part evolution, part intelligent design
I wouldn't use the term intelligent design for a large number of blogs; rather purposeful. But the juxtaposition made by Stephen Baker between Evolution and Intelligent Design is quite interesting. I would like to propose a slightly different point of view, driven by biological considerations; nothing to infirm the main assertion of Stephen Baker, but a more functional way to consider things. Petri dishes are two-dimensional media; difficult to have a fast spread of new elements among the population on there surfaces. On the other hand, the blogosphere is n-dimensional, and n varies from spot to spot, I mean from blogger to blogger (I keep the timeline off to simplify). That make it much more powerful then simple viruses, without even implying intelligence. And if there is a visible net created, represented by the blogrolls, one should not minimize the importance of bookmarks collections in bloggers' browsers. Most blogs don't display the full collection of them. And one should not consider linking as approval. Links may head to subjects that are discussed and not necessarily approved. The blogosphere is much more mycelium like, with cells freely communicating in syncytial configurations [dict] and expanding on as many dimensions as possible (languages, subjects of interest, contacts etc.). And learning is more oriented by winning strategies then failures. This is the most virus-like and evolution related part. The fittest to the public's interest are the most exposed to discovery and (thus) imitation. Obscure blogs that don't attract at least medium audiences aren't used as examples for successful blogging. Exposure and consequent longevity replace the survival feature of the biosphere. Failure is almost invisible, lost in Googles low pagerank. But Evolution and Intelligent Design coexist in the blogosphere. That's true!