Friday, February 24, 2006

Blogging Capitalism

For those who thought Blogging was an alternative to commercial capitalist media here is an interesting article, a rude awakening if you will.


Blogs to Riches

The Haves and Have-Nots of the Blogging Boom.


To analyze the disparities in the blogosphere, Shirky took a sample of 433 blogs. Then he counted an interesting metric: the number of links that pointed toward each site (“inbound” links, as they’re called). Why links? Because they are the most important and visible measure of a site’s popularity. Links are the chief way that visitors find new blogs in the first place. Bloggers almost never advertise their sites; they don’t post billboards or run blinking trailers on top of cabs. No, they rely purely on word of mouth. Readers find a link to Gawker or Andrew Sullivan on a friend’s site, and they follow it. A link is, in essence, a vote of confidence that a fan leaves inscribed in cyberspace: Check this site out! It’s cool! What’s more, Internet studies have found that inbound links are an 80 percent–accurate predictor of traffic. The more links point to you, the more readers you have. (Well, almost. But the exceptions tend to prove the rule: Fleshbot, for example. The sex blog has 300,000 page views per day but relatively few inbound links. Not many readers are willing to proclaim their porn habits with links, understandably.)

When Shirky compiled his analysis of links, he saw that the smaller bloggers’ fears were perfectly correct: There is enormous inequity in the system. A very small number of blogs enjoy hundreds and hundreds of inbound links—the A-list, as it were. But almost all others have very few sites pointing to them. When Shirky sorted the 433 blogs from most linked to least linked and lined them up on a chart, the curve began up high, with the lucky few. But then it quickly fell into a steep dive, flattening off into the distance, where the vast majority of ignored blogs reside. The A-list is teensy, the B-list is bigger, and the C-list is simply massive. In the blogosphere, the biggest audiences—and the advertising revenue they bring—go to a small, elite few. Most bloggers toil in total obscurity.



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2 comments:

Annamarie said...

Most bloggers toil in total obscurity.

Yes, and I am one of them. But I keep plugging away in the hopes that a few will stumble upon my blog and hear what I have to say.

Thanks for the interesting info.

Annamarie~
verbena-19

eugene plawiuk said...

That makes two of us which is why I changed, revised, my header to read Left Analysis and Comment, since obviously Libertarian Communist was a red flag, pardon the pun, in the minds of visitors who went Huh? How can you be that, and on top of that I had hoped it would give a little kick to the blog, unfortunately what it did do was drive my poor blog into even more obscure corners of the blogosphere. So Left Analysis and Comment while broader allows folks to read on before going huh?
Now I just gotta get rid of these pop up ads and go for blogger ads so I can make lots of money.