Wednesday, April 12, 2006

New York Times watches the world of blogs go by

New York Times public editor Byron Calame’s recent musings about blogs weren’t just controlling and complacent and self-congratulatory, they were clueless. While the institution that formerly employed Judith Miller is still worried about blogging’s lack of journalistic standards and verification and all the rest, the blogosphere isn’t worried about the Times. Rather, the blogosphere is simply starting to ignore them. Is this quantifiable? Sure, although you wonder if Times editors even know that.

Let’s see what Technorati says. As I write, here is the number of blog links to four major newspapers.

WashingtonPost.com: 46,864
USAToday.com: 27,296
LATimes.com: 23,547
NYTimes.com: 17,830

Just for the sake of comparison, here are the links to Capital Newspapers, the portal for the two dailies here in our modest capital city of Madison, Wisconsin -- the Wisconsin Sate Journal and the Capital Times. Don’t look back, NYT -- in the words of Satchel Paige, something might be gaining on you, at least on a per capita basis.

Madison.com: 2,663

Although the bloggers who are doing all this linking are not all opinion leaders, many more are than the Times seems to realize. Public opinion is formed by social networks, and blogs are important nodes in the filigree of networks that crisscross our country and the world.

Great newspapers are magnets for blogs, which need newspapers and exist in a lively symbiosis with them. Newspapers that understand this will prosper. Those that don’t, won’t.

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