It’s no surprise that the blogosphere has grown so big, so quickly. Not only is it easier and cheaper to publish than ever before via blogs, but people have found it a good outlet for their ideas and writings. The key success area of blogs, I would argue, is a link culture and a culture of link reciprocity (I link to you, you link to me, I link to myself when I comment), spurred on by that magnificent feature in wordpress called a trackback. Even I find myself becoming obsessive-compulsive over who is linking to me and where my trackbacks are coming from. (Ok, ok I’m seeing someone about it!). Therein lies the key.
It’s a way of doing things that most big, commercial online publisher’s don’t have a clue about. Online publishers tend to be protective about linking out to their competitors or the rest of the world, but they are increasingly learning that they should particpate in the linkfest conversation by giving some link love back to bloggers, and even to their competitors. Attempts by Washingtonpost.com to capture this would be them adding Technorati links below each of their articles, which link to bloggers linking to their articles, thereby encouraging bloggers to link to them. The same Technorati.com links now appear on Mail & Guardian Online.
It’s not rocket science, it’s the way the internet is supposed to be used. Bloggers are showing the world’s major online publishers how to use the net.