Laura may be right that it's harder to get links for a good post in the modern blogosphere. But, as she's proved today, it's still pretty easy to get links for a post about the blogosphere, which suggests that we haven't totally lost the solipsism and self-obsession that originally made us great.
As for the actual topic of her post -- changes in the blogosphere -- I think she dances around the issue a bit: The place has professionalized. Talking Points Memo used to be some unemployed writer's blog. Now it's a significant media institution. Atrios used to be the only guy articulating a certain set of progressive frustrations with the media. Now he's a fellow at Media Matters, a well-funded watchdog organization dedicated to tracking the media in excruciating detail. It used to be that people blogged in their spare time. Now kids graduate from college and apply for jobs as bloggers and, sometimes, internships as assistants on blogs.
The blogosphere isn't thrumming with the joyous, raucous, weirdness of the early years. And that's a shame. But the upside is that it's more careful. It reports and investigates and uncovers. My blog certainly isn't as fun to write as it used to be. But it's also a lot better than it used to be. And it certainly pays more. And so it goes. The blogosphere grew up and it got a job, or, to be more specific, lots of jobs. That made it less fun, but, like a frat house legend who now goes to work every morning, probably more useful to society.
I still miss Steven Den Beste, though.
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