Friday, January 7, 2005

previous entry | main | next entry | TrackBack (0)

There really is a blog about everything

With Robert Zoellick's move to the State Department, the number of possible candidates for World Bank President declines by one.

I would now blog more about this kind of rumor mill -- except there is already a blog devoted solely to this topic. So I'm outsourcing speculation to that site.

This leads me to this Leonard Witt post about the structure of the blogosphere. It's really an exchange between Jeff Jarvis and Lewis Friedland over whether the blogosphere amounts to anything new. Friedland is skeptical:

Blogs like everything else on the net are subject to certain laws of exponential traffic, sometimes called Power Laws. And while there may be 1.65 million Blogs out there that are semi-active, there are a very tiny, tiny handful of those notes that are actually read. And they in fact do control traffic, that's the way traffic on the net works. And to say that because anybody can be a publisher that that opens up a broad range of voices is a delusion really. Yes, new voices will enter the mainstream consistently but they will not be trafficked to simply because they are smart and clever. Some will, but and this is my third and final point, much of the traffic on the net when you start investigating the structure of the Blogosphere and the structure of the net very much represented the horserace political commentary of much of the mainstream media. It’s clever, it’s more up to date, it has more voice, there's more opinion, its sharper; but if you look at the Blogosphere as a whole with some important exceptions much of what it consists of is a lot of he-said, she-said political commentary that is not any different what you would find on the cable news networks.

Click on the link to see Jarvis' response, which I agree with. Basically, it boils down to the notion that there are mass audiences and there are niche audiences -- and different blogs feed different types of audiences. For each audience, a skewed distribution of traffic and links exists -- but just because a blogger doesn't generate Glenn Reynolds' kind of traffic does not automatically render them unimportant.

The fact that David Stevens and Alex Wilks decided to set up a blog devoted exclusively to the search for a new World Bank President -- which, let's face it, is not on most people's radar screen -- is a point for Jarvis.

Anyway, click over there to get and give the best dirt on possible candidates and their odds.

posted by Dan on 01.07.05 at 05:28 PM


Okay, but if I set up a blog devoted to fisking the work of David Stevens and Alex Wilks on a regular --suddenly Leonard Witt wins the argument.

posted by: praktike on 01.07.05 at 05:28 PM [permalink]


The problem with the entire argument rests on what the blogosphere is about. Power laws are important to big media since information and influence are part of their business model.

Most blogs don't operate with any sort of business model nor do they hope to profit from their punditry. I would argue that for most blogs the most important audience is the author and anyreadership gained is just icing. The real importance of the blogosphere, especially the political/economic/current affairs arena, is its cumulative (rather than exponential) nature.

posted by: Scott on 01.07.05 at 05:28 PM [permalink]

I like it practike. Let me know when the site's up and running.

posted by: David Steven on 01.07.05 at 05:28 PM [permalink]

I am interested in the role and function that blog will play in the formation of opinions especially among policy makers and the like.

posted by: Aquarius on 01.07.05 at 05:28 PM [permalink]

The Long Tail. Sorta obviously, and whether or not bloggers are in it for the fame, the money, or both.

posted by: Doug on 01.07.05 at 05:28 PM [permalink]

Post a Comment:


Email Address:



Remember your info?