In this article from Dow Jones MarketWatch, it would appear that Gartner is distancing themselves from the widely held understanding that their recent predictions for 2007 forecast the end of blogging as a powerful force. According to Daryl Plummer, what they really meant was:
The number of unique visitors [to social networking sites like MySpace] is declining. There is an explosion of interest when something is new, and then when it becomes the norm it settles down. The steady state is less than the peak.
Apparently next year will be the year of “blogging saturation”. Plummer also had some words of warning for businesses who are wiping their foreheads, happy not to have to learn about some new Internet thing when they just barely understand the need for their own website (beyond the fact that everyone else has one),
If you don’t pay attention to blogs and community contributions, down the road you’re going to be way behind the competition because you won’t understand how to reach the customer, and they won’t understand why you seem so out of touch.
And since it’s prediction time? I agree that 2007 will be the year of Enterprise 2.0 – companies are finally going to get with it this year, and once more people start to understand it, the stonewall of “What’s the ROI on a blog?” will probably crumble into something more suitably flexible.