Empirical evidence of the power of blogs

Ian Rogers’ Fistfulayen blog has a great post about a topic I prattle on about with regularity: the importance of blogs with respect to emergent music (applies, of course, not just to music).

Most recently, I wrote about the blogs role in what I see as the collapsing-into-one of the three pivotal spreaders of information: Mavens (early adopters), Connectors (pubicists et al. who – for profit or pleasure – put people with similar interests together), and Salesman (people who convince you to buy something you’re on the fence about). [*]

Mr. Rogers offers a first-hand account of this phenomenon:

This is all interesting to me because while I did a lot of “music blogs are the future of music discovery” pushing at Yahoo!, it was always met with credible resistance because the size of the addressable market is still undeniably small. Most of my favorite music blogs don’t even show up on the Comscore radar, Hype Machine just finally broke the 1MM unique users/month mark, and the entire space is just a few million uniques per month. But when you have bands touring and making money making their art based on buzz generated by sites like Brooklyn Vegan, do the absolute numbers matter? I don’t think so. The fact that a new connection between people who make music and people who love music is made, one that’s outside the mainstream and in many ways more efficient, is the shape of things to come. This is all part of the “1000 fans” meme. The numbers may be wrong but the sentiment is dead on. Empowered consumers and unlimited choice changes everything, from who the gatekeepers are to who the tastemakers are to where the audiences spend their increasingly scarce attention. And it’s good for culture. I love it.

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