While this research does not really get at the connections between the “real world” and the blogsphere, it dose give us an interesting picture of the blogsphere. Here is one picture, from Data Mining: Text Mining, Visualization and Social Media
Here is a link to a more complete picture, in a blog entry pointing to an article that appeared in a recent issue of Discover magazine (See! Crossover!)
We can see that there are groups of blogs that are more well, that tend to “talk” amongst themselves. They tend to share the same blogging platform (live journal), or the same subject matter (political commentary, tech). But, this does not necessarily mean a homogeneous set of opinions, a lack of discourse.
There are, of course, great concentrations around the “A-List” bloggers, and a sort of sub-species that are good connectors. Then there is the riff-raff, or as they are more commonly referred to in this sort of network analysis, the “long tail”
A couple of things here. First of all, this pattern is not all that different from the patterns we tend to see in any sort of social network. We can say it all kinds of ways, but people tend to clump up. There is the heavy tailed “power law” distribution. You have the popular types, and the folks that go between groups – either viewed as genius cross-pollinators or social misfits, depending on your take.
So, it looks like you give ’em this fancy technology, and layer even groovier web 2.0 on top of that, and people still tend to act like people.
Secondly, if this is like may other non-linear dynamic systems, we have a fractal pattern. And that would mean that if we were to repeat this analysis on the Vermont blogsphere, we would see much the same pattern.
Anyone got the time, inclination, or funding for this research?