Peering Into The Blogosphere

By | February 28, 2006

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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5 thoughts on “Peering Into The Blogosphere

  1. Jeremy Wagstaff

    Mike, thanks for this. I did see that survey, and thought it was interesting, until it was pointed out in the comments that actually the changes are mostly because of the changes in the way Technorati has calculated the rankings (
    “Technorati now displays the total number of links from blogs over the last 6 months. Up until now, we displayed a count of all links from blog homepages, which tended to weight more highly blogs that have been around for a long time, even if they have not been posting recently.”)

    What I think would be more revealing is a look at blogger rankings over, say, three years. Something like it is here:
    List in Transition — Top “Ecosystem” blogs 2003 and 2006 | Civilities

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  3. Ely Zimmerman

    I clicked on the ad for editing help and it took me to an AOL sign up page not the editing service. You might want to fix that.

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