Hierarchies and the evolution of the blogosphere
Posted by aogSunday, 09 February 2003 at 10:25 TrackBack Ping URL
Someone else has finally done the math [source] to back up my assertion that the blogosphere will naturally evolve into a strongly hierarchial state [Note: it's important to realize that it is the hierarchial structure that is persistent, not the particular blogs or their specific places in the hierarchy]. The article cited notes that same effect that I did (although frankly it's an obvious observation) that blogs that become popular will overwhelm their proprietors until the proprietors are forced to filter their input by relying on a limited set of sources (other blogs, correspondents, etc.). Instapundit now regularly deletes hundreds of e-mail messages and USS Clueless dropped its bulletin board system because there was too much traffic to monitor. In some sense this is like the Big Media structure we have now, but overall the blogosphere structure will be far more dynamic in that "star" blogs will fall from grace far more rapidly if they fail to deliver value.

What I see as the future is the further evolution of RSS like capabilities until it's easy for the average citizen to set up his own "meta-blog" where the postings copies of postings from favorite blogs. Adding or removing blogs will be trivial (I'm sure that it will be become standard to have a button on a blog that says "Add me to your list!"). Right now it's still a bit of a pain to hop around looking for new content but already there are technologies (such as RSS) that are setting the stage for automatic detection and customized aggregation of content. At that point we'll see real penetration of the blogosphere into the mainstream population. It may also benefit writers, in that following a low traffic blog won't be a pain anymore, in fact there may be a preference for blogs that concentrate on quality postings more than volume because one will be able to simply add it to a list and automatically see such posts on one's meta-blog whenever they show up. It will be interesting to watch how such automatic aggregation changes the blogosphere.