Squash likes a good conspiracy theory as much as anyone, so we enjoyed stumbling across this post from Kent Newsome who said:
“Unfortunately, the blogosphere is a closed system. There are too many people who believe they are going to get rich by writing a blog. Once you add the element of money into the equation, the element of competition soon follows. So you get the haves linking to one another (and largely only to one another) and ignoring (or at best tolerating) the have nots, in an effort to boost their status and, perhaps more importantly, protect their shares of the readership pie. Anyone who argues this isn’t true hasn’t spent much time surfing around the blogosphere.”
I actually posted a feature to our MediaConnect site today about my experienced writing this blog and I did make the comment that it is awfully difficult to get noticed in the blogosphere without a leg up. Without my Scoble link I’d probably be sitting here with my dozen readers and would have almost certainly have given up. So I think Newsome’s point have merits – the blogosphere is a relatively closed clique. However, even a jaded, former-tech hack like Squash finds it hard to think that your so-called A-List bloggers deliberately inter-post, and seldom link outside of their cosy, little sphere because their afraid of competition.
I think its more to do with the fact that keeping up with the “conversation” on a wider blogosphere basis is damn difficult and to some extent I have to take aggregators to task for failing to make this any easier.
Your typical aggregator, like Blogniscient, is pretty much only any good for finding your “hot” blog posts. Memeorandum is pretty distinct on this level, because it’s meant to be all about the conversation.
However, if you’ve been linked to on memeorandum, you’ve probably been massively underwhelmed as to how much traffic the site actually sends through to you. I’ve yet to have a post make it as a main headline, but I’ve had the first or second link on one of the top stories a couple of times and seen no noticeable increase in traffic at all.
Which indicates to me that for the most part memeorandum users click on the main post, but seldom extend their reading to the various links that expand on the original meme. Which is not all that surprising. How long would it take you to read every link on memeorandum?
Now, I love memeorandum. It does a wonderful job of aggregating and sorting and I probably wouldn’t have the time to write this without it. But it doesn’t do a great job of making it easy for me to immerse myself in the conversations that are going on, rather it tends to inform me that a conversation exists.
Gabe if you read this, I think you need a link for each meme where it opens up a page and I can see all the first paragraphs (at least) of all the blog posts related to that topic.
In the meantime, all bloggers should make the effort to go and read a new blog your not familiar with and throw the occasional link the way of someone who’s not one of the usual suspects. After all, the bigger the blogosphere, the greater the benefit to every blogger.