Friday, January 07, 2005

Blogpower to the people

A while back Simon Waldman wrote:
"The more I learn (and frankly, I still feel pretty dumb in these matters), and the more I look, the more I realise that blogging’s great legacy is likely to not be the individuals who sit at the top of the power curve, but the incomprehensible swarm: and, critically, the order that emerges from it."
It's an attractive thesis, and the daily traffic statistics seem to bear out the current churning at the top of the order. Cheese and Crackers is sitting at no. 1 today (up from #588) with 464, 474 daily visitors. Can you believe it! There isn't a web site in Australia that gets that amount of traffic each day - and I don't count ninemsn as one site.

But not long ago Daily Kos was on top. Today it's a distant second with 220,224 visitors. (To clarify, I'm talking about today's standings not the overall rankings in which Daily Kos sits at no.2 and Instapundit at no.1.)

The difference is in the current news cycle. Cheese and Crackers has only been going for a few weeks but site founder, Jordon Golson, made the fortuitous decision to post a large number of tsunami videos. His traffic stats have hit the stratosphere in the 10 days since then.

During last year's US Presidential election it was Wonkette and Daily Kos that were the hottest items in the blogosphere. Both operate as collectives with a small editorial team. Cheese and Crackers is a one man show, in purist blogger style, and even uses the venerable blogspot template. (Bloggers tend to drop blogspot when they hit the bigtime.)

It's hard to see how Golson might parlay this amazing amount of traffic into a steady revenue stream, but he's clearly a sharp guy so we can probably expect him to turn a coin out of it somehow, and equally clearly he's helped identify a major trend in blogging.

Jay Rosen has pointed towards the emerging trend of vlogging as the phenomenon to watch in 2005.

I've got to say it's refreshing to see this sort of meritocracy in action. If your ideas are smart enough and your execution sharp enough, you're on your way. According to Pew blogs are well and truly on the public radar, albeit sitting a little low on the screen right now. That will change.

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