Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

The Next Gatekeepers

Doc Searls post in response to a discussion about The New Gatekeeper’s almost made me cry. Poor Doc. I’m only half taking the piss, here, too. It actually was a very touching post and the Doc does come across as very genuine with his Internet as the Great Equaliser ideologies.

As much as Doc is wrong in his belief that today’s blogosphere is a great big egalitarian delight, so too are the keepers of the Gatekeeper conspiracy. I’ve made numerous posts about the closed nature of the blogosphere so I’ve paddled down that stream before but before you cast your boat off in that direction again have a real look at the impact that aggregators are starting to have on the b’sphere.

And for God’s sake look beyond memeorandum. It’s self-referential nature only reinforces the closed blogosphere. It’s great for what it does but it’s not going to help Doc’s vision. On the other hand, Reddit does an awesome job of bringing new ideas and bloggers to prominence. I’m not even sure why? Maybe it’s the community, maybe it’s the ranking system, I dunno.

Aggregators are going to get better. There will continue to be a melding of human and machine filtering and I firmly believe Doc that one day the blogosphere really will look like it does to you through those rose coloured glasses of yours. We’re just not there yet.


Filed under: Blogs

7 Responses

  1. Scott Karp says:

    Phil, really, what good does it do to dramatize it as a “conspiracy”? What does the notion of “gatekeepers” have to be inherently good or bad? I never said it was bad! But the blogosphere is so in love with the notion of white hats and black hats that I guess someone has to be the black hat.

    Here’s my (probably not) final word on gatekeepers, which includes my response to Doc:

  2. Phil Sim says:

    Scott it’s not the notion of whether “gatekeepers” are bad or not. There HAS to be a gatekeeper. As you’d know it’s a fundamental basis of how media operates.

    Isn’t the debate over which gatekeepers are good and which are bad. Or should I saw which are better and which are poorer. I’ve argued that because A-Listers primarily link to each other, the blogosphere is closed and that therefore that particular set of gates is not ideal.

    What I was trying to say is that a better gatekeeper is coming. One that is more inclusive and more personalised for the media consumer.

  3. […] 12th, 2006 and is filed under In the News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently notallowed. […]

  4. […] No, Doc, you’re not a gatekeeper. I agree with Squash here. Sites like memeorandum with it’s recursive inclusion and references create the gates.  Bloggers like myself who constantly link to the “A-listers” are creating gates too.  Many of us were told when we started that if we want to join the “club” we needed to get you guys to link to us.  And we were told that the best way to do that, was to link to you early and often.  And for some it works.  Problem is that doing so creates a pedestal for the “A-list” in ranking sites like and technorati. […]

  5. dharh says:

    I believe there will always be those who limit their world. People who read only one newspaper and watch one news station will go to one online resource to get their daily dose. The rest of us don’t just go to memorandum or reddit for that matter but also go to digg, slashdot, here, and many other places as suits this evolving mass called the internets. Aggregators are only useful if they grab from many sources and most of us who use them, use them as such. Maybe it’s not a pinnacle of Equalization but its not Gatekeepers running the show and all that. There will always be popular places people go to. There is only so much time people have, we can’t visit every blog, so some blogs will have 100s of thousands of readers and some will have a few thousand. The great Equalization is that for so much less money I can put my voice out there on a blog for someone to read. In the world of newspapers and news shows that is just not really possible. Just because someone doesn’t decide to read my stuff doesn’t mean I’m not going to get the next person. It just means I have a smaller group than the big guys, and thats fine with me.

  6. […] Finally, reading through the last entries linking to this, Phil Sim urges us to look beyond Memeorandum and Kent Newsome does a nice round-up post of all the discussions. […]

  7. […] finally, Phil Sim, still back on Hoth, casts a lightsabre at both the Empire and the rebels and calls on the Gods of Reddit to save the […]

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