The misleading concept of ‘the blogosphere’

From Digital Methods, by Richard Rogers, loc 671-688:

The “sphere” in “blogosphere” refers in spirit to the public sphere; it also may suggest the geometrical form, in which all points on the surface are the same distance from the center or core. One could think of such an equidistance as an egalitarian ideal, in which every blog, or even every source of information, is knowable by the core and vice versa. It has been found, however, that certain sources are central on the web. They receive the vast majority of links as well as hits. Following such principles as that the rich get richer (aka Matthew effect and power law distributions), the sites already receiving attention tend to garner more. The distance between the center and other nodes may only grow, with the idealized sphere being a fiction, however much a useful one. I would like to put forward an approach that takes up the question of distance from core to periphery, and operationalizes it as the measure of differences in rankings between sources per sphere. Spherical analysis is a digital method for measuring and learning from the distance between sources in different spheres on the web.

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