Friday, June 01, 2007

"All-you-can-eat blog buffet"

That's a nice phrase from the interview with Rick Brannan, this month's Biblioblog Blogger of the Month, used to describe what is now on offer to biblioblog consumers. The image is apt here in the US. One of my most striking memories of my first few weeks in America was a visit to a place called "Golden Corral" which offers a remarkable all-you-can-eat buffet for less than $10 a head including steak, Mexican, Italian, NC style "barbecue" and so on. And this place was populated by some seriously obese people.

Of course you should read it all, but I was particularly interested in this section that follows on from the use of the above image:
It will be interesting to see how the marketplace of blog-readers (are there really people who just read blogs and don’t blog at all?) responds to the increasing supply. Say’s Law (supply creates its own demand) has long been held untenable. Because I write something doesn’t mean that someone will read it. “If you build it, he will come” only works in the movies.

I think the supply of blogs that are actually aggregated and read will shrink as blog-readers reach their consumption limit. They’ll focus back on the blogs regularly posted with articles that provoke thought, and some of the excess blogs will either stagnate in-place or go away — which is why I think good group blogs have the best chance in the longer run.

And I think that’s a good direction, overall.
I know that I had to admit this finally when I dropped my old comprehensive blogroll, because it was tough to keep up to date, and replaced it with the dynamic Google blogroll, which is much easier to manage. What I have noticed, though, since going over to Google, is how few blogs every jump out of limbo status. I used to drop blogs manually into limbo if they had not posted for a month. Now, with Google, there's no need to do that -- if the blog doesn't post, it doesn't appear on the blogroll. Yet, it is very rare for one of those limbo blogs to get reignited. In other words, I think sustained provision is not becoming that much greater. Rather, every time a strong new blog becomes established, a couple more quietly bow out.

1 comment:

Scot Becker said...

But doesn't the increasing acceptance of RSS also hold hope for blogs with irregular but quality material as well? Time was when checking a blog went from every day to every week to once in a while to never, but now my feed reader lets me know when the infrequent-but-worthwhile blogs have something new. Now that RSS has made it into so many corners (email programs, browsers, web interfaces), it's much more practical to do trickle blogging. If RSS really takes off and becomes the main way blog-readers check up, people who might have good things to say rather less often can blog, and still have hope that they will be read and responded to. That would be a Good Thing.