Much food for thought at Blogging News today

· Weblog Concepts

Hylton at Blogging News continues to do a wonderful job of rounding up interesting commentary from the blog world.
In my lazy way I wish to respond to a few of the comments here without bothering to track down the original posts, bookmarklet them, and respond invididually.

Richard Poe on why blog-politics may skew to the right: “Talk radio, webzines, list servers, message boards, and now blog sites have one thing in common. They are interactive.” Meaning, he continues, “it is physically impossible for new media to do what old media did—that is, to shove unpopular ideas down peoples’ throats….”

Our political spectrum has gone through some kind of mobius twist where idealists often see liberalism as an authoritarian elitist philosophy and conservatism (or libertarianism, which often seems to boil down to conservatism plus sex and drugs) as a scrappy underdog liberation movement.

Arnold Kling agrees with Clay Shirky: “In the world of mass media, Britney Spears or Paul Krugman can achieve market shares and compensation relative to amateurs that far exceed the differences, if any, in talent and ability. As the Internet takes over, the huge concentration of rewards relative to abilities probably will disappear.”

I’m not convinced that the Internet is going to rationalize and smooth-out all reward/talent ratios. I think there will still be chokepoints and pricepoints, rewards and success for those at the top with perhaps a richer “farm team” of writers inhabiting formerly nonexistent perches in the blogosphere.
Does peer-to-peer music sharing give unknown musicians a chance to be heard? Yes. Does it undermine the ability to make money on the part of famous or hugely talented musicians? Probably not. Does it endanger parasitic middlemen, absolutely. Does that mean there is no longer any role for middlemen and aggregators? No.

Shelley Powers on her nostalgia for the earlier days of blogging: “Too many weblogs I’ve visited recently haven’t updated in days, weeks, even months. Perhaps we’re going through a maturation process — posting less frequently, but with more care. Or perhaps, we’re all burning out.”

“What do you mean ‘we’,” white man?” But seriously, I think there is a natural lifecycle to blogs and blogging. Maybe some will start today and continue to post daily for the rest of their lives, but most will not. Instead, most will become enthusiastic and find reserves of energy for blogging but will eventually run into conflicts of time or dry wells of inspiration. It does seem like many longtime bloggers tend to post less than daily, although the best make each post count, so as always it’s quality and not quantity that matters.

Mike Golby on a sentiment others are sharing about their blog-fatigue: “We work [for that is what it is] from within a rigid framework. Blogging is subject to perhaps more devices, conventions, artifices, and rules than I at first imagined. It is an enormously restrictive medium.”

I disagree, except insofar as the restrictions are internalized. You can blog however you like. No one says you need to post every day or add a blogroll or whatever.

Tom Shugart: “I’m constantly reassessing my relationship with blogging. It’s kind of like being a lovesick teenager. One day it’s exhilarating. The next I’m nearly bent over with the pain of doubt, insufficiency, and abandonment.”

Yup, sounds like a crush to me.