Mar 17, 2009, 06:14AM

Elitist Hype

Hype Machine, one of the biggest music blog aggregators out there, is drastically changing its front page setting so that only those blogs that qualify as top-100 blogs will be posted on the homepage.

An affront to an egalitarian Web:

See, four days ago, the Hype Machine blog proudly posted the following quote from web industry guru Terry McBride: “I love music blogs because they’re music fans. They’re authentic and passionate about music … All they’re doing is spreading the word about stuff they like. The authentic will rise to the top, which is why I like aggregators like The Hype Machine. I think it’s brilliant.”

The irony of touting a quote which names you as a prime example of a model in which “the authentic will rise to the top”, and then only four days later changing your own aggregator to one which keeps the authentic and new from rising anywhere as easily, is pretty obvious, I hope.

Look, I believe in community and diversity and personal choice, and I see the web as one of the best community spaces we’ve got. But in my real life, I’ve got two degrees in social theory, cultural change, and community potential in the online world, and I know that seemingly small actions like this one can have a significant effect on our range of experience, and thus on what our quality of life and breadth of choice might be.

Related, Gabriel Baker's column on digging for music in the Internet.


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