Dave, co-founder of Technorati, gives a “State of the Union”-esque address comparing incumbent mainstream media against the upstart punks of blogs. I think what he means to say can be summarized rather well, at the end of the post.
Just to rehash a few points, Dave used the Wayback machine to compare the blog rankings for several timelines from 2002 till today and arrives at the conclusion that the dynamic change in rankings of certain blogs proves top blogers have low network effects over time and that it is still possible for new blogs today to rise to the top of the curve and become an A-list blog, given good content and the right links. A-list bloggers , as with Z-list bloggers, were covered by Robert Scoble recently as part of a fellow blogger’s queries on how difficult it was to scale to the top of this blog hierarchy.A lot of bloggers, including myself, harbor dreams of scaling this ladder as we all hear the same spiel on how advertising dollars are shifting from old to new media on the web and how the Next COming will enrich us all when the shift is complete. As we scramble to post new articles and hope for the right link, frantically emailing everyone we can to read our blogs, cajol them to cross-link from their blogs to you, it is important to note that some of these blogs will never scale the top of this mountain.
I thought this blogger summed it up pretty good, and reasonated, to some extent, with what Dave had to say about how not all bloggers will be rich but rather , they enrich the web with a diverse range of content that cater to the topical niches and micro-communities of web users.
Why do i blog now? I guess besides the distant dream of riches, it was also the fact that I know i reach out to some friends, share insights with some stranger halfway across the globe, on my views and opinions on issues of mutual interest to us. For those few minutes, there is interaction of ideas. And on a blog, essentially a virtual canvas of our thoughts, comments help to enable conversation and perform the role of a trading exchange of ideas. I derive satisfaction from knowing my traffic goes up, more when i get a comment because that feedback loop tells me i manage to strike the right chord with someone who will bother to type back on this canvas. In some way, its actually quite fun. Little nuggets of real human thoughts, wants, desires explicity laid bare hoping for recognition and acknowledgement. THis makes me think of a parallel, how NASA places platinum plaques inside their Voyager and Pioneer spacecraft that are now crusing through the outer reaches of our solar system, hoping that one day, someone out there will reach back to us.
I think blogging is another extension of the innate human need to socialize. And PostSecret cannot express this need more succinctly than its current web traffic.