A Quick Note On the Differences Between Blogs and Old Media

Zak found this small piece in the NY Times today, about the distinctions between blogs and old media. While the main source for the news brief is David Sifry’s (the Technorati dude) blog entry: The State of the Blogosphere (Part II), it behooves the reader to look at Part I as well, which is filled with interesting statistics such as the fact that the blogosphere is doubling in size every five months, and it is now 60 times bigger than it was three years ago. Technorati is now tracking 27.2 million blogs, and about 1.2 million new blog posts per day.

There is a whole lot of writing going on.

Now, what does Sifry have to say about blogs vs. old media, or as bloggers tend to say, MSM (mainstream media)?

Well, when it comes to the big news of the day, MSM still has the upper hand, in that the large news sites such as the Washington Post, New York Times and CNN get linked to more often than the larger news blogs. (Not that the large news blogs are slouches, mind you–they have millions of readers and are certainly linked to all over the place.

But here is the reason why I posted this link today–the “Magic Middle” of niche publishing–that includes us food bloggers, if you haven’t figured that out.

Sifry says, “This realm of publishing, which I call “The Magic Middle” of the attention curve, highlights some of the most interesting and influential bloggers and publishers that are often writing about topics that are topical or niche, like Chocolate and Zucchini on food, Wi-fi Net News on Wireless networking, TechCrunch on Internet Companies, Blogging Baby on parenting, Yarn Harlot on knitting, or Stereogum on music – these are blogs that are interesting, topical, and influential, and in some cases are radically changing the economics of trade publishing.

At Technorati, we define this to be the bloggers who have from 20-1000 other people linking to them. As the chart above shows, there are about 155,000 people who fit in this group. And what is so interesting to me is how interesting, exciting, informative, and witty these blogs often are. I’ve noticed that often these blogs are more topical or focused on a niche area, like gardening, knitting, nanotech, mp3s or journalism and a great way to find them has been through Blog Finder.”
(emphasis mine)

I will leave the reader to mull over the implications of that statement for a while.


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  1. Perhaps you have encountered this as well: there’s often discussion(self-reflexive and lighthearted, tho’ it might be) as per proper attribution when a MSM article -obviously- gleans info from a specific forum. Taking into account the spontaneous generation of interest among internet sources and the need to take one’s not-so-seriously it still “burns” when the wheezing, gasping, curmudgeonly, let’s say print media(the selfsame arbiter of information often denegrating and repudiating the miraculous talking horse from whose oracular utterances it dangles) parses info as supposedly sui generis. Or, even worse, footnotes their lead generically, as in “much discussed on ye olde internet shoppes, cabals, and chatrooms” MSM fie.

    Comment by Christopher Gordon — February 18, 2006 #

  2. hmm…obviously somewhere in that run-on sentence it should read “take one’s self not-so-seriously.” 🙂

    Comment by Christopher Gordon — February 18, 2006 #

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