You Mean We’re Just Wasting Our Time?

This, via Drezner, on Blogosphere 2.0:

Bloggers have undermined the blogosphere. Bloggers do not link to each other as much as they used to. It’s a lot of work to look for good posts elsewhere, and most bloggers have become burnt out.Drezner and Farrell had a theorythat even small potato bloggers would have their day in the sun, if they wrote something so great that it garnered the attention of the big guys. But the big guys are too burnt out to find the hidden gems. So, good stuff is being written all the time, and it isn’t bubbling to the top.

Many have stopped using blogrolls, which means less love spread around the blogosphere. The politics of who should be on a blogroll was too much of a pain, so bloggers just deleted the whole thing….

In the past, I could easily figure out which blogs had linked to me and then send them a reciprocal link. For whatever reasons, Google Blog and Technorati aren’t picking up the smaller blogs, and I have no idea who’s linking to me….

So blogging has changed a lot in the past six years. It’s still an excellent medium for self-expression and professional networking, but it will no longer make mega-stars. It’s actually a good thing that the hoopla has died down. No one should spend that much time in front of a computer. The expectations were unrealistic. Use your blogs to target particular audiences and have a clear mission, and you’ll get a following. Blogging should be the means to another goal — a rough draft for future articles/books, a way to network with professionals, a place to document your life for your children, a way to have fun. Those are very real and good outcomes of blogging and that’s why I’m continuing to keep at.

Drezner’s response: the blogosphere is  now rife with echo chambers (can a sphere have chambers?), big events drive smart, qualified people to blog about them, and jack-of-all trade punditry is going the way of the dodo. That second point, I would add, is also about smart people setting out to use the technology ways that don’t mesh well with tried and true blogging. A blog can be a vehicle for independent, popular commentary absent the editorial machinery of larger or more established media. But a blog is also a technology module that can be subverted and put to work for the forces of good  as an enabler for good ideas, sharp thinkers, and, well… easy publicity. Which isn’t to say that I actually disagree with Drezner. 

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