Tuesday, March 14, 2006

# Posted 10:46 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

THE WONKOSPHERE. I like that word. I plan to use it as often as possible. I was hoping that I invented it myself, but that clearly isn't the case, since Crooked Timber and Digby have already used it.

Based on some casual Googleogrophy, the term 'wonkosphere' seems to be much more popular on the left. One commenter (himself a liberal blogger) on Matt Yglesias' old blog even argued that the left-of-center blogosphere has two halves: the "Kosophere" and the wonkosphere.

Still, 'wonkosphere' isn't all that popular, since it only generates 14,400 hits on Google. And none of those sources seem to be part of the mainstream media.

Anyhow, what I really like about the term is that it projects the language of the blogosphere chronologically backwards onto a community of individuals (the wonks) who existed long before us. And the term really does capture the idiosyncratic, sort of self-enclosed dialogue that goes on within the community of Washington experts.

Of course, I can't help but enjoy the fact that the term is an assertion of blog power. It imposes our terminology on their enterprise -- an outcome that isn't wholly unjust, since blogs have very rapidly won over a much larger audience than the wonks could ever hope for (although many bloggers were originally wonks.)

The question now is what else can be referred to as an "-osphere"? Hmmm. One solid candidate is the pornosphere. Or one might say that Kevin Drum belongs to the catosphere. And fans of Mr. Yglesias belong to the Mattosphere.

Additional candidates welcome below.
(9) opinions -- Add your opinion

I would echo Matt's commenter. Most all popular blogs on the left could easily divided between the more lefty/netroots/ideology of winnerism and the more centrist/wonky/tactical. What does that mean? Well probably TNR will always hate on Kos & company.
It's not clear to me that "centrist" and "wonky" go hand in hand. Max Sawicky is very wonky but not by any means a centrist.

Otherwise, yes.
The snarkosphere.
There is the unclaimed queerosphere

though I don't know if that term should apply to bloggers who are queer or people who blog mostly about queer topics.
Snarkosphere is an excellent one, lame man.

Femosphere isn't as popular as I'd have thought, and sadly, eclectosphere hasn't been adopted by anyone.
A source of _GREAT_ irritation to many scientists right now is the proliferation of "-omes." In an effeort to get funding every damn thing has been labelled, uselessly, with this suffix: whereas once we had the "genome", we now routinely discuss the rather less useful and less well defined concept of the "proteome" and walking around I see posters discussing symposia on the definitely useless concepts of the "interactome" and the "metabolome." At a seminar recently the speaker discussed the "chemome," bey which I think he meant, chemicals.

But you might use it nicely here: the "wonkome" sounds a bit more euphonious than "wonkosphere."
If Drum=cat then Tbogg = Basset so he is Bassetosphere?
I wonder if google keeps a file of one, two and three word searches that yield zero hits. That might be a valuable file. New clear connections, free from the ambiguity of previous usage, might be very useful to all sorts of image makers.
good effort thanks
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