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.