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Evolution of Weblogs

Clive Thompson on Profit, A-List Blogging and the Blogosphere.

Here are some reactions:

  1. Another model is taking place in Houston (and perhaps other cities). The Houston Chronicle not only has started hosting lots of journalistic blogs, they are also hosting blogs by members in the community. Already some  bloggers are switching to this hosting space, though still it’s only a trickle.
  2. Isn’t it interesting how many of the most commercially successful blog networks have had some connection to megacities (where presumably it is easier to gain traffic from A-list mentions). Media/publishing/arts businesses in the Big Apple have enjoy market advantages by virtue of size and geography; why does it follow that the same should happen in the blogosphere as well? I wished blogging empire heads Jason Calacanis or Nick Denton could have commented about the geographic distribution of writers.
  3. A peculiar thing is taking place in the literary blogging world. Blogs are becoming the product! In other words, you follow the blog to receive free content and hear personal reports from the author (whose stuff you’ve already bought). More than simply “promotional vehicles,” these kinds of blogs are a lifeline that allow readers to keep in touch with a author/musician/graphic artist. Hollywood PR really hasn’t used blogs to keep celebrities in the public eye, but it’s only a matter of time.
  4. Finally, a good number of “blogs” are A-list simply because the person is famous for something else. Matt Mullenweg is a good example; the guy who invented WordPress weblogging software. Not a heavy content blog (and certainly not commercial), but probably one of the most widely read blogs in the tech community. Still, it’s not uncommon for successful people to transition from pioneer to pundit (with Einstein being the model, I suppose).
  5. Finally, one future issue to address: the weblog vs. myspace phenomena. Blogs are still a little too techy for many people, but social networking sites like myspace have quite a community (and marketing budget). Is it likely that myspace will simply engulf the blogging world as its tools become more mature?

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