Bits and Pieces

Thursday, November 18, 2004

The Future of the 'Sphere

The Commissar has two excellent posts about the future of the blogosphere. The first, from 9th November, discusses the direction of the Blogosphere after the election.

It's an interesting question, what will happen to the Blogosphere (especially for us bloggers). I started writing almost two years ago, and since then have come to accept the general concensus among my friends that I'm, like, really pathetic, dude. The idea that I would stay up until 5am writing about politics is, understandably, alien to them. During my two years the Blogosphere has been focussed on two things - Iraq and the election. Now the election is over (Bush won, by the way) we have only Iraq. Still a rich vein of conversation, but one that won't last forever.

The role of the Blogosphere as I see it is now to become the mainstream media. We've been moving in that direction for a while now. Rathergate brought a lot of fresh eyes to the 'Sphere, as did the Swiftboat Vets and the Sinclair Group's Stolen Honour. Levels of respect for the Blogosphere are higher than ever before. But those are just for the big stories. In the next four years we need to position ourselves as the go-to guys for daily news. Not just additional reading for the big stories, but the first read.

Our task isn't as hard as it may sound. Think about in terms of selling blogs to the man on the street. He has Internet access in his home. We are already in his home. He just needs to learn how to use us.

Now think about our USPs (unique selling points). What can we provide that he can't get elsewhere? How can we make him put down the newspaper and log on?

  • We're instant - we can bang out a quick post within five minutes of a breaking story.
  • We can point him towards additional information at the touch of a button.
  • We're free of charge. People don't often think of the cost of a newspaper, but 1 daily 5 days a week could a couple of hundred dollars a year. It all adds up.

We have to capitalise on these USPs. The first step is to increase awarness. Every week, it seems, a blog is mentioned on TV. Keep it up. Dig up dirt. Get the word out. Get 'em reading and get 'em hooked.

The Commissar's second offering, posted yesterday, argues the point that blogs may be showing signs of becoming more influential than any of us could have imagined. The rumour that Time Magazine may nominate Bloggers as their Person/s of the Year is met with derision from Michele at A Small Victory. The Commissar, however, sees it as a sign that bloggers may be having a real influence, especially on those in the MSM.

Jumped up, pompous bunch that we are, I still believe that bloggers are the future of journalism. The next few years, I suspect, will be telling.

Others blogging - ISOU, Diggers Realm.
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