Saturday, June 24, 2006
Into The Unknown - The Conservative Side
Occasionally (I mean, like once a decade) a Conservative blogger writes something that is good and I agree with. Today, I ran across by .

If you ignore the “Kos is the liberal blogosphere” weirdness at the beginning of the article (Kos is not the liberal blogosphere and many bloggers, me included, are quite iffy about Kos and its overall political whoring), you’ll find quite an interesting piece about the blogosphere.

From my own perspective as a blogger, I think that while appearances are important, Moulitsas has done nothing wrong nor has he operated in an unethical manner. The email list is titillating but hardly the stuff of conspiracy. And as far as the blogad controversy, unless your blog has a fairly large presence, your remuneration will be so small that most bloggers wouldn’t think twice about speaking their mind if they believed Kos was wrong. The threat of Moulitsas pulling their ads is therefore not credible.

What all of this does point to is the imminent demise of blogs as we have come to know and love them. Blogs are about ready to hit the big time. It is expected that most competitive campaigns will spend tens of millions of dollars on internet advertising before the November elections, a large chunk of that on political blogs. What will all of this money do to Blogland?

We will probably see a stratification process as money flows to larger blogs and smaller websites scrambling for the remainder while the owners harbor dreams of making it big. And this presents a whole series of problems with blogs themselves and what we who write them are becoming.

In order to get a nice chunk of that ad money, smaller sites must grow. And the surest way to grow one’s blog is by being a good writer and participating in controversy. I don’t deny that one of my motivations for writing this piece is that people who read this site and others are interested in the Kos case. But what this kind of thinking reveals on my part and on the part of political bloggers in general is a thirst for the controversies and scandals that rock politics on a regular basis and appeal to the lowest common denominator in readership.

In this respect, we are little better than the “old” media in that the drive for readership and notoriety is becoming paramount. Gone are the days when many of us simply blogged for the sake of writing and sharing information. And while there are still thousands of bloggers who enjoy blogging for its own sake, for many of us, it has become a competitive enterprise, a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

Will success spoil the blog and the blogger? Even if it does, there will be someone and something to take its place. The only thing we can be certain of is that the pace of change in this on-line world is than in any other mass medium in history. Where it will be five years from now is anyone’s guess.


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