That Which We Call a Blog…
By DAN MITCHELL
Published: February 18, 2006
THE rise of blogging is often cast in black-and-white terms: blogs versus the “MSM” (the derisive term some bloggers apply to the mainstream media).
But things may shake out more along the lines of journalism versus armchair yammering. Both can be, and are, presented on Web sites that call themselves blogs. Both have been presented in the mainstream media all along.
“The State of the Blogosphere” presented at sifry.com [o relatório está na verdade aqui] this week by David L. Sifry, the founder of Technorati, a leading blog search site, shows just how complicated things have become. According to Mr. Sifry’s data, mainstream media sites, as measured by the number of blogs linking to them, are trouncing news-oriented blogs by a growing margin. Bloggers link to The New York Times Web site about three times as often as they link to the technology-oriented Boingboing.net. Only four blogs show up in the top 33 sites.
But it isn’t the data or the rankings that matter most here. More interesting is that it’s becoming hard to tell what is a blog and what is mainstream media.
Mr. Sifry calls Boingboing a blog — and so it is. But it also does some original reporting, and has professional journalists on its staff. And oddly, Mr. Sifry calls Slashdot (slashdot.com), a technology site with material created mostly by users, a mainstream site.
Meanwhile, more and more mainstream media sites are blogging. In the end, users are most likely drawn to sites for the quality and trustworthiness of the material presented.
The report also shows that while blogs may present no real threat to top news organizations, niche publications are far more vulnerable. “This realm of publishing, which I call ‘The Magic Middle’ of the attention curve,” Mr. Sifry writes, “highlights some of the most interesting and influential bloggers and publishers that are often writing about topics that are topical or niche. And what is so interesting to me is how 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, MP3’s or journalism.”