This is just from my perspective and certainly doesn’t constitute a statistically significant sample size, but it seems to me that as a lot of blogs are getting bigger and turning into businesses, they are adopting many of the bad habits of big media. In particular, I’m seeing some of the same stories going around the blogosphere without anyone actually linking to the other blogs.
From a reader perspective this makes things more difficult. TechMeme, Technorati, Sphere and other search engines aren’t able to link stories as effectively, so it’s easier to miss important viewpoints.
And that’s what I love about blogs. In just a few minutes, and by following a link trail, you can get a wide variety of opinions on a given subject and then form your own. Without links, it makes it a lot more difficult.
It’s also how good new blogs are found. Without Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, Steve Rubel, Jeff Jarvis, Om Malik and Jeff Clavier, among others, linking often to TechCrunch when it was just a baby, it would never have grown.
I know I’ve been part of the problem, too. As more and more new flows in to my cell phone and email inbox, I have less time to read other blogs. Just a few minutes ago I wrote about a startup that emailed us directly and said they just launched, SponsoredReviews. After I posted, I did a quick search and saw that Blog Herald had also written about them, before me. I added a link to them. Not because I got the story from them, but because I think another opinion is valuable to our readers.
I’m going to make an effort to do more digging for past blog posts on subjects I write about going forward. And if I miss something, don’t take it personally. Just send me an email (it’s on the TechCrunch About page), and if its relevant we’ll add it.