So, I just found that Hype Machine has changed their front page default setting to show only the top 100 music blogs, as measured by the number of people in Hype Machine who register the blog as a favorite (I think).  Although I’d love it if you made me one of your favorites, I have to join with some of my fellow indie-only and small-time we-post-no-leaks bloggers to resist this change.  It’s stupid.  Now, if you want to see twenty blogs that all post a leaked Britney track or who only publicize TV on the Radio, Hype Machine will be for you.  But if you want to see a steady stream of strange covers, lesser-known artists, and retrospectives, you’ll have to go to Elbows.

I should also say that this probably won’t hurt me personally all that much.  I get very little traffic from Hype Machine, and have often been irritated at how I’ll post a song and nobody picks it up, but when the bigger bloggers post the same track, they get in the top 10.  Whatever.  I’m not in this for popularity, and I’m not in it for ad sales.  Both are nice benefits, of course, but a loss of either will not drive me out of the blogosphere.  I’ve got about 600 regular readers who like what I do because it’s indie, not mainstream, and not being in the Hype 100 is part of not being mainstream.

Still, music blogs are traditionally a community of cheerleaders and friendly tastemakers, not an adversarial group of competitors.  Now, we’ll have to fight for readers if we want to get bigger numbers (which drives ad sales).  Again, I won’t be doing that, but many people will.  So, this change is sad.  It is clearly an attempt to corporatize music blogs, and is evidence that Hype Machine has become too big for its britches.  I wonder if I should stop linking to it?

I suggest that all of you who truly love music blogging as an independent, non-corporate means of learning about music, go to Hype Machine and tell them why what they’re doing is wrong.

I’m also calling on small-timers, like me, to more actively promote each other.  I’ve tried to do that over the years by writing shout-out posts once a month or so with all the cool stuff other folks are doing.  Let’s do more of this!

Thanks to Cover Lay Down for breaking this story.

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