Are independent bloggers an endangered species?

Micah Sifry talks about how Atrios and Digby see the blogosphere evolving, and the rise of corporate blog entities.

Is political blogging no longer a place for the individual, crusading voice? Do you have to be part of a group blog, and ideally backed by a big media property, to flourish in the national political blogosphere in the U.S.? Two powerful indie-bloggers, the pseudonymous Digby and the once-pseudonymous Atrios (Duncan Black), posted links back to my Friday post about Technorati’s new top blogs metric, that in essence expressed nostalgia for those good ‘ol days when all it took was a PC and a strong point of view to make it in the Big Blogcity.

One of the interesting elements in all this is how it’s a self-reinforcing problem (or a vicious circle), because of the linking policy at “big media” outlets.

It’s worth paying closer attention to Digby’s point about who links to whom. In essence, she is saying that when it comes to the link economy, indie bloggers are more generous than Big Media types, who she says mainly just link to each others. And I think she’s right; the linking patterns discerned by our friends at Linkfluence show that in general, the blogs at big newspapers sites are far less likely to link to “regular” bloggers than the reverse. And this isn’t a matter of one type of blogger (the indie), simply “leeching” content from the content generators, since Big Media bloggers are just as often doing their own opinionizing as much as they are reporting real news.

Whether we like it or not, this may well be a serious trend, one that doesn’t bode well for independent bloggers.

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