Baronger's Scribblings

Monday, February 14, 2005

Let's have a carnival

Today we have the 14th edition of the "Carnival of The Capitalists." This is a huge grouping of economist blogs. Yes the blogsphere is not all politics. Though economics is probably politics near cousin. Weekendpundit is hosting this carnival. He has done a nice job too, and it's not a simple listing of links. It's divided into sections and there is a short synopsis and intro to each of the blogs that are taking part in the festivities.

The first carnival I saw was the "Carnival of the Cats," which was a huge grouping of catblogging. Since then the phenomenon of canrivaling has taken off. These function much in the same way as the old medieval markets. They are held regularly, and gather all the vendors together in a central town square. The only difference is that this is a market of ideas. What the blog-sphere has done is bring the market-place of ideas into a true reality. So from recipes to economics we now have regular market days.

From Merriam-Webster's
Main Entry: car·ni·val
Pronunciation: 'kär-n&-v&l
Function: noun
Etymology: Italian carnevale, alteration of earlier carnelevare, literally, removal of meat, from carne flesh (from Latin carn-, caro) + levare to remove, from Latin, to raise
1 : a season or festival of merrymaking before Lent
2 a : an instance of merrymaking, feasting, or masquerading b : an instance of riotous excess [a carnival="" of="" violence=""]
3 a : a traveling enterprise offering amusements b : an organized program of entertainment or exhibition : FESTIVAL


The blog carnival is bringing back and reinterpreting the third definition. This is because no one person, is the main host of the carnival. It moves from blog to blog, usually regulated by the central blog that started it. Each blog putting together information it thinks will sell the best in the market-place of ideas. Sending out notices to prospective blogs to submit entrees.

The market is a great boon, for both the buyers and sellers of information. It makes it easier for them to find each other. For the blogger it gives them a chance to be noticed. For the consumer it let's them easily compare the wares, in order to find the best sources of information. The carnival tends to bring out the best goods. The organizer of the carnival, makes things easier to find and can even vet the various entries. The consumers go around commenting, on the various blogs; giving feedback and choice opinions in trade. Properly organized everyone wins out.

From the chaos of the blogs an organizational force has appeared. Though still chaotic, there begins to develop an underlying order. Trusted sources and big names serve as a nucleus around which markets develop. Instead of millions of voices crying atop lonely mountain peaks, we have the bustle of the ancient market. Still chaotic there is an underlying order. Like a seed crystal dropped into solution, nucleation begins.

Reputation is what everyone strives for. Reputation cannot be brought, but can only be given. It is the reputation of certain bloggers that serve as the nucleus around which a society forms. Thousands of blog entries, like a bunch of carnival wagons gather to circle around a reputable blogger. They add their shouts to the din, but they are no longer shouting an isolated mountain. The marketplace bustles for a couple of days and then dissolves till the next carnival. Some go away richer in reputation and some go away poorer. Some will win more blog hits in the future, and some will lose out. Either way the democritization of information is winning out.

All we need now is an annual Jahrmarkt to develop. Soon no doubt we will have conventions in the physical world. The barbarians are no longer at the gates. The main stream media, long the gate keepers of information no longer decide the topics of discussion. Instead the carnival pulls up to the gates of the MSM and holds a fair. The carnival is not a replacement to MSM, it is an appendage. The MSM wanders through the streets of these impromptu bazaars and picks up information. The blogs don't really want to destroy MSM, they just want to add their voice.

Who are these big names? Blogs like Instapundit which serves as a a general reference to what is happening. Blogs like the marmot which serve as a regional blog. Blogs like SWWBO which assisted in the creation of the carnivals. They rise up and other blogs gravitate to them. They form the hubs of network links. The carnivals are a collection of individuals and as such they will merge, split up and new ones will arise from the wilderness. Slowly the new market-place of ideas gathers form.

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