The great challenge with blogging is that a blogger has to keep coming up with new ideas, thoughts, insights and ways of being interesting. Unlike a traditional journalism few blogs are driven by news or constant announcements. Those blogs that do so very quickly become online news platforms, e-zines or e-reporting.
This is why blogs are important as they become places where ideas, community sharing and thinking lives. Without the narcotic element of live news, a blog has to create and curate insights within the community that it has shaped.
This is the essence of the new hierarchy of influence because the blogger has to earn influence and continually re-earn that influence without the power of the mast head of heritage of a publishing house.
This dynamic drives the much commented upon democratic dynamic of the new media platforms. It sets up a cattle auction of ideas in which the communities within the Internet vote up and down your influence. Importantly this democracy does not mean equality there is a fluid hierarchy of influence within the blogging community; not all blogs are created equal.
I believe that ideas are the currency within this voting system. It is the quality, nuance and originality of ideas and thoughts that drives a blog’s influence (what I mean by an idea is a meme or a new iterance. This does not have to be profound it can be trivial, humorous or a reflection on a previous meme). However, over time the depth and frequency of these new ideas does drive influence. You have to go back and if it is not for news it helps to have ideas as a currency. The place where these idea starters thrive most of all is the blogosphere.
Blogs and ideas in this way drive the new forms of engagement; without a flow of ideas it is very hard to engage with a community. This creates some rules for blogging engagement: it helps to have a consistent territory on which to comment; the more others interact and engage with your ideas the better the engagement; and of course the more transparent your references to other ideas the greater your authority becomes.
Every blogger knows that coming up with new thoughts and ideas is something of a curse as well as a thrill.