“Sebastian” at the excellent PA Gun Blog thinks so, that it’s become so difficult for new blood to break in that overall quality is declining. He says:
I think it comes down to several factors, as to why it’s difficult:
- The death of the Pingback, and ability to reliably trace incoming links. You can now do this with Google, but it also catches a lot of junk. Spammers have largely killed our ability to see who’s linking us. This makes it harder to notice new upstarts who are looking to join the conversation.
- The signal-to-noise ratio in blogging seems to be a lot higher now than it was when I started. When I started, there were fewer blogs, and many of them had pretty reasonable audiences. It was pretty easy to keep track of who was saying what, and joining the conversation was a lot easier.
- The entrance of commercial blogs and SEO schucksters into the game. These sites have to view themselves as destinations, because that’s how you make money. There are multiple examples of these even in the gun blogosphere, and you know who they are. This is very good for those destination sites, but it’s a horrible thing for the blogging community.
There is also a tendency, when you’ve been blogging for quite some time, to get set in your ways. You get it down to a routine, and to some degree you have to do it that way to save time. I have 2-4 hours a day to spend on blogging. That’s about it. So you combine that with a higher signal-to-noise ratio, and no great way to see who’s saying what out there (because pingbacks and Google alerts are mostly junk from spammers or other ‘noise’), and the result is less linkage, except to the blogs I’ve been reading since before I was blogging, or who started around the same time I did.
via Shall Not Be Questioned.
He refers back (via clinical law prof Bill Jacobson) to this article by Stacy McCain, that suggests that if you see your blog as a destination, rather than as a portal to other bloggers, it’s going to be hard to break in.
We reckon it depends on what you want. There are guys that serially start up blogs, and then sell them off to operators that turn them into ad farms, and run them until the residual good will is gone. You guys know who we mean.
Some of the commercial blogs are known for lifting your stuff and not linking you. Eh. We always try to link the originator of a story, and we hope for linkbacks, but we’ve noticed some sites never do. We link them less. McCain has the right idea there, and we’ve been known to hit his tip jar (as well as having bought him a beer in person), but we’ve seldom linked to him — he’s a political blog, of limited utility to our gun and special operations focus. So naturally, he’s never linked us back. (Maybe we should link him, now that his son is an 18X. If Junior can beat the odds and not wind up in the 82nd — NTTAWWT — he’ll be practically family).