With some estimates of around 450,000 blogs out there in the domestic blogosphere, we always thought the challenge of aggregating them using good old fashioned ‘people power‘ would turn out to be exactly that – a challenge.
But with the pulling power of Yaro and friends (such as Darren Rowse at ProBlogger) we managed a better start than we could have possibly hoped for.
But ever since I read Chris Anderson’s manifesto ‘The Long Tail‘, I’ve always believed that the Aussie web was more than just ninemsn or yahoo7, and specifically the Australian blogging scene, was more than Entrepreneur’s Journey or ProBlogger (I mean that in the nicest way but I’m sure both Yaro and Darren would also agree).
What occurred in the ensuing weeks post-launch, also speaks volumes for the readership of Entrepreneur’s Journey and ProBlogger (and by implication, the Australian Blogging public):
- ‘business’ had 23 links
- ‘adsense’ had only 3 links
- ‘advertising’ 4 links
- ‘marketing’ 17 links
- ‘art’ had 15 links
- ‘cooking’ had 15 links
- ‘design’ 25 links
- ‘family’ 12 links
- ‘food’ 16 links
- ‘media’ 23 links
- ‘politics’ a whopping 36 links!
- ‘travel’ 16 links (with Aussie expats from far-flung Bulgaria, Japan and Albuquerque to name but a few).
Much has been written about how blogging as a medium allows the individual an alternative pathway around the gatekeepers of traditional forms of media (eg. editors etc). Blogs shorten the ‘idea-to-published output’ cycle but also reduces the hoops one must jump though with the traditional means to get an idea or an opinion published.
If you couple this improved publishing probability with the potential spectrum of human endeavour and interests addressed by the ‘Long Tail’ then the humble blog becomes a tool of incredible flexibility and reach.
But wait, there’s more….!
Slap a layer of locality on it, in this case blogs of Australian-origin, and the cacophony of noisy blogs becomes a localised community. Related by blogrolls and communicating by comments and trackbacks.
Imagine that. Long but narrow. Wide but thin.
In closing, we’ve been careful not to play favourites and name blogs (unless it furthers the cause of raising the profile of Australian blogs) however I would like to draw your attention to The Hope Orphanage blog. This organisation runs an orphanage in Timor-Leste under some pretty horrific conditions and use this blog to document their work and attract potential benefactors. Do your own research. Make up your own mind, but I would like to commend the team for their resourcefulness and creativity.
This is the kind of grassroots social activism that makes me proud of the Australian blogosphere.