I’ve already overcommented on the Burningbird: Boys with Toys thread (and related) at BurningBird, but I went back and read the three entries and their tails of comments again and I still feel that the various points of view are largely talking past each other, partly because they (we) are also having a metaconversation.
The metaconversation is about what should be the subject of the primary conversation.
One view: “The numbers show that some will get (rich and) famous but most won’t.”
Another: “The most interesting thing about blogging is not that the most popular blogs are also the most influential blogs.”
“The behaviors of any large group of people or things can always be described mathematically.”
“That’s phenomenal. So what.”
No one is really disagreeing that there will be extremely influential blogs that may become commercially viable media entities in their own right. There are already professional writers being paid to blog and some break-even blog enterprises.
I interpret the people questioning the premise of the original article as saying, in part, “You’re missing the point by viewing this phenomenon through the lens of success/failure and commercial viability.”
When someone like Tim O’Reilly chimes in to say that Clay is right. This does really happen. A small number of weblogs will become influential mass media outlets. ‘Twas ever thus, and so on. The “talking past each other” continues.
This is probably a irreconcilable argument, alternately a total waste of time or some challenging conceptual gymnastics.
Clay suggested people make some predictions about two years from now which we can check in 2005. Maybe some long bets are in order.
I predict that some of these same people (and some we don’t know now) will disagree on how to interpret the state of things in 2005 and what may have changed since 2003.
Over in the Blogger Tribe back in December, Phil Wolff asked, “How many blogs will you have in 2006?”
Recently I posted my reply to this question:
Geez, I hope either one blog that’s well categorized and able to show/hide info depending on the audience or none, because by then some new technology/media-format we haven’t envisioned yet will have supplanted blogs.
I mean blogs are cool and all, but they’re just the latest, bestest way to do certain webby internetworky thinky things, and I’m hoping for better, onward, upward, etcward.
The doomsday scenario is that I keep spawning new blogs left and right and keep experimenting with multiple blogging tools and eventually go entirely insane. This may already have occurred.