Susan Mernit has an interesting post on the changes in the blogoshere over the past two years. What she notes is:
– the rise of the multi-writer commercial blog,
– and a shift to breaking news instead of commentary and observation
– the declining status and links to single (previously influential) bloggers
In one sense it is part of a trend that saw new media entities arise out of vacuum created by traditional media’s failure to grasp the opportunity of blogging – but at another it signals a shift back to a few outlets of authority driving more of the discussion. It also suggests that fewer people are exposed to the depth and diversity of analysis that was so prominent two years ago.
Of course there are a lot of (good) voices out there but as the number of blogs rises, as happened tremendously in the past two years, and media style blogs dominate the top searches it becomes harder to insightful voices or posts to attract and grow the audience they deserve.
This is a pity – because the democratization of analytical discussion broadened peoples thinking and contributed to the belief that a unique web culture was emerging – that was international in scope, intellectual in orientation and ideologically libertarian in persuasion. Opportunity was everywhere.
The other trend that she hints at is the rise of advertising as fuel for the explosion of commercial blogs and as decoration, and a modicum of income, on many more. This transition, along with observations on ones changing rank, is teaching us all the tools and vocabulary of media – and in so doing is redefining our relationship with what we increasingly think of as our audience.
What is striking is that beneath the surface the changes in blogging over the past two years have taught us that we are our own media – and that will have profound effects for not just for those that actively blog – but for media and society.