Sunday, March 12, 2006

What does your Blog Host say about you

This is only really a semi serious post but I would like to get it down and out into the Blogosphere.

I've noticed that the whole idea of which blog host you use, seems to be getting some kind of class system associated with it, and I am likening it to the newspaper industry.

For instance, Typepad blogs seems to me to be regarded as the broadsheet newspapers (So a Times, Financial Times, Wall Street Journal) with in depth analysis and quality journalism, whereas Blogger (my host) seems to be more along the lines of a Daily Mail or Daily Express. Livejournal and MySpace seem to me to be looked at more along the lines of The Sun and The Daily Mirror (with occasional accounts that are definitely more in line with The Daily Sport.)

Now when I chose my Blog host I had a look and thought to myself “hmmm Google owned, must be good.” and so set one up. I was also aware that a few people I knew also had Blogger accounts. As soon as I started reading other Blogs though, I definitely started to feel the class system at work on the Blogospere. Now naturally there are exceptions to this, but overall I am detecting a segmentation of writers, and weight put to them based on their blog host.

If correct, all this begs the question, that if someone wants to be taken more seriously with their writing, then should they swap blog hosts, and if they do, what kind of impact that has. Does a Sun Journalist have issues moving from the Sun to the Sunday Times, and does the readership take them seriously (on both sides) if they do?

So, how many people have swapped over, and what experiences have they had (if any) of doing so?

I am reminded of a phenomenon from ten years ago when the commercial web was just starting up. In those days people gathered on IRC chat rooms and just talked about things that interested them. It was an International audience and so gave the opportunity to exchange social and political ideas from different perspectives. We felt like (and probably were) pioneers, creating something new.

Way back then however there was a snobbery associated with your Internet service provider, where the cool kids were using Demon, Earthlink and Netcom accounts (Netcom in particular was cool because they enabled you to dial in to a local number whether you were in the UK or the US). If however someone was using an AOL account, and wandered in, chances were they got a hard time, because it was considered that anyone on AOL was probably stupid and had nothing to contribute to the debate.

It was probably unfair in most cases, but it did exist, and I am wondering whether the same kind of thing is happening on the Blogosphere, either consciously or unconsciously.

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