The cover story in New York Magazine a week or two ago was about blogs. Clive Thompson told the story about how hard it is to create a blog with a large readership. It’s the story we’ve all read. That the "A list" bloggers control the debate and the audience, only link to each other, and keep everyone else out.
And it’s completely wrong.
Clive may be a good reporter but he isn’t an analyst. Tristan Louis is an analyst and he did what I think is an excellent study of the Technorati Top 100 over the past nine months.
Tristan posted the results of his analysis on Tuesday in a post called "Here Today Gone Tomorrow".
Here are some of the key insights:
65 of the top 100 blogs in May 2005 are no longer in the top 100 in February 2006.
90 of the top 100 blogs in May 2005 dropped in the rankings by February 2006 (including the 65 that dropped off entirely).
65 new blogs are on the list (of course) and many of them are asian blogs.
Tristan says this about the rise of the asian blogs:
A quick analysis seems to point to Asian blogs becoming a major force, one that I personally have not heard much about in discussion of the evolution of the blogosphere. ….. In a world where globalisation is key, the blogosphere has not yet fully grappled with the impact of the Asian Pacific region and there probably will be some interesting discussion around this in the future.
It’s a great post and puts the nail in the coffin of the "a list" nonsense that we have been hearing in the blog world for the past year. As someone who reads and writes blogs every day, I know exactly how hard it is to build and maintain an audience. Blog audiences are way more fickle than any other medium. If you don’t keep it interesting, informative, and entertaining they’ll take you out of their reader and bookmarks so fast your head will spin.
As Tristan says in his conclusion:
it also looks like being on top is no guarantee that you will stay there (if anything, it is a guarantee that you will not, as 9 out of 10 blogs fell and 65 percent disappeared from the list altogether).
Phew. I am sure glad I am not on the Top 100!