Decline of Political Blogs?
Aaron Brazell, who used to blog politics but now mostly does tech and social media, notes something interesting: While political blogs are blogging in terms of media coverage of the phenomenon, they’re actually a relatively small part of the story. It’s not just that, as we all know, personal diary blogs far outnumber others in sheer volume but that political blogs make up a relatively small segment of the blogs people actually read and link to.
[O]nly one blog, Huffington Post remains in the top 10 blogs in existence, a range that is dominated by tech blogs. Of the Technorati Top 100, only 16 could be deemed “political” blogs.
Intuitively, it’s not all that surprising that tech blogs would compete well with their political counterparts. After all, techies dominated the Internet for most of its existence. And discussions of gadgetry and whatnot don’t bifurcate along party lines (unless you count the Apple/PC feud). Further, there’s more “new” out there in the tech world whereas the topics discussed on political blogs are widely covered, dispersing the audience. But here’s the thing: It wasn’t always thus. Political blogs were much more represented in the Top 100 four years ago than now.
It’s not just linkage, either. The top tech blogs have more traffic than their political counterparts.
And this doesn’t even take into account celebrity gossip blogs, which dominate the traffic charts as tabulated by BlogAds.
Have reading and usage patterns changed that much? Or are the metrics simply capturing reality with more precision? Alternatively, do the tech blogs simply interlink more than is the norm on political blogs? Or have the techies figured out a way to “game” the system as political bloggers did years ago to the old TTLB Ecosystem, simply rendering it meaningless as a true measure?
Another thing: There are “Top 10″ blogs on Technorati that I’ve never heard of. I don’t think my reading habits are particularly specialized or insular. How can sites with over 10,000 links to them have escaped my attention?
UPDATE: Glenn Reynolds responds, “I’m not surprised to hear this — based on email, etc., people are a lot more interested in my tech- and lifestyle-related posts than the political ones. And if you look in the larger world, the most popular TV shows, magazines, etc., are not the ones about politics.”