Dave Sifry has some interesting thoughts on what he politely calls the magic middle of the blogosphere — Matt Cutts of Google called it the big butt (between the tiny head and the long tail).
This realm of publishing, which I call “The Magic Middle” of the attention curve, highlights some of the most interesting and influential bloggers and publishers that are often writing about topics that are topical or niche, like Chocolate and Zucchini on food, Wi-fi Net News on Wireless networking, TechCrunch on Internet Companies, Blogging Baby on parenting, Yarn Harlot on knitting, or Stereogum on music – these are blogs that are interesting, topical, and influential, and in some cases are radically changing the economics of trade publishing.
At Technorati, we define this to be the bloggers who have from 20-1000 other people linking to them. As the chart above shows, there are about 155,000 people who fit in this group. And what is so interesting to me is how interesting, exciting, informative, and witty these blogs often are. I’ve noticed that often these blogs are more topical or focused on a niche area, like gardening, knitting, nanotech, mp3s or journalism and a great way to find them has been through Blog Finder….
Given that there’s a lot of interesting topical posts by influential or authoritative bloggers in those topic areas, we formulated an idea: Why not use these authoritative bloggers as a new kind of editorial board? Watch what they do, what they post about, and what they link to as input to a new kind of display – a piece of media that showed you the most interesting posts and conversations that related to a topic area, like food, or technology, or politics, or PR. The idea is to use the bloggers that know the most about an area or topic to help spot the interesting trends that may never hit the “A-list”. We call this new section Explore, and we’ve seeded it with some of the most interesting topics that we could find. But one of the nice things about Explore is that there are no gatekeepers, and that anyone who writes interesting topical blog posts can get included simply by tagging his blog and tagging his posts….
Yes, it’s not about an A-list. It’s about the niches and the experts and the influencers in them.
: By the way, one of the most-used search terms that land people here is “big ass.” I used that phrase when I wrote about a big ad I was going to take. I am assuming and hoping that people who search for “big ass” and land here are disappointed. I hope and assume the same will be true of people who search on the words in this headline.