For the past five years, Powerline has been the most influential blog, not just in America, but because it was so in America, also on the globe, both in terms of impact on the craft of journalism and on the course of actual events. No one can say for certain at any given time which is the most influential blog, as influence is a mysterious concept, a measurement of both size of audience, the audience’s actual power to order events, and the blog’s impact on the use of that power consciously or unconsciously. But measured over the past five years, there is no close second, period.
Powerline’s readership is both very large and very powerful. … in the first five years of the ‘sphere, Powerline set the standard for how to blog and mattered more than any other site, at least among sites that were not corporate to some extent. (The gang at The Corner and here at Townhall are professional journalists who blog. The Powerline trio, though now earning income from their site, were not called to what they did by other than their interest in events. They are like the amateur competing at Augusta –except they routinely beat all the pros and get the Green Jacket.)
Powerline’s trio are thus the most significant citizen journalists of the first age of internet journalism, and wold be even had they not toppled Dan Rather. Like it or not –and those on the left won’t– their coming into being and their writings and associated endeavors will be studied far into the future. They didn’t just occasionally make the weather in American journalism over the past five years, they changed the weather patterns. They set a standard, delivered a product, and obliged MSM to change how it dealt with citizen journalists and their work. They were aided in this by tens of thousands of other bloggers, of course, but to a degree not yet even remotely appreciated Powerline’s authors had an enormous and lasting effect on American journalism.
29 May 2007