi Bonnie,

I saw that question and have been pondering it all morning. I love the way you've arrived at your conclusion, and am inclined to agree with you. We can't have too many more blogs (400+ on your blogroll is pretty high) without reduced readership, and many blogs are here today and gone tomorrow.


Season said...

Very interesting question to ponder! It made me wonder if this goes beyond spanking oriented blogs to blogging in general and found a few recent articles on this topic. Consensus seems to be that blogging is rapidly changing due to other up and coming technologies. No one predicts blogs will go away, but rather that they may become more like small communities of like minded people sharing and a common niche interest. Here's one of the articles:

Maybe it is like what happens when a small town suddenly has a population explosion and grows into a city. That's when people go from identifying with the small town to identifying with their neighborhood or suburb. Two cents!

Uncle Nick said...

Blogs are already in decline as Twitter and Facebook take over, but they will still have a role because enough of us have something to say that is over 140 characters long.

sixofthebest said...

Dear Bonnie, thank you for taking time out to answer my question, "Is this the Golden Age of Spanking Blogs. You gave an excellent synopsis in your seven scenario's. Personally I hope they continue expanding. For I love the 'spanking scene'. And I do mean love.


No6 looks horribly more likely with what that idiot, the President of France, (I cannot remember how to spell his name, I just call him Sarkynazi) has been pushing for at the recent G8 meeting.

No7 I cannot see happening as there are many main stream subjects that are heavily blogged now.

The rest I will have to mull over, this is good food for thought.

I would like to say that I think that blogs have gone well past the point where they are the latest trend and have survived to be a mainstay of the internet, unlike Myspace for example. I think that one way or another blogs will be around for a good while yet and I hope that spanking and kinky blogs will still be in that mix.


Anonymous said...

It's interesting to speculate on the number of potential readers - I would guess perhaps 2% of the population have spanko tendencies...that's a huge number for 400 blogs :-) Number 2 gets my vote though...even as a newcomer it seems that most people stick to their favourite blog "flavour". If Facebook provides blogging facilities, isn't this still a blog? I would say people are always going to share over the Internet whilst it exists and isn't censored, that more people will do so but that a "community" will stay relatively small - it's hard to interact in any meaningful way with loads of people, whatever Facebook says!

Anonymous said...

Bonnie, I'm thinking that the spanking blog movement is actually PAST its peak and we're on the declining side. But maybe this is just because so many of my favourite bloggers have stopped blogging in recent years.

Karl Friedrich Gauss

Bonnie said...

Michelle - Thanks! For several years, I've thought we'd see some leveling off. But with the latest In with the New post, we've welcomed 27 new blogs in May alone. You're right that many won't last, but some do and they strengthen our community. I don't think we've reached the peak yet.

Hermione - I agree, but beyond all explanation, our community continues to grow and mature.

Season - I think we are swimming against the tide to a certain degree. But as Nick says, most of our content doesn't translate well into 140 character bites. And Facebook is even more hostile to spankos than MySpace. I believe this medium works for us, at least for the time being.

Nick - That's an excellent point.

Six - Yes, me too!

Prefectdt - I absolutely agree!

WS - Our community is divided to some degree into sub-communities already. For practical reasons, a given person's regular circle of friends can be only so large. What we've achieved however is a somewhat wider span of self-identification. Whether we favor DD or D/s or erotic or recreational or whatever, we're all spanking bloggers. That's a very cool thing.

Karl - I understand why you believe that. Some of the great ones have moved on. But if you have not read some of the newer blogs lately, I invite you to do so. There are a number that are simply excellent. Thanks for your comment.

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