Big Head Blog & The Monsters
I laughed so hard that I shot coffee out my nose (some of which landed on my keyboard) when I saw this chart at Gawker the other day. That is because it betrays a big truth and validates one of my favorite axes to grind: For being such a self-important lot, bloggers are far less influential and widely read than conventional online wisdom (as in moo COW) would lead you to believe.
My view for this disconnect (as opposed to having the empirical evidence; so shoot me) is that there isn't a lot of overlap between various segments of the literate GP. This is to say that just because people read newspapers doesn't mean they read blogs -- and vice verse.
I sorta know this first hand through the not inconsiderable number of times that online versions of big newspapers, including the NYTimes and WaPo, have linked to my deathless prose. COW would suggest that the number of hits I get on those days would soar. In reality, there are only modest bumps.
As it is, my own greatest hits -- the days on which my numbers do soar -- are when I am linked to by big blogs or specialty blogs with very involved readerships. This includes several military blogs that have linked to my stuff on Iraq, post-traumatic stress disorder and a recent appreciation I did on an outspoken officer who was little known to the GP but is legendary in the annals of Vietnam-era military history.
Where I do think COW misses the boat is the blogosphere as a research resource.
On most days, fully a half of my hits are for stuff I wrote weeks, months or even years ago that people stumble on while googling their favorite musician or tracking down info on a particular book.
But there is a trap in that: The vast majority of what you read in the blogosphere is unedited. There is a high drivel content and factual errors predominate. Except my stuff, of course.