Here is the Technorati Top 100 blogs list for today, which I converted into a line chart after reading Chris Anderson's The Long Tail. The Huffington Post is at the top of the chart with a Technology authority of 968 and Big Government, The Big Picture and Dvice round off the list with an authority of 762 each.
See how the graph falls steeply to just above 865, then goes down by a few big steps before tapering off. The sharp drop from the top shows how big is The Huffington Post's lead over the competition. The graph tapers off someway down below 865 as the competitors are more closely packed. (Chart created with this Google Chart generator.)
Gizmodo is second with an authority of 901, TechCrunch third (896), Mashable fourth (888), Boing Boing fifth ( 883), Engadget (880), The Daily Beast seventh (863), Gawker eighth (857), The Corner on National Review ninth (854) and Hot Air 10th (853).
TMZ is 11th (849), Think Progress and CNN Political Ticker tied at 12th (848), Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish 14th (834).
The rest of the pack are bunched more closely, with authorities ranging from 829 — that's Newsbusters.org — to 762, where Big Government is tied with The Big Picture and Dvice.
Those who read blogs don't, of course, go by the Technorati list. Celebrity watchers will read TMZ anyway, techies go for TechCrunch while politicos will get their kicks from The Daily Dish, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast.
That's what The Long Tail is all about. Chris Anderson describes how new technology has created niches, fragmenting mass markets.
Top 20 album sales are no longer what they were. Network TV is losing audience share to cable TV. We have so much choice we go for what we like and tune out the rest.
That is why the Technorati Top 100 is just like a bestseller list or a top 20 chart.
It shows the hottest blogs but doesn't determine what we read. It's a list, not a tastemaker.
The internet has created other means of persuasion, such as the recommendations I get from Google Reader based on what I read.
Chris Anderson describes how LAUNCHcast — now Yahoo Music Radio — did the same for music lovers.
The Long Tail makes fascinating reading.
I enjoyed reading Anderson's latest book, Free, even more. But that's because I love to blog. We all have our little niches — just like The Long Tail says.