Trying to become an influential blogger? Chris Bowers over at MyDD (cross-referenced here at Steve Gilliard) has some advice for you.
In general I agree with what Chris has to say here, though I think it's definitely possible for someone to break into the A-list based on their reputation. If Bonddad, for instance, formed and publicized his own blog, he would get a ton of readership, and might even become as popular as Atrios.
Speaking of Atrios--when Chris refers to A-list bloggers who do nothing but quote a paragraph from the newswire and add a couple of lines of commentary, I wonder if this is who he's talking about. I mean, it seems improper for a new arrival like me with no readership to critique one of the most popular bloggers out there, but that's what having my own blog entitles me to do, and I'm going to do it: it seems like Duncan is living more off his laurels at this point. Unlike The News Blog or AmericaBlog, just to name a couple of examples, Eschaton doesn't do anything for me any more these days, and I almost never go there any more. Then again, I am also addicted to DailyKos.
Which reminds me--the other obnoxious problem is that if I write a diary on DailyKos, I could get several hundred comments on it if the diary is worth something, and actually start some discussion--but if I post something here, it won't be seen by practically anybody. While the Scoop-powered blog has been a great community resource, it has pretty much sounded the death-knell of the small blog. It's amazing that consolidation can have such effects in the medium that was precisely designed to be able to combat...well...media consolidation.