Congratulations! We’ve taken the blogosphere and turned it into a replica of the traditional news media – the domain of a few editors who decide what people will be reading about or seeing today.
Doc Searls responds to Seth Finkelstein’s post about the New Gatekeepers:
I have this idea that the blogosphere is the one place in the world; or perhaps an entirely new world, or a part of a new world, created on the Net; where there is no need for class, for caste, for gates or keepers of anything.
To me this is a world where the only success that fully counts is in helping move good ideas along, in helping make this new world a bigger, better and more open place. And in helping others enjoy the privilege of participating in it.
And it’s Doc’s post that makes it on memeorandum. In fact, on any given day I can pretty much guess with uncanny certainty who is going to be on memeorandum. And rather than tracking new ideas, memeorandum reinforces those existing bloggers comments.
Robert Scoble complained about the fact that bloggers had ignored news from Microsoft but were fawning over similar news from Google. Imagine, a Microsoft marketing guy complaining about press Google was getting. What are the odds? And that topped memeorandum.
Yet as Shelley notes, and I’ve seen myself, having these folks link to you doesn’t really generate much traffic for you:
Along similar lines, Phil Sims writes The Piss-Ant Blogosphere. In the post, the Squash Man notices that the A-Listers don’t send him the traffic to go with their ranks, and this tends to cast doubt on the power of webloggers in influencing the success of startups.
I can agree to this: other than blitz of traffic for my Parable of the Languages, and the flurry of links to my Men Don’t Link writing, the most traffic I’ve ever had was for a blonde joke; I still get close to 4000 unique visits a day for this. Perhaps I can get Clairol to advertise on my site in the future.
But people do carry on excellent discussions in their comment sections.
So what we have is a model similar to that of the news media. The editors select the stories to print, and then people are allowed to comment on them (just like letters to the editor) in most cases, unless the blogger – like Doc – doesn’t allow comments. Of course memeorandum does provide a mechanism for my related post to be found.
So in essence memeorandum is equivalent to the New York Times. Here are the stories we’re following right now by our approved writers, and here is what people are saying about them.
Maybe that’s why citizen journalism projects like Bayoshere aren’t working out as expected. The average citizen can’t get a word in edgewise.