Blogger Influence Comes Mostly From “The Who”, Not The “How Many”

A misconception contained in a post about bloggers on Free Republic caught my eye and I thought it was worth commenting. Weimdog says…

“Bloggers only imagine they have influence because they influence each other. If you asked the average politically aware conservative if he’s heard of Glenn Reynolds or Mickey Kaus, he’d give you a long, blank stare.”

For the most part, Weimdog is correct about the size of audience that most bloggers have. However, I think Glenn Reynolds is a poor example given that he had a higher Alexa ranking than well known political websites like The Nation, Mother Jones, & the The Atlantic Online in “The 125 Most Popular Political Websites On The Net” article I did a while back. But still, I’ll grant you that Reynolds, Kaus, & the other “big” bloggers are small fry in the traffic department compared to the real powerhouses like Rush Limbaugh, Matt Drudge, & ABC News.

However, a lot of the top blogs have influence far out of proportion to the number of readers that they actually have. That’s because a lot of opinion makers read some of the better known blogs. For example, just from the interviews I’ve done, I can tell you that Michael Medved, Hugh Hewitt, David Horowitz, & Mark Steyn all read Little Green Footballs. So even though what Charles Johnson is writing may not be directly getting out to a truly massive audience, people who can and do influence vast audiences are soaking up the message Charles Johnson is trying to get across.

For now, that sort of indirect influence is the coin of the realm for the better known bloggers. But, give it a few years and as I’ve said before, I believe that you’ll see bloggers who have hordes of journalists reading their blogs AND who have “Drudge like” traffic numbers. Time will tell, but I don’t see any reason why the cream of the crop in the blogging world can’t reach those heights one day.

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