Do people still see blogs as networks? | jill/txt

I’m not reallye sure if the blogosphere works like that any more, though. I find blog posts in my rss reader or on twitter or Facebook and only rarely by following links from other blogs as I used to do. Maybe I exaggerate – but it seems to me that blogs link to each other less today? Have you come across any research or studies about this? And what is YOUR impression? —Do people still see blogs as networks? | jill/txt.

Here’s my take:

Several key filtering and connecting affordances which at one point blogs were very good at accomplishing (blogrolls, links-of-the-day, what’s new, and of course commenting)  have largely migrated to branded sites. Perhaps what Neal Stephenson said of cyberpunk applies just as well to blogging: “It evolved into birds.” 

Once Google recognized the real-time filtering value of blogs, and began regularly searching blog feeds in 2005, the networking function of blogs became less immediately distinct. At the same time our use of the internet at large became more efficient because our search results depend in part on the linking behavior of bloggers — if we are no longer as dependent upon reading the blogs themselves when it comes to discovering new resources. 

Discussions that used to take place in the comments attached to blogs are now detached — people recommend and discuss blogs on Facebook and Twitter. Facebook’s development of a timeline feature is aimed at claiming for the Facebook brand the historicity, the presence of the past, the reflection-fostering backward-linking capability that remains, for now, the most distinct feature of blogs.