The bandwagon effect has always been with us, but OTB’s James Joyner complains today about the baleful tendency of popular aggregators like Memeorandum to supercharge the herd instinct:
Regardless of how it happens, though, the result is the same: Everyone in a given niche winds up feeling obligated to weigh in. Indeed, I frequently see a headline or story somewhere, decide it’s not worth my time, and then get drawn into it hours later when I see conversations about it on Twitter or my blog feed reader. Sometimes, it’s just a function of “well, this must be important so let me say something.”
I have a solution: don’t do it! If it’s not something that you personally care much about, just skip it. I, for one, would actually enjoy the blogosphere more if fewer people repeated the same things over and over, and in particular I’d pay more attention to OTB if it had fewer posts. I can’t read 20 or 30 posts a day on a single blog, which means that I probably miss lots of good stuff that gets lost in the clutter.
So let’s make 2011 the year of decluttering in the blogosphere. Now if I can just figure out a way to get this meme to catch on.