I bought myself the book the long tail by Chris Anderson the other day and started experimenting with the web all over again this time using the paradigm he presented in his book.
I was amazed suddenly how powerful the web could be again. These past few days I am slowly beginning to realize the power of blogs, something which I relegate to the realms of pointless online diaries and gossips.
Big news agencies broadcast news that is important to a broad base of people in various categories. Due to the economic restrictions of traditional news agency structure, what they can provide is but information that is broad and lack depth to the general audience. This is because as they drill down into more detailed levels, it gradually becomes less profitable for them to provide these information, due to the decreasing level of viewership. Information that warrants more detailed and indepth report are normally Black Swan events (unforeseeable but high impact occurances, eg. Obama becomes president, H1N1 flu comes into existence).
So in summary what we get on the news is meant for the general public but does not always serve specific needs. This is the economics of the top down approach.
We next look at blogs. Blogging is fast becoming a prevalent phenomena. The network effect of blogs (aka linking between blogs via rss) means that one can easily navigate from one blog of one topic to similiar blog of the same topic. This is similiar to what one does when watching one video on youttube and navigating to the next video that is closely related to the current one.
While Google search engine is good in the fact that it allows the retrieval of information that is highly relevant to certain keywords, the limitation of Google mainly resides with the users. Some topics are just too hard to define in words. It is hard to summarize some topics into specific keywords. This thus has to do with the problem of filters.
The problem with Google search is semi alleviated by the network elements found on social networks where likes tend to link together and are found in closer proximity than unlikes. (Traditionally known as birds of the same feather flock together.)
Of course we should not forget to take into consideration the piles of crap and garbage found on some blogs. But wait, what some perceives as garbage are usually perceive as treasure by others.
So in short do not dismiss the relevance of blogs on the internet.
Here is the relationship that I have thought about:
YouTube is to video, as is
Facebook is to Friends, as is
Blog is to information
The future it seems is fast becoming dominanted by network effects. Like it or not it is here to stay.