February 16, 2006
the magic middle
“This is one of those things that I think is fundamentally different about Technorati,” compared to Google or Yahoo, he says, since it is based on “understanding people and understanding time” — not just on static links between web pages.
Meanwhile, in David’s recent “State of the Blogosphere, Part 2″, he makes an interesting observation:
The Magic Middle is the 155,000 or so weblogs that have garnered between 20 and 1,000 inbound links. It is a realm of topical authority and significant posting and conversation within the blogosphere.
I happen to agree with that. The very top blogs [The “A-List”] will start collectively resembling old media more and more, as the money involved for doing so gets more significant. But the Magic Middle [call it the B-List, if you will] will be the realm of the global microbrand.
This is because the real story of blogging, the big story, is not about blog hierarchies and blog inequalities. The real story goes back [yet again] to something Clay Shirky said a while ago:
So forget about blogs and bloggers and blogging and focus on this– the cost and difficulty of publishing absolutely anything, by anyone, into a global medium, just got a whole lot lower. And the effects of that increased pool of potential producers is going to be vast.
It�s in this magic middle that we are seeing a breaking out of existing discoursive structures. It is here where the small church, the local educator, the niche business are able to find a new global market without depending up on the existing hierachies and gatekeepers. This is the really encouraging news for smaller bloggers. This is where the blogosphere is helping us break the tryanny of localism. This is the interesting news.
It is also where I would like to see us ask theological questions. Instead of being in thrall to power, to A-lists and to top –down hierachies, maybe we should start by looking at what is going on in this magic middle.
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