(Un)equal Opportunity BloggersJessica Guynn poses the question:
Why is this supposedly democratic medium recreating real-world inequality? A blogarchy has emerged from the Internet equivalent of an "American Idol" popularity contest. This elite clique of bloggers -- the so-called A-listers who get checked out more often than Lindsay Lohan -- attract the largest online audience. All those eyeballs can deliver cachet, cash and the coveted contract for a blook (a book based on a blog).Jessica goes on to discuss inequality in the blogosphere where it seems that 1% is getting 99% of the traffic. But she goes too far when she whines that most of the A-listers are men.
She seems to have forgotten that the Huffington Post, Ann Althouse, the Wonkette et al are blogs run by women A-listers. So I don't want to turn this into a pissing match between the sexes.
Trust me when I say there are a whole lot of male bloggers that are in the same boat. No matter how hard they try and tweak their sites they just can't seem to crack the barrier.
But the truth of the matter is there is a disproportionate amount of traffic going to only a privileged few that have eked out there own network hierarchy within the blogosphere.
And so, a complex social phenomenon becomes purely mathematical: The more links pointing to you -- especially from big-time bloggers -- the more readers you will have (according to the method of judging blog popularity by number of links)... talk about creating a powerful, self-reinforcing and very exclusive network.
The Blogosphere is RiggedUnfortunately this sort of BS becomes self-perpetuating when blog search sites such as the Truth Laid Bear, Technorati, and Sphere et al reinforce the A-list mentality with their stupid juvenile ratings. Even Google's Blog Search has a "Sort by relevance" filter which is the default setting.
The A-listers bank on the gullibility of blogging newbies who don't know any better. After all, we just want to belong don't we? So we hang around the A-lister's like a pack of stray dogs at the corner store hoping they will throw us a bone or two (i.e. links).
Search Filters:We can't even install a news reader today without a ready-made A-list, and a perusal of the search engines (I call them search filters) will quickly point us in their direction.
So where does that leave the rest of the 99%? On the outside looking in that's where. Like I said before, the Blogosphere has turned into one big frat party. And here I thought I left jerks like that back in school. What a crock. Feh!
More Signal, Less Noise:These blogarchy types subscribe to the theory of "More Signal, Less Noise". Meaning -- YOU are the noise.
Sure, some of the blogarchy deserve to be there. There's no questioning that. BUT I can find better blog writers any day of the week than most of these so-called A-listers.
So here is a dirty little secret for all of you not yet in the know. The blogosphere has been rigged. The majority of the A-listers only got where they are because they have high profile jobs, are members of elite blog networks they have created, or were linked to by other A-listers that they sucked up to. It is a self-serving megalomaniac gang of social climbers that there ever was.
So what can you do about it?Well for one thing you can stop blogrolling these A-list nincompoops. Don't give them any of your link love. If you still have a morbid curiosity and want them within easy reach then just bookmark them. But whatever you do DO NOT give them a pagerank boost by linking to them in your blog.
Start your own blogroll with bloggers who have a similar focus. Visit them often and link to their posts. Comment on their posts and create your own cosmos support group. That's a good start.
Or better still, just suck up to them and hope you get linked. Just kidding (I think). Show me love. ;-)