Are independent bloggers an endangered species?

Micah Sifry talks about how Atrios and Digby see the blogosphere evolving, and the rise of corporate blog entities.

Is political blogging no longer a place for the individual, crusading voice? Do you have to be part of a group blog, and ideally backed by a big media property, to flourish in the national political blogosphere in the U.S.? Two powerful indie-bloggers, the pseudonymous Digby and the once-pseudonymous Atrios (Duncan Black), posted links back to my Friday post about Technorati’s new top blogs metric, that in essence expressed nostalgia for those good ‘ol days when all it took was a PC and a strong point of view to make it in the Big Blogcity.

One of the interesting elements in all this is how it’s a self-reinforcing problem (or a vicious circle), because of the linking policy at “big media” outlets.

It’s worth paying closer attention to Digby’s point about who links to whom. In essence, she is saying that when it comes to the link economy, indie bloggers are more generous than Big Media types, who she says mainly just link to each others. And I think she’s right; the linking patterns discerned by our friends at Linkfluence show that in general, the blogs at big newspapers sites are far less likely to link to “regular” bloggers than the reverse. And this isn’t a matter of one type of blogger (the indie), simply “leeching” content from the content generators, since Big Media bloggers are just as often doing their own opinionizing as much as they are reporting real news.

Whether we like it or not, this may well be a serious trend, one that doesn’t bode well for independent bloggers.

Posted via web from mathewingram’s posterous

15 thoughts on “Are independent bloggers an endangered species?

  1. As a fairly new blogger I find that outbound links play a significant role for my blog. I think the internet will be evolving everyday bloggers must keep on learning new ways of promotion everyday to survive.

  2. Technorati should really have 2 categories in their top 100 blogs listing.

    Group blogs of more than one author and individual blogs with a single author. It's pretty hard for one person putting out content to compete with 5 or more doing it, and there are more and more group blogs out there.

    There will always be a place for an individual blogger and a homogenized group blog but they are really different entities. Technorati should realize that by now and change there ranking system to reflect that reality.

    Frankly it would make Technorati more relevant and interesting and would drive more traffic to them AND be useful to bloggers and readers of blogs

  3. I have to think, if someone is blogging great content, it will gets its share of eyeballs thanks to sharing technologies and like-minded people that are digitally linked. Eventually, someone in big media will either see the tweets, counts, stats and figure out they best get in the game?

  4. No, no, no…. This silly post was not talking about independent blogs – blogs not dependent on commercial connections or formal political support – but about smaller commercial blogs.

    Independent blogs will remain right up to the point that the I.S.P.s start chocking us off. And, until that day, we'll see a regular cycle of “blogs R dead” stories. 🙂

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