Ohmigod! I just found out about this cool new thing. It’s called “blogging.” It’s like the hottest thing ever. I just read about it on this thing called the “internet“!
All kidding aside, I just saw this right now. New York magazine’s newest issue takes on “The Blog Establishment.” It’s a lengthy article by Clive Thompson about the “glass ceiling” of blogging, the elitism, the successes, and the frustrations. Thompson touchs on sites like Jossip, Gawker Media, Boing-Boing, etc.
The story discusses the idea that it is the first-adapters who get the lion’s share of linkage and spread it around to their friends, making it hard for up-starts to get comperable traffic. Here’s a sample:
The power law is dominant because of a quirk of human behavior: When we are asked to decide among a dizzying array of options, we do not act like dispassionate decision-makers, weighing each option on its own merits. Movie producers pick stars who have already been employed by other producers. Investors give money to entrepreneurs who are already loaded with cash. Popularity breeds popularity.
First-movers get a crucial leg up in this kind of power-law system. This is certainly true of the blogosphere. If you look at the list of the most-linked-to blogs on the top 100 as ranked by Technoratiâ€”a company that scans the blogosphere every dayâ€”many of those at the top were first-movers, the pioneers in their fields.
In scientific terms, this pattern is called â€œhomeostasisâ€â€”the tendency of networked systems to become self-reinforcing. â€œItâ€™s the same thing you see in economiesâ€”the rich-get-richer problem,â€ Shirky notes.
Thompson’s article also takes on a slightly jaundiced slant on Gawker Media in general. Basically calling grand puba Nick Denton a liar for saying that there’s no money to be made in blogging and instructing all his bloggers to decline interviewsÂ (but seemed to have find no fault in them being photographed–see below) for this piece. With that in mind, can we really believe the shpeal Denton gave about blog writers like Jessica Coen only getting paid around 30k a year?
However, Thompson did get a chance to get some words from former Gawker editor Elizabeth Spiers (who just so happens to be starting her own blogging empire) who gives this brutaly honest quote about her former site of work: “You’d have be a total f-ckup to ruin that site right now. It’s got so many links, you’re just going to have a positive growth rate.”
If you still haven’t gotten a hold of the nearest sharp object to jab your eyes out (Uncle Grambo, I’m talking to you), you would have gotten far enough to see Pink Is the new Blog is mentioned in the same breath as Ultragrrrl and Thighs Wide Shut.
You will also make it to read about how the little independents don’t have much of a chance against the big organized (and monied) productions like Weblogs Inc and Gawker Media.
They also list the Top 50 blogs, do some “Meet the Bloggers” bit, and a broad timeline of “blogging.”
God I hate the words “blog” and “blogger.”
Anyone think the photographer’s instruction was: “Chin up, kids!” ?
Thoughts on the whole blogging as “rich getting richer” angle? How about the Nick Denton supressing information? Let ’em rip.