“Well, if we assume that each blogger reads an average of 15 blogs, and that (since we are not yet clones) each blogger reads five blogs that are not on everyone else’s <A href=”ttp://www.daypop.com/”>hit parade, we can bet that no matter how big the blogosphere grows a) there will be plenty of eyeballs to go around and b) we will all be within a few clicks of any pertinent piece of news and c) valuable information should quickly and efficiently percolate to any reader who might want it. Think capillary action, the magic that defies gravity to suck water molecules to the top of a redwood.
Sure, opinion pages, online diaries, Christmas newsletters, commonplace books and blogs are old news. What is new is the blogosphere, the endless and (physically) effortless networking of conversations. This is the exponential leap. We’ve had the leaves; now we have the twigs, branches and trees that can connect us all together into a real-time forest of minds. The blogosphere is a social fractal, a network that scales up and down with equal facility.
As an information processor, the blogosphere superfluizes old media’s expensive and carefully constructed infrastructures and franchises.
Suddenly, Vivendi, AOL-Time Warner, EMAP and Newscorp are factories whose economies of scale are swamped by infinity, networks that have come unplugged, refrigerator salesmen trudging into the next ice age….
Next month, Pressflex will begin public testing of Blogads, a service to help individual bloggers sell and display classified ads.
Each blogger will set his own prices and approve his own ads. Each ad may include graphics and can link to outside sites or to a larger ad. We will host the service and take a small fee on each ad sale.” [PressFlex.com, via Daypop Top 40]
Except that most bloggers read far more than just 15 blogs. I’m up to about 150 sites in my aggregator, and Phil’s clocking me at 400. The blogosphere grows because we can shift web sites into our aggregators, rather than trying to manually visit 150 individual URLs every day. I think it would be interesting to survey how many sites the average blogger reads on a daily basis, and then track the numbers to see if they increase as news aggregators move into being second generation products.
As for Blogads, publishers and (ahem) record companies are natural fits because folks that like a band or book enough to highlight it on their site might be willing to put up an ad for it, too. Synergy if done right. It’s the same kind of targeted advertising that television broadcasters need to begin adapting to in order to start working with – not against – digital video recorder (DVR) users.
I love the image of BigCos as “refrigerator salesmen trudging into the next ice age.” A perfect description of the entertainment industry at this particular moment in time.
Addendum: I couldn’t resist, so here’s a survey to start the ball rolling. If you’re a blogger, please fill out this survey asking how many sites you track daily. I’ll run it indefinitely, reset it once in a while, and post the results every so often.[The Shifted Librarian]