Big is beautiful
Wednesday, November 12th, 2003
Hugh Mcleod, a Madison Avenue maven and existentialist cartoonist, has been obsessing about blogs for the last year and finally started blogging a few months ago. Now, beneath a wonderfully illustrative cartoon, Hugh argues:
The long term trend for blogs is: less traffic. By that I mean, with more and more blogs appearing every day, that means less eyeballs per website. Sure, there’ll still be the occasional superstar like Gawker or Instapundit, but for us regular schmoes not on the ‘A-List’ we’re going to have to get used to having fewer visitors.
I disagree that more bloggers means = more competition = less traffic. That’s old-media-think. Blogs aren’t just publishing spigots, they are also vessles for capturing/imbibing the output of others. Every new blogger will read/link/engage at least ten (but maybe 100) other blogs.
New bloggers actually increase everyone’s traffic. While a newspaper with 10 readers has just 10 info synapses, 10 bloggers can create up to 100 different conversations. (Metcalfe’s law.) Sure, some folks get more traffic than others, as old Pareto first noted.
But any blogger who keeps banging away with passion and sincerity will someday have more readers than most local papers have today. The cost of communicating (distributing/finding information) has collapsed 99.99% since 1991. Now the quantity and structure of communication is slowly but surely catching up. We’re on the cusp of something magnificent.