Best of 2009 in the Blogging Industry

2009 is nearly at it’s close and it’s been a wild year for the blogging industry. Since the art of blogging is continually tossed to and fro on the waves of developing businesses and technologies, we thought we’d bring you some of the year’s biggest and most impactful stories – the developments that even the best bloggers couldn’t have seen coming. We wouldn’t want you to be out of the loop going into 2010!

NINE OF THE YEAR’S BIGGEST STORIES FOR BLOGGERS…

The Mystery of Google Wave

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For a season, two different kinds of headlines could be seen scattered around the blogosphere about Google Wave. One was “wow, this is awesome – what email will look like in the future.” The other, “now what in the world am I to do with this?”

Many, like me, were quite excited to receive an invite, and quite excited to give invites to others, but dumbfounded when it came to how to connect and collaborate with the tool. Wave could still take off in 2010 – Google usually has a decent jump on where the web is headed.

Bing… Almost

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Microsofts new Bing search is the most heavily marketed search solution of all time. It was sure to sink Google, right? Well, Bing didn’t mushroom in usage the way Microsoft had hoped, but still sent some ripples through the blogging community because of the possible threat to all that we were comfortable knowing about search engine optimization. Threat averted, for now.

The Growth and Development of WordPress

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Wordpress is certainly not the world’s only blogging platform available, but right now, it stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of its rapid feature expansion and its phenomenally widespread usage.

Wordpress 2.8, released earlier this year, was a major update that saw the rennovation of its administration panel and native support for threaded comments. But the bigger story may actually be its winning of the 2009 Open Source CMS Award. Not only was this Wordpress’ first win in the category, but the award solidified in the minds of many that Wordpress was more than a mere publishing or blogging platform, but a full-fledged content management system.

Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect

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A blog is never more successful than its supporting community wants it to be. So community managment is essential, and in 2009, we saw two community connection platforms rise up in Google Friend Connect and Facebook Connect. Both offer opportunities for people to interact with your content via third party platforms and with internet-wide profiles. Maybe 2010 will tell us which will win!

The Rapid Rise of Twitter

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Yes, Twitter’s growth has slowed recently, but the story of Twitter for bloggers is that it has become a primary source of traffic for website owners. Not utilizing Twitter is simply not an option for bloggers. Would we have said this a year and a half ago?

Mini-Blogging with Tumblr and Posterous

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Somewhere between the 140 characters you can publish on Twitter and a full-blown blog are services like Tumblr and Posterous, both of which have spiked in usage in recent months. They allow quick and easy posting options and both now allow custom theme support as well.

The Federal Trade Commission’s Rules on Disclosure

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The blogging industry has had to make some necessary, and mostly positive adjustments to new rules enforced by the Federal Trade Commission about the disclosure practices of content publishers. Freebies and cash earnings need to be declared openly and bloggers are working swiftly to craft their own policies. This is one development you MUST be aware of going into the new year.

Technorati’s Tumble

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Technorati, once the central hub of virtually all blogging activity and publicity on the web, has faded from its throne, to some degree. A redesign this year didn’t seem to help matters much as it created delays for bloggers trying to publicize their content. Every blog needed a Technorati badge or chicklet at one time and now… it seems that a Twitterati might be more relevant.

The Floodgates of Real-Time Information

Expect the phrase “real-time” to become annoyingly common in 2010 following the numerous developments of real-time technologies in 2009. Feeds ping aggregators instantly, Twitter and Facebook statuses and news are included in up-to-the-minute search results, and breaking information is available with a click. This has two serious implications for bloggers. We’ll have a flood of information available instantly, but we’ll also have to work harder at being the first to break the story.

The year 2009 has certainly been one of monumental changes in the blogging industry, and we’ve only scratched the surface. What stories have affected you as a blogger, and what do you predict changing in 2010?

WANT MORE?

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In addition to serving as Editor of Fuel Your Blogging, Brandon is also a Pastor at Saddleback Church and Online Community Coordinator for Pastors.com. He’s also a web designer, blogger, and church communications consultant. Catch him on his own blog or on Twitter.

 

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