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Thursday, June 05, 2003

The Power of the Blogosphere

Glenn Reynolds points to this post by Hugh Hewitt in which he states:

An opinion storm requires certain ingredients to conjure it, and in the world of the blogosphere in 2003, you need one of the Big Four to buy in.

The Big Four are Instapundit, Andrew Sullivan, Mickey Kaus, and The Volokh Conspiracy. These four sites are usually visited by news junkies many times a day because they are staffed by bright people and continually updated, and thus they can guide the chattering class to a breaking story or even a hitherto ignored story. Trent Lott is no longer majority leader in part because these superpowers of the blog filed and fueled the story of his remarks at Strom's birthday bash. The New York Times is reeling because of consistent attention to its inaccuracies and biases by these same sites. Because these sites are so widely read and referred to, they can amplify even small murmurs and overnight can redirect traditional media towards a target.

The power of synchronized blogging is still somewhat incipient. The first generation of bloggers are individualists, and unlikely to coordinate their activities. But if blog alliances do begin to develop among them, the ability to drive the news cycle in a particular direction will be immense.

Glenn thinks that Mr Hewitt is overstating Instapundit's influence. I don't think so. Glenn has become the premier news editor of the Internet, and with so much news, noise and nonsense out there, we need more honest editors. I am glad Glenn believes in the power of truth. Recently he has been busy pointing out the bogusness of a recent quote by US deputy defence secretary, Paul Wolfowitz.

Daniel Drezner notes today that the Guardian pulled the Wolfowitz story from their website. However other left leaning bloggers have used the Wolfowitz misqote to justify their position. We will see any retractions? I doubt it. The power of the blogosphere is that you can lie and distort with impunity. Is anybody else bothered by this?

Have a great weekend.