I really like this How News Travels on the Internet piece from Stephen VanDyke. I’m not sure that it’s 100% – for instance the correlation between the genesis of the stories and their transportation through the lesser Blogosphere and beyond is not that clearly defined – but it’s certainly a good start.
My personal view, FWIW, is that genuinely new stories all start via personal experience (eg a visit to an event etc), press sources or a brand new web source and then migrate via a complex interaction between the lesser Blogoshere and the MetaNews sites. I think that the blog indexing, dark matter and greater Blogosphere come somewhat later as the story percolates through the system. Certainly that’s been my experience with stuff that The Ferret has broken.
I also like his ‘Proper blog etiquette is to attribute your source, but it is rarely done’, although things are not always this cut and dried are they? Perhaps someone should come up with a Blog Code which covers things like attribution, front page blogroll accreditation and the like? Or is that too pompous?