Bullish on the Blogosphere

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2 Responses

  1. Having recently weathered a huge flame war, I think the blogosphere works pretty much just like Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come. And “they” is a ragtag bunch of discredited and outcast cheaters and misfits.

    Not to say it isn’t fun, but nobody’s major league standings were affected by games played on the Field, and maybe they shouldn’t be.

  2. re: “Plenty of great ideas languish in obscurity, not because they’re not interesting, but because hardly anybody knows about them. The blogosphere can rectify that problem, and it can bring ideas to journalists, politicians, academics in other fields, practicing lawyers, and others.”

    Operative word is “can” above. Since I’ve been reading, and participating in CoOp over the last two months– I’ve still noticed that there’s potentially great ideas languish in obscurity here as well. I refuse to accept that this is because of lack of intellectual fitness. Rather it’s because the blogosphere, as we know it today, isn’t directly suited for always promoting the best ideas.

    (Consider the effort that you and I spent on the Sitemeter investigation in December. That was a lot more sweat-equity than a lot of other viral explosions. But what did we get out of it? I couldn’t even get Grimmelmann to respond.)

    The reasons for this are complex, and I’ve attempted to cover them on Civilities. But part of the fault is the blogger’s imperative to always write a new post rather than revisit an old post.

    Here’s a thought experiment:

    Picture the blogosphere as the American economy, a free market, supplying the demand of all consumers. Well, most of them. What year of the American economy are we talking about, anyways? Would it be like the economy of 1929, 1959, or 1989, etc? As my occasional colleague Seth Finkelstein has observed many more times than I have, attestations to the well-being of the blogosphere as it exists today always seem to come from those who benefitting from it.