Very cool blog post from Tish Grier in the US. It’s about the move from A-list bloggers (big fish in big ponds) to little well loved fishies. In other words, if you blog about something obscure and niche and well… how about this one? Michael Hovnanian’s Fingerings are Wrong! (Where Sensible Bass Players Try to Right the Mostrous Evil Being Done on Michael Hovnanian’s CSO Bass Blog). You may not make it to the top blog list. But other bass players will love/hate you for it. I think.
Now I’d been thinking quite a bit about this since Dave Sifry’s resignation and all the talk about Technorati’s “irrelevance”–because when I came into blogging (almost 3 years ago now–with my personal blog which is no longer viewable) Technorati was pretty much the gold standard for figuring out where *you* were in relation to all the other bloggers out there…we talked about things like “linklove” and “link whoring” and that sort of stuff because it was through linking to one another that many of us even got readers.
These were the days before RSS readers became popular and before Google launched its blogsearch.
Blog readers were mostly other bloggers, and it was other bloggers who helped the news consumers find good stuff by pointing to the good stuff via blogroll permalinks and post links. This was how you, the lowly blogger, built influence and authority–esp. if you could get in an A-lister’s blogroll….
As long as that A-lister was in your sphere of interest. No point being on the A-list blog for say, some software development guru if you blog about travel books. Well, not much anyway. Except for the “loved by a A-lister” lift in Technorati ranking that you would get. Here’s another snippet:
Enter the post link–which was a link in someone’s blog to one of your posts. This could also bring in reader traffic, but it “aged out” of Technorati’s rank calculation after a period of time.
And “linklove”–well, that was a concept that I’m not sure we really care about anymore…now that some blogs are more about advertising and making money from advertising than they are about building friendships, community, and thought-influence…
Ways of measuring and reading blogs have dramatically changed since 2005–with the popularity of Trackbacks, RSS Readers, Tags, and other social news sites like Digg and Reddit and a plethora of other ways to find blogs beyond Technorati…
But the strange thing is, the traffic and links and popularity generated by these new services are very, very hard to pull together. Technorati’s ranking system (as long as it was pulling in all your links on a timely basis) was really the best for figuring out your importance…
But now to the zinger:
Or will the A-list go away totally–and one’s “authority” or “popularity” or whatever you want to call it become contingent on the influence one has in a particular community or with a particular group of people? Is it now more about the readers and newshounds–folks we used to call “lurkers“–and not about what goes on *just* among the bloggerati?
The landscape is changing quickly, folks. No dobut about that….and maybe in the end it won’t matter about the community of bloggers as much as about meeting the needs of the “customer.”
Remember my rules on Bloggerati Australia:
First Rule of Bloggerati: There is NO Bloggerati. Just a bunch of people posting up stuff. That’s how the blogosphere works. Level playing field and all that. Bloggerati, is not a “formula” for Australia’s most popular Web 2.0 company, or application or blog. There are some super sites out there that do that including Alexa, Google, Megalicious and so on. This is for me and a bunch of friends (i.e. you) to post up what YOU think is important. Remember the First Rule.
I believe the tendency to A-list bloggers is to substitute what we don’t know (how social media can really work, in a non-mass way) with what we do know (an editor, a TV programmer, a talkshow host). As we take baby steps, we’ll let go of the hands of the “Top Bloggers” and be running off and playing with our friends. Note that my blogroll (on the right) is not of A-listers (one naughty blogger only posted 3 times and hasn’t done another one since February) but of people I meet in real life. i.e. if you want to hassle me to be on my blogroll, you have to buy me coffee. I’m not silly.
Full Disclosure: I occasionally make it on to a top Australian blog list or top Social Network one. I’m completely thrilled and running around the room screaming gleefully when that happens. I ring my Mum and tell her. She jumps around excitedly too. (Well, she says that she is). I think about ringing an ex-bf and telling him, but decide against it as too needy. I just thought you should know that, in the interest of transparency. But I’m not owning up to bribing Meg with drinks…. 😛 I guess I am saying that A-lists are fun, not to be taken seriously and are not always relevant to your blog about ancient knitting patterns in caveman times. Or whatever.