The ongoing debate over weblogger diversity leaves me wishing there were better tools to find new voices making their way up the long tail.
I'm too lazy to find them on my own (with the exception of new bloggers in Jacksonville and St. Augustine), so I link to the same people often -- mostly the crowd of plugged-in web technologists who I have read for years.
They are admittedly a largely white and male group, but I assuage my liberal guilt by linking often to Bill Lazar, who as you may not realize is a transgendered teen-aged Cuban-American evangelical whose mother was a notch baby.
In the early days of weblogging, when we had to compose our RSS feeds by hand and walk six miles uphill to and from school, there was a service that highlighted new blogs that were just starting to attract attention. Or maybe it listed new memes just starting to attract blogs. The memory is the second thing to go.
Using the Technorati API, I have written Java code to grab some XML data that quantifies how popular a weblog is, putting together an element like this:
I'm fomenting plans for a web service built on this data and Weblogs.Com that can find and present new blogs, using a metric that catches them when they start to attract a following.
For instance, the site could display new posts from weblogs that have at least 25 and no more than 50 inbound blog links.
I don't know yet how successful it would be in presenting blogs worth finding, but there can never be too many programmers working on a cure for information obesity.