The inevitability of the A-list?
The blogger A-list is inevitable. The good news: it's also irrelevant.
Inevitable for so many of the reasons I mentioned in my June post , Who's on top. We strive for success. When we reach it, we want the recognition. And we want to defend the territory, so we build barriers to entry. It is human nature, not-so-pure and simple.
The latest entrant in the ego-fest: EgoSurf. Here you can type your name and associated Web sites and blogs, and get an ego rating. Saw this a few places, lastly in David Parmet's blog, where he laments:
"This is exactly the sort of A-lister bullshit elitist wannabe crap we all hoped blogging and social media would destroy."
I agree wholeheartedly. I'm certainly glad my score didn't crawl up into the red "egomaniac" zone and wasn't zero either, but I just don't understand why anyone cares about this sort of thing, other than as a joke.
Sure, I ego-surf. Who doesn't. But it doesn't mean anything. I get lots of Google hits because of the online persistence of things that I've done in my career combined with length of time on the net. For 10 years, I was the spokesperson for internet filtering software companies, first Cyber Patrol and then SurfControl, during a time when the topic was hot. Supreme Court cases. Laws. White House Summits. Congressional Hearings. FTC Hearings. NSF Meetings. The list goes on. Since many of the online docs that include my name are government docs, they persist. An interesting look into my professional history, but not that relevant today. Unless you want to retain me to be your spokesperson for a controversial product :-)
Of course, you can also find a recipe for German Chocolate Cake that I posted to Usenet in 93 or 94. If you've been online for any length of time, you will leave a trail. And it is cool to look at it every so often. But it doesn't make you any more qualified or talented or smart etc. etc. than anyone else. I imagine you could get a high score from all sorts on online activities that are not at all professional (unless you are in the oldest profession.) Provided of course that you use a consistent identity.
So, why am I wittering away about EgoSurf and what does it have to do with an A-list of bloggers anyway?
Here's why: people take this stuff seriously, and we shouldn't. So what if there is an A-list of bloggers. Good for them, I hope they don't implode under the pressure of their own egos and the demands of staying on "top" now that they've gotten there. Never mind that the whole concept of there BEING a top seems very clue-less.
All these lists are irrelevant.
The good news about the blogosphere is that you don't need to be on some top 10 (or 100) list for your thoughts, opinions, hopes and fears to reach, and touch, an audience. For you to be able to meet other bloggers, IRL and virtually, whose work you respect.
Sure you might not get invited to speak at all those conferences (except maybe blogher, where one of the requirements is to check your ego at the door) but so what. Just eats into billable time, and it is usually the same old same old anyway :-)
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to speak at conferences, but it's just not top priority. I need to pay the bills, and that means client work. Sometimes it is a sexy project that people want to hear about. But most of the time, it is the day in, day out work of supporting the marketing efforts of my clients. And that takes up pretty much all of my time.
All you need in the blogosphere is a blog, and the courage to have an opinion. Readers will find you. Maybe not thousands, but it will be the right group for you. And that's enough for me.
For a humourous perspective on the A-list thing, check out the top ten blogger lies at gapingvoid.
Posted @ 9:01AM in Blogging
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