Nick goes on a rant about how unfair the blogging world is. It’s an easy way to get links (hey, he’s getting mine for the first time), but his post is complete nonsense and shows that he has no idea what blogging is all about. His central thesis is that the big blogs have just replaced old media in trying to create an entrenched, defendable position. The big blogs, he says, are supported by the peasants (small blogs), occasionally throwing them a bone (link) as an incentive to keep linking to them.
None of this is accurate. The “biggest” blogs have changed dramatically over the last year since I started writing. Guys that commanded large audiences have fallen, new people have risen. Sure, there are massive politics and games involved, and a lot of mud gets thrown about. But at the end of the day those people with interesting things to say tend to get listened to. Those that don’t…dont.
Many tools have been created to even the playing field. Digg is the most important one. With Digg, a group of 20 people, bloggers or not, are far more powerful than any single blogger. Those 20 people can (and do) get the content of their choice in front of tens of thousands of people. Blog search engines, TechMeme and other services further the democratization of the blogosphere.
So he’s wrong. But he’s also missing the main point of blogging.
It’s not so much about how one blog can rise through the ranks and get popular. What I love about blogging is the fact that an ecosystem exists, where conversations spring up about anything at all, involving all who wish to participate (through blogs, comments and trackbacks), evolve and move on to other things. Geography, time zones, and cultural differences are mostly irrelevant. It’s about the purity of ideas and the two-way web, where we get to say what we think when we disagree. And trust me, I see disagreement on a constant basis in the trackbacks and comments on my blog. But I’m just happy I’m part of the conversation. Is the system perfect? Nope. But its the coolest thing I’ve ever encountered, and my non-sleeping life is now dedicated to being a part of it.
Blogging is not about the individual. It’s about the power of the blogosphere as an entity.
Nick, I see you struggle to find your relevance in this new world. Lashing out at people was good for a few links and page views. Now I see you taking on this Robin Hood “defender of the little guy” approach. It’s good link bait, but it’s still nonsense and people know it. You are a kick ass writer, but is there any substance whatsoever underneath it all?
If you find that you are blogging just to get influence and attention, you should stop because you are going to be dissapointed. No one wants to hear about your woeful stories of bitterness, despair and rejection (except Nick of course). If you are writing because you are absolutely passionate about whatever you are writing about, and you can’t stop yourself from writing, keep doing it. You’ll be happy, even if no one is reading.