from danierdrezner.com on blogging
(1) Blogging is politically important in large part because it affects mainstream media, and helps set the terms of political debate (in political science jargon, it creates βfocal pointsβ and βframesβ). Note that we donβt provide an exhaustive account of blogs and politics – some aspects of blogging (fundraising for parties, effects on political values in the general public), we donβt have more than anecdotal data on. Thereβs plenty of room for other people to do interesting research on all of this.
(2) Incoming links in the political blogosphere are systematically skewed, but not according to a βpower lawβ distribution, as Clay Shirky and others have argued of the blogosphere as a whole. Instead, they follow a lognormal distribution. We reckon that the most likely explanation for this is that offered by Pennock et al. – they argue that not only do the βrich get richerβ (i.e. sites that already have a lot of links tend to get more), but that link-poor sites stand a chance of becoming rich too. Late entrants into the political blogosphere can do well in the political blogosphere as long as theyβre interesting and attract some attention – bad timing isnβt destiny.
(3) Because of the systematic skewedness of the political blogosphere, a few βfocal pointβ sites can provide a rough index of what is going on in the blogosphere – interesting points of view on other sites will often percolate up to them as smaller blogs try to get big blogs to link to them, by informing them of interesting stories. Thus, we may expect that journalists and other media types who read blogs will tend to all gravitate towards a few βbig nameβ bloggers as their way of keeping up with what is going on in the blogosphere as a whole.