Roger L. Simon

57 million blogs?!

Yes, that’s the current Technorati number quoted in Michael Malone’s latest Silicon Insider column. (He also has some nice things to say about Pajamas Media’s video election coverage – thanks, Michael.) If that figure is even faintly correct, we’ve entered a mind-boggling era of communications here. Assuming that roughly half that number is American, the ratio of blogs to potential readers in this country is around one to ten – not a tremendously optimistic stat from a publishing point of view. No wonder I detect real fear of the Internet from some journalists I know. It’s a ruthless meritocracy out here, especially if you’re not doing porn. You’re not protected in the way you are (or more likely were) with a traditional newspaper job. You may even have to be able to write to attract attention [Present company excepted. -ed. Of course.] Another thing that amuses me is that there are still people around who have not heard of blogs or say they don’t know what they are. Talk about Luddites. Have they heard of television? Or radio? Anyway, by force of sheer numbers, it is likely the best blogs would be superior in many ways to what is offered by the diminishing mainstream media. History and technology march on. Recent events at the LA Times are just an inevitable blip. Still some rich guys are trying to buck the trend – sentimental Luddites, I suppose.