Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Chris Bowers at MyDD (via Brilliant at Breakfast ) writes a lengthy and interesting post on trends in the liberal blogosphere. He discusses the many capabilities and contributions of many of the larger community blogs of the liberal blogosphere, but leaves out one very important element which I find to be at the root of the increased prominence of blogs over the last five years, and that's the blogosphere as a marketplace for ideas. Bowers comes off as somewhat dismissive of "solo bloggers" such as Glenn Greenwald and Kevin Drum (who he fails to even mention in his discussion.) But the fact remains that in the blogosphere (both liberal and conservative) ideas are influence; the better you ideas, the more other bloggers pick them up and spread them across the blogosphere, and the greater your impact is on the blogosphere, and on public discourse in general (though of course many well-informed citizens still do not read blogs on a regular basis, though that may yet change.) That's why bloggers like Greenwald and Drum are so highly regarded; they put enormous intellectual effort into their writings, in a demonstration of what the best of liberal blogging has to offer. Not only that, but their original ideas (and the ideas of literally thousands of other bloggers) are added to, chopped away at, modified, and generally made richer and weightier as they travel across the blogosphere. Though generally content spreads from large blogs to smaller blogs, the fact remains that a well-written and insightful blog post on a very small blog can still be picked up and transmitted across the blogosphere if it's noticed at just the right time. Such is the power of ideas, which to me at least is what the blog phenomenon is all about.