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Ads, marketing flowing to blogs

The BlogWorld conference plays host to experts who say that more advertisers plan to spend more money on blogs and podcasts than on traditional media in the coming years.

LAS VEGAS--The future is looking brighter for bloggers.

In the next five years, a majority of advertising and marketing professionals expect to spend more money on so-called conversational media--or online media that encompasses things like blogs and podcasts--than on advertising through traditional media such as newspapers or magazines, according to a recent study from the Society for New Communications Research, a think tank on new media.

"These are large and small agencies we talked to," Jen McClure, founder and executive director of SNCR, said here Wednesday at the first BlogWorld conference.

She said her research group recently asked roughly 260 agencies about their plans to advertise and market in conversational media. Today, a majority of these agencies said that they spend about 2.5 percent of their total budgets on conversational media, but by 2012, they plan to tip that percentage to more than they spend on traditional media, according to SNCR's study.

Right now, the Web is home to about 110 million blogs, with about 120,000 new blogs created every day and about 1.5 million new daily posts, according to the blog-tracking and search site Technorati. Of those, a third are English, a third Japanese, and the rest are a broad mix of languages. Although the growth of blogs has slowed in the last year, their importance and visibility among traditional media, companies, and entrepreneurs has only increased, according to McClure.

McClure said that SNCR hosts an awards program for excellence in new media. And last year, most of the entrants were blogs. But this year, her group has seen an evolution of blogs among the entrants.

"Now, blogs are moving toward doing more dynamic things like podcasts, videos, Facebook applications, and Second Life treatments," she said. "These kinds of sites were more effective than just a blog."