There seems to be a bit of a brew-haha gathering on blogland. Well sort of, but unless you read certain sites you’d never know so let me summarise for you.
Technorati are trying to establish themselves as THE auditors of the web, amongst other things they maintain a “Top 100 blogs” list which lists all the top linked sites. It’s currently questionable that this “A list” is reliable and accurate, with others spring up in competition – Feedster’s Top 500 for example (500 does seem a little OTT mind you).
BlogHer, the conference (movement?) aimed at increasing the standing of women in blogging, and featured the following debate topic: “The BlogHer Debate question for 2005 is this: Women bloggers, how do you want the world to learn about what you’re creating — if at all? Do you want to play by today’s rules or change the game? … Does the current link-based power structure matter to you?”
The link will take you to a more detailed discussion of how we got to this point.
The general idea, and something I’ve discussed here before, is that the current way of ranking the A-list gives the older blogs more prominence than may be accurate and discounts the inputs from new blogs – the female angle at BlogHer stems from the early adoptance of the internet by male dominated establishments I.M.O. – and is gathering momentum.
People have started de-linking A-list sites (I have some in my blogroll on the right) and while it’s easy to think of all this as yet another storm in a teacup and nothing that is of real importance, and while it gives more credence to the “navel-gazing” charge given to a lot of blogs by the mainstream media, I think we may be at a fundamental point in blogging’s evolution. I’m not unique in this thought, far from it, but I’m not sure the ground swell of reaction is focussed in the right direction.
Instead of discounting the A-list shouldn’t we be challenging them? Saying to them “come on, you are in a position of influence, use it wisely”? The people who are linked to the most wield a lot of “link-power” and yet few (any?) use that to promote new or upcoming blogs. Part of the problem may be a question of recognising which blogs to link to, but as has been demonstrated elsewhere, if someone has a mind to it, and with a bit of self-promotion, you can place yourself on their radar quite easily.
There is a lot of talk surrounding this and other similar issues at the moment – top 100/500 lists, ranking stats, and so on. I think they are being given undue focus though, it’s almost as though some people forget what blogging is about. Distilled to it’s core, blogging is about content. Those with good content will prosper, those without will not. It really shouldn’t be any more difficult than that.