One thing I learned at Technorati is that one sure-fire way to get linked to by bloggers is to write an article about blogging. Sure enough, The Economist and Nick Carr have, with their 'death of the blogosphere' articles, garnered a fair bit of linkage.
Their curious obsession with the Technorati Top 100 is missing what is really happening. As JP points out, the old blogging crew are still around, they're just blogging less that those paid to do so a dozen times a day. Not because they are less interested or engaged, but because there are now many new ways to do what we used blogs for back then.
With Technorati, and trackback and pingback, we built tools to follow cross-blog conversations, and learned that we are each others’ media. As I wrote in 2004:
The great thing about weblogs is when you discover someone. Someone who makes sense to you, or someone who surprises you with a viewpoint you hadn't thought of. Once you have found them you can subscribe to their feeds and see how they can keep inspiring or surprising you.
You can even start a blog, link to them, and join the conversation
A year later I reiterated:
By tracking people linking to me or mentioning my name, Technorati helps me in this distributed asynchronous conversation (thats how I found Mike and Dave's comments, after all). However, as I've said before, "I can read your thoughts, as long as you write them down first". In order to be in the conversation, you need to be writing and linking. Perforce, this means that those who write and link more, and are written about and linked to more, are those who most see the utility of it.
What has happened since is that the practices of blogging have become reified into mainstream usage. Through social networks and Twitter and Reader shared items and Flickr and HuffDuffer and all the other nicely-focused gesture spreading tools we have, the practice of blogging, of mediating the world for each other, has become part of the fabric of the net.
This may be the first blogpost I've written since August, but the many digital publics I'm part of have been flowing media and friendly gestures to and from me all the time.