While the blogosphere is generally considered a free-for-all medium where any topic or opinion is fair game, it’s actually governed by narrow rules, Jeremy Beer writes on Front Porch Republic. “It is uncommon for someone to write a piece about something that is not immediately pertinent to the contemporary ‘conversation’—as defined by the blogosphere,” he writes. That makes it rare for “anyone to write anything ‘original’ at all.”
So who decides the shape of the blog “conversation”? Linkability is a major factor. Things that can be linked to get coverage, and things that can’t be—like text from books and topics without much web presence—do not. This means that “the real, metaphysical existences of some things without digital lives become rather more tenuous,” Beer writes.