Presidential Watch 08 has a fascinating map that illustrates how online political sites interact with each other.
The blue and red dots represent the left and right sides of American politics while the yellow dots represent mass media outlets including the Washington Post and NY Times.
To me, this shows the value of creating original content. Both the left and right leaning blogs rely on mass media for original reporting to fuel their takes on the stories of the day.
This, of course, has implications for anyone publishing content online, including bloggers. If you create original content that others find valuable there is a much better chance people will link to you.
For most bloggers, including business bloggers and part-time journalists, the bar isn’t nearly as high as that set by the Washington Post for political reporting. You don’t need to hire a team to ride along on a bus with John McCain to be influential. Just keep abreast on your industry’s trends and report on them with some level of regularity.