What's big in the blogosphere today?
Well, over here we've got news of a search deal between Microsoft and Yahoo. Rumors are flying about a 10-inch tablet computer from Apple, sort of like a gargantuan iPod touch. Then look — there's a new home page design on Twitter!
What's that? You're not into tech? You were asking about some, er, other blogosphere? Here you go: posts lamenting the potential evisceration of healthcare reform; posts arguing about the "birther" movement, of people who refuse to believe President Obama is really a U.S. citizen (he is); and an outpouring of ecstatic links to William Shatner's beat-poet recitation of Sarah Palin's farewell speech.
Or maybe your particular world was rocked by some entirely different set of headlines over the last 24 hours. That's because there's no one-size-fits-all blogosphere. The blogosphere you see is shaped by the things that interest you.
This is almost too obvious to mention. Except that we continue to hear generalizations about blogging that are completely unsupportable based on the sliver of the blog universe the observer happens to pay attention to.
There are the people at New York magazine who have told us, over the years, that Gawker is the center of the blog universe and has set a universal tone for blogosphere discourse (snarky). There are the people in Silicon Valley who think that blogs are dead because they have moved on, themselves, to Twitter or other new platforms. There are the political bloggers who think that the blogosphere begins and ends with whichever batch of blogs they happen to visit in their daily (or hourly, or minutely) rounds.
We have arrived at a point in history when there are millions of bloggers, and roughly one quarter of the adult U.S. population says that they read other people's blogs occasionally (and ten percent of Internet users say they do so daily). So we should be way past accepting the truth that — in the U.S., certainly — "the blogosphere," if it exists at all, is nearly as diverse as the human population itself.
Even better, I think, we could simply retire the term "blogosphere." Until then, I will keep reminding people that there is no single blogosphere. There is only the set of blogs that you happen to read.