some food for thought here:
My blog is successful indeed. Within less than 2 months I now have clearly more than 1000 visitors per week. My system can differentiate between visitors who are coming back and totally new ones. By now around 50 % are coming back. This means that around 500 NEW people are seeing the blog per week. And this only 2.5 months after inception. The numbers are steadily rising. So over one year I expect around 30,000 or more people who have at least visited my blog once. One has to know that quite a few so called robots are searching the net. These are not people, these are machines on search for something. Since the robots would be under the category 'coming back' there should really be more than 30,000 people.
How does this compare to forums? I think one has to see the number of hits of certain threads. Like if one goes to the eristic section you can see from 1000 to 15,000 and more total hits per thread. You have to taken into account that numerous people look at them several times, so about half of that should be more to the number of total individuals looking at a thread. But this over the course of many months and even years. Is this many? This is enormous! This is the highest numbers that I know of bonsai forums and it is pretty high for any forums on the net. What is normal for forums? Well, look at a few well visited forums and look at hte hit numbers for the general thread. you will find that the numbers are 100 to 300 sometimes more and only rarely over 1000. Then take off the ones who have visited it several times and you come to a couple hundred visitors for a thread. If I ahve started a thread on any of these forums I tend to get more hits than generally. From 300 to 500 people would be a fir guess over the lifetime of a thread, which can be many years. So that is the exposure that I get on bonsai forums if I show something. One has to understand that for a professional exposure is one of the main driving forces to be on the net. It is only worthwhile to show something if people look at it.
Now this is what I compare my blog numbers with. I get on my blog as many people in one day as the majority of threads in bonsai forums ever get in their lifetime. This I would called exposure!
Can this be true? Well, I have a homepage with my gallery which is very well known. Most people have seen it. Some come there a couple of times per year. But who would go there many times? Not much is happening there, only two or three times per year it is updated. (On the blog there are more than one threads every day on average). Around 500 to 700 people look at my homepage EVERY day.Take off the robots and then it should be something like 300 per day. This makes it 100,000 per year! Kind of impressive isn't it? At least to me it is. Or am I missing something?
This shows what the demand out there is, what the market for online bonsai information really is.
The question is why only a small fraction of these people look at bonsai forums.
The question was whether blogs are a threat to bonsai forums. Well, in a way yes. I am still posting on several English forums and also on ones in other languages. But I am not anymore showing all my new pictures and creations and travelogues etc. on the forums. I lead people to my blog instead. Besides exposure there is the need to interact, to communicate. And this forums do much better. And there is the need to be informed and entertained. These are reasons for me to still browse through a dozen different forums every day. But I rarely ever write something.
Should everybody have a blog now? Well, everybody can have one, but most would be pretty lonely. People must make an effort to find you and they must be interested. So a well known name is the prerequisite for a successful blog. The blog offers at KoB are a good idea and it is wise to choose the people carefully who are running blogs there. It should be an easy to find gateway for people on search on the net.
I would not be surprised if some of these blogs soon get more visitors than KoB itself.
A blog is NOT designed for interaction. While one can interact somehow it is mainly about and ongoing diary that is written by one person and a whole lot of folks are watching him quietly. A forum is about interaction. So I think both have their place and both will continue to thrive if run well.