Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Feeders Help Writers Reach Readers

I've signed up for Bloglines at the suggestion of my host and fellow blogger, Glen, who described it as a "brilliant" way to keep track of my favorite blogs. Our conversation on the topic got started when I asked him to add Jurisdynamics under the "BLOGS WE ACTUALLY READ" list in Agoraphilia's left margin. I noted, as an aside, that some of the blogs listed there appear to have fallen into desuetude. Glen replied, in effect, that his Bloglines subscription has largely mooted such concerns, since he relies on it to tell him when new posts appear on his favorite blogs.

(It occurs to me, in retrospect, that I might have interpreted "WE ACTUALLY READ" too narrowly. I took it to list blogs that "WE DO READ." Glen might mean the list to include blogs that "WE HAVE READ." It that event, even fossil blogs would qualify. But I digress.)

Signing up for Bloglines lead me to reflect on how it and other news feed services extend the equalizing power of blogs. Blogging has already empowered nobody writers to reach the world. In a world without news feed services, however, blogs that don't frequently offer new content risk losing their readers. No matter how much you like a blog, it's a pain to pull it up time and again only to find the same old stuff. News feeders solve that problem by making it nearly cost-free to keep tabs on your favorite, but relatively quiescent, blogs.

Blogging let us all go head-to-head with the mainstream media. Bloggers capable of generating a fairly constant stream of content tended to fare best in that contest, however. Now, thanks to Blogline and other news feeds, writers who sacrifice quantity for quality can go head-to-head with such blogging giants as Instapundit or the Daily Kos.


dgm said...

at least i no longer have to listen to you ask me from across the dinner table whether i've posted anything lately.

also? desuetude is a cool word.

Tom W. Bell said...

You assume that I've added you to my feed! But, of course, you assume correctly.

Agreed about "desuetude." For some reason, it brings to mind a dude swathed in suade who sues with 'tude. Hey--that could have been me, had I only kept practicing law!