Tuesday, February 14, 2006

shape of blogosphere vs micro-blogospheria

As far as you, I, or any user is concerned: there is no "blogosphere", if you mean a big ball of blogs rolled up into one unified entity.

You and I only know and enjoy a "micro-blogospheria" within the overall blogosphere of all existing blogs and blogoid objects (sites that pretend to be blogs, or call themselves blogs, but have few or no blog characteristics, like comments).

Your "blogosphere" is not the actual blogosphere. Your blogosphere is a tiny section of the 30 million or more other blogs out there. They multiply like nuclear lightning, the fastest growing communications tool ever invented, far outstripping the sluggish adoption of telephone and television.

Soon almost everyone will have a blog.

And each of us will read and interact via comments with only a little patchworked piece of the total blogosphere.

What is your personal version of the blogosphere? It's your blogroll, sidebar lists, embedded editorial links, bookmarked favorites in your browser, feedrolls, and feed syndication subscriptions.

To you, the blogosphere may be primarily Lipsticking, JOHO the Blog, Dean's World, Joi Ito, Scobleizer, Hugh Hewitt, Scripting News, Doc Searls, Slashdot, Freshmeat, Linux World, Lockergnome, Winds of Change, Gaping Void, and Vaspers the Grate.

So, when you hear news reports about "bloggers", you think of your frequently visited blogrolled blogs or feeds. You may even think primarily of specialty neo-blogs like video and podcast blogs. Or music blogs. Or political blogs. Or personal narcissistic passive-aggressive exhibitionistic trivia blogs.

When David Weinberger and Dave Sifry attempt to configure or figure out the "shape" of the total blogosphere, us blogophiles sit up and pay attention. We don't care if there are more blokes from the MSM blogging.

Ever seen an online newspaper, magazine, or MSM blog?

Online versions of MSM print publications often fail to embed any editorial hypertext links, or even a footnote list of links, in their articles. Often, the MSM blogs are just Pseudo Blogs. MSM blogs often have no comments enabled.

Sadly, no mater what the shape of the total Blogiverse, the only blogosphere we know has one permanent shape:

Our personal micro-blogospheria is shaped like a fist.

A first getting ready to punch the lights out of a Pseudo Blog, Anti-Blog Blogger, or other blogoid object, and any force that would try to Censor, Silence, or Forbid blogging.

"Blogosphere Changes Shape"

by David Weinberger


[QUOTE--intro trimmed]


Dave "Technorati" Sifry's latest State of the Blogosphere .... rather than being shaped like a hockey stick, the blogosphere is shaped like an alert python that's just eaten some big bloggers.

There used to be a head of the tail that consisted of bloggers with lots of links going into them and a tail as long all get-out consisting of bloggers with a few links. Now, there's still a head, but there are fewer bloggers and more mainstream media in it. The bloggers who used to be in the head (plus others, for more bloggers now have lots of links) have been pushed past the line's elbow and form a bump. And the long tail has gotten longer...27M blogs long.

Here's what I think is happening, if my understanding of the stats is correct (which it probably isn't): As more people blog, the sites that we all read in common remain the MSM. Links to the MSM thus increase in almost a straight line as the overall size of the blogosphere increases. But as blogging spreads, interests get more diverse, so there are fewer blogs that we all read; those sites get forced into the python's lump.

Does this mean the mainstream media are "winning"?

Nah, it just means that they remain the main stream. We don't yet know if they are a habit we're going to overcome, an institution waiting to be Wikipedia-ed, or if they will transform themselves enough to continue being our common ground.

Posted by D. Weinberger at February 14, 2006 09:28 AM


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