Peering Into The Blogosphere

Has the blogosphere disappeared into itself, like some 18th century salon of elitists? Probably not, but sometimes I wonder. Clearly others do too. The second comment on a new website that purports to measure the Top50 bloggers is actually more entertaining than anything else on the site: The writer fires off both barrels at the technorati:

This illustrates the subjective nature of blogging and the real-world irrelevance of the self-appointed, self-promoted “A-list”. If you love to write, then write, but don’t publish a “blog” that’s got more ads than a mal-ware link-page and expect me to read it. When I see an ad-infested blog (as most “A-list” blogs are) I see a whore looking for the next trick (or next ‘click’, in this case), not a contributing member of the blogosphere.

It goes on in a similar vein. Strong stuff, and in some ways not fair, particularly the ads thing. The A List bloggers I read don’t have any ads at all that I can remember, certainly less than the number I have. That, in most cases, is not their motivation. And their content is often very interesting stuff, and a great place to hear about new gizmos and Web 2.0 thingamijigs first. But that said, there is perhaps some fire inside the smoke. The A List of bloggers hasn’t changed hugely in the past three years, and while it’s fascinating to watch them evolve (or not, in some cases) you can’t help but wonder why, when blogging has grown in popularity, both in readership and authorship, the A List remains such a small club.

And when that happens, how relevant are the musings of that club to outsiders who may recently have joined the blogosphere?  How useful is a blogosphere so dominated by such a narrow group of people? At what point do the musings of the A List just become a cross-referencing, back-slapping (and occasionally bitchy) salon of folk who have lost their sense of perspective? What I’d like to see — perhaps it already exists — is a visual representation of all the cross-linking that takes place among the A-List. Perhaps then we’ll get a clearer picture of what the A List actually is.

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All opinions are my own, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters.

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