Since I first posted ANZ, IBM & freedom of speech I have been adding postscript updates on this storm. While I have included some of my own views, I think that the links provided are sufficient to allow anybody interested to follow through the controversy in this small corner of the Australian blogosphere.
Back in October 2010 I reported on attempts to map the Australian blogosphere - Mapping the Australian blogosphere. There I said in part:
Accepting these qualifications, I found the type of political clustering that you might expect, broadly reflecting party and left/right affiliations. For example, on the left Larvatus Prodeo, John Quiggin and Club Troppo are major, somewhat overlapping, nodes, each with their own if linked clusters. On the other side of the fence, Catallaxy has a similar but smaller cluster.
The Crikey group of blogs forms another node/cluster in its own right.
One of the things that leads to heavy clustering of all the political blogs into a mass of hard to read colour is, I think, the presence of cross-quoting. This groups the left, left-centre blogs most closely, but also pulls the right, right-centre blogs somewhat together towards the left blogs. I am sure that this can be analysed further from the data by taking individual nodes and then looking at the relationships between them.
I also noted that while Neil Whitfield and this blog appeared on the map, we appeared as outriders placed relatively closely together. This placement reflects our distance from the big blogs, as well our habit of quoting each other.
It would be interesting to see the good folk at Mapping Online Publics map this controversy, because I think that it shows something of the same pattern. The observations that follow are just that, observations on apparent patterns.
- With the exception of this blog and a small number of others, participating blogs were dominated by those affected either by loss of advertising or those with a special interest (Christian Lobby, Andrew Bolt are examples). This is hardly unexpected. Further, the flow on to the mainstream media - and there was a flow on - came from the overlap between bloggers and MSM writers.
- The overall conversation - posts and comments - was dominated by three blogs, Lavartus Prodeo, Club Troppo and Skepticslawyers. For some strange reason, Skepticslawyers was not included in the blog mapping exercise I referred to. Cattalaxy became involved, but at a lower level of intensity. If you mapped all this, I think that you would a similar pattern to that shown in the blog mapping referred to earlier.
- Excluding Andrew Bolt as a special case, there was a great deal of cross-commenting between the dominating blogs. The same people appeared and re-appeared.
- This blog remained an outrider, loosely connected but still separate. Measured by traffic, my post on the topic attracted visits, although generally other posts remained on top. However, references to my posts on the bigger blogs did draw traffic - Larvatus Prodeo 21 visits in the week, Club Troppo 8 visits, Catallaxy Files 6 visits.
- I attracted comments from three people - marcellous, kvd and Legal Eagle - a small number compared to the big blogs. All three commented on Skepticslawyers as well. LE is part of the Skepticslawyers combine, but began commenting here prior to that. Marcellous was an early member of what I call the village, the loose group of blogs and commenters that emerged especially around Neil. KVD is my most regular commenter.
I am not making any profound comments here. As I said, I am just interested in patterns.
Perhaps more importantly, all this has forced me to review the posts I have written on blogging over the last few years. Expect more on this later!