The cycle of media


While blogs link to each other extensively, one of their primary functions is referring to and adding commentary to articles in the mainstream media. One of the most valuable services of the blog search engines is that they show which media articles are of most interest and attract the most commentary from a universe of readers (see for example Technorati Popular News and Daypop Top News Stories). Pick up a dead-tree newspaper, and you have no inkling of what others have found interesting and what they have thought about it. The good folks at The Washington Post have recognized this gap, and so they now show inward blog links on their online articles. Take a look at this recent Washington Post article on FBI recruiting for their “porn squad”, which has attracted a lot of commentary. In the right hand column, half way down, you can see that (at last count) 614 blogs have linked to this article, and you can click through to see what each one has said about it. This is no longer just an interlinked world commenting on traditional press. The link back has been made, and a complete cycle of news and community commentary has been formed. Thus the boundaries between the traditional and participatory media begin to dissolve.