Hair Metal Blogs?

Are we due for some monster ballad spewing, hair spray using metal band blogs as there is a debate on whether or not the progressive blogosphere’s short time as the scene of “punk” political action may be coming to an end.

Jane at Firedoglake in January noted the following about the blog scene right now:

We both concurred that the blog world has the feel right now that the punk rock scene of the late 70’s had, and for much the same reasons.

The music business in the 70’s had grown bloated and moribund and disconnected from its audience. Record executives busied themselves buying Rolexes for REO Speedwagon and paying millions for Casablanca records and nobody cared. They were perfectly horrified at the spectacle of kids paying $3 to see the Clash play a benefit for Marxist youth at the Geary Temple in 1978, but even as a kid it was perfectly obvious where the energy was, where the zeitgeist was shifting. Punk rock became a beacon for creative people of all walks, and oh so many years later the shadow it casts looms far greater than the corporate culture merchants of the time were able to envision………

creativity is a very fluid thing and when it becomes difficult to achieve any kind of satisfaction in a particular medium the quality talent will siphon off into an arena that allows it expression……..

We thought punk rock and the energetic counterculture it produced would last for ever, but it didn’t. It was over quite quickly.


Already, we saw in the New York Metro article the whining about how being a derivative of a derivative style of blogging is not allowing people to strike it rich. Forget the fact that there are very few rich bloggers who are doing unique and immensely high value added work at the same time either. My colleague, Cernig has repeatedly, and effectively railed against the nature of the network embedded features of blogging in that there is a massive first mover advantage to anyone who can credibly stake out some piece of blogging intellectual real estate even if there are superior content producers who come online several months to several years later. There are exceptions of course, as exhibited by FireDogLake and more recently Glenn Greenwald who have both created a new space for themselves at a very high level of traffic and linkages.

This diaryat D-Kos complains that too many politicians are coming into the conversation and thus are elbowing outsiders or self-perceived outsiders aside. I see in that diary “D-Kos is losing its essence man, selling out to the politicians…..”

Mystery Pollster links to a Gallup survey on blog participation and the conclusion is that there was next to no positive growth in readership over the past year. There has been shifting and redistribution, but very little growth. Chris Bowers, looking at a slightly different data set, concludes that progressive blog readership has plateaued for the past six months or so.

Once growth stops, the nature of the conversation and interactions changes. One of the first pieces that I wrote that got picked up by a blog with more than ten readers, looked at the Dem Meet-up numbers through the Fall of 2003. By November, I had concluded that ” Dean is fundamentally tapped out…. but he can not count on the internet to provide new sources of support for him any more” and at that point the energy of the campaign which was very high got converted into a traditional (and poorly run) one to many broadcast campaign. And then he fizzled. This potentiality exists here also.

One of the more creative, perceptive and confident voices of the blogosphere, Stirling Newberry, has already started to see the fluid give and take become a bit more viscous and a lot less satisfying as the energy that has been created in the past three years has turned both inward and outwards, but recently more dangerously inward, and thus the spectre of the overweening indy cred comparing music store clerk phenomna.

Scott Shields of MyDD lays out an elegant argument that the zeitgeist is still DIY punkish, but I fear that he could be the magazine cover contrary indicator in that the scene is so crowded that no one goes there anymore.

So are we do to see blogger Quiet Riot and Warrant emerging; or have we already seen that with the Denton blog empire of Gawker, Wonkette etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect with Facebook