Link Doping debate places Blogcritics against Republican bloggers
An interesting debate on the value of building links between like minded blogs has emerged with a scathing piece appearing on Blogcritics.org attacking the Alliance of Free Blogs, a right wing link network which targets the Truth Laid Bears blogging ecosystem.
The piece from Erik Grayson of Sobriquet Magazine takes an interesting look at the whole concept of “link doping” and describes the phenomenon as such;
I would like to emphasize the fact that link doping essentially uses the generally positive conventions of blogrolling and webringing/community-building to grossly exaggerate the significance or quality of a given blog.
Bizarrely though, the best the Alliance of Free Blogs could respond with is that their method of cross linking is somehow better then that of Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame, who apparently commits the crime of linking at random.
Whilst the battle perhaps appears to be nothing more than a minor partisan stoush, the rise of blogging versions of link farms and statistical manipulation sites, such as that featured at blogclicker.com has the potential to undermine the credibility of blogging as a a whole as the blogosphere continues to mature from niche early adapter marketplace to mainstream media and content player.
I would just to clarify a couple of things, if I might.
First, I think I should emphasize that I do not speak for Blogcritics in the post you cite. Though I hope many of the writers posting at Blogcritics do agree with me, I cannot claim, as your title seems to imply, that I speak for anyone at Blogcritics other than myself. Far from being anti-Republican, Blogcritics is a truly demotic online presence, embracing ideas from across the socio-political spectrum, including those of Republicans. In fact, a good number of Blogcritics regulars also belong to the Alliance of Free Blogs.
Also, to be fair, several Alliance members (including Harvey Olson, whose website you cite) have responded intelligently to the issues I raise. I believe the Glenn Reynolds reference was made at least partially in jest, in keeping with the tradition of a long-running gag amongst the Alliance. Admittedly, though, jokes often mislead people when delivered deadpan, which I suspect is what happened with Harvey’s post. He really does have better things to say on his website.
That said, despite the arguments opposing my posting, I stand by what I have said and greatly appreciate your sympathetic coverage of what seems to have become something of a debate.
Thanks for your time and best wishes,
What Erik said.
Except that the Alliance post wasn’t partially in jest – it was completely so.
Here’s the serious post at my website that Erik alluded to: