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February 13, 2006

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» The trick is in the wrist... from desertlightjournal.blog-city.com
Doc Searls has pretty much had it with the discussion on gatekeeping and A-listers, yadayada. This is understandable. (If youve missed all or part of this discussion, as I did, check Docs post for a roundup.) I'd justread Dave Wi [Read More]

Comments

Matt

Have you tried Megite at http://www.megite.com, it is a memeorandum like service.

John Dowdell

"For A-list bloggers, the price is the mastery of technology, terminology, rhetoric, and the discipline to dedicate hours of your day to reading, researching, and posting insightful new postings and replies. To be on the A-list, people need to believe you matter, and the currency of the medium is intelligence and literacy."

I'm not sure of this part... the currency is the link, isn't it? It's natural that more links go to personal acquaintances than to unknown writers found through a search engine. The connections among the original magazine/conference social circuit were cemented in pagerank years back with things like blogrolls. These connections change over time, sure, but they tend to stay the same too.

I'm with you on "people need to believe you matter", but suspect that the criteria for this is the normal human mix of social and intellectual attractions.

"One thing we have far too much of on the net today is spurious, unresearched and unreliable information. The A-list is raising the bar."

I'm not sure of this, either, because highly-viewed bloggers have published under-researched stories in the past, to the detriment of others. The discovery of contrary evidence seems to be the antidote to false news, and our systems aren't quite there yet....

Gary Wisniewski

"The currency is the link..."

Well, maybe in the most literal way, yes. But, if the A-list is a club, the price of admission is a bit more complex. One of the things that sets Memeorandum apart is that it analyzes relationships between blogs, attempting to go beyond simple linking. In fairness, any comment or post which grabs attention probably pushes one up the ladder. I suppose you can get on the A-list by being the worst possible writer with the most detestable rhetoric. Even the A-list needs court jesters.

"The A-list is raising the bar..."

I see this all the time! Scoble posted something idiotic the other day and within 1 hour he had about 20 comments pointing out how ludicicrous it was. There is a lot of pressure to work harder to be more accurate, research your work better, and write well. Sure there are mistakes, but lately, I'm noticing more and more mistakes in mainstream journalism as the sub-editors step aside and let the writers indulge in "direct access". Blogging integrity is, I believe, getting better, and mainstream media is, though still on top, NOT getting better.

Sadly, I think this is a short-term phenomenon. Scott Karp and others pointed out just how "niche" the blogging world really is. I am so impressed with the quality of comments and posts across many, many tech blogs. For a seemingly "public forum", bloggers appear to me to be more well educated, more literate, more focused. Yet, everybody is hoping it will go mainstream. When it does, my "comments keep the A-listers working hard" theory is history. Imagine Scoble's posts jammed with unsolicited comments from average MS Office users asking about the preferences toolbar. Even Scoble might throw in the towel!

hugh macleod

Ummm... who is this "A-List", exactly? Fred Wilson has a lower Technorati ranking than me... does that make me an "A-Lister"?

At least if you're a member of the Bohemian Club, you have a certificate to say that you belong. But who hands out the membership certificates in the blogosphere? It's rather vague.

Gary Wisniewski

"It's rather vague"....

You bet it is vague. However, the A-list is a useful metaphor for where things seem to be heading. The notion of who is "on the A-list" is just forming in the blogosphere, which may be why this whole thread of discussion has raised a bit more attention than prior threads.

But, it IS forming. Technorati ranks aren't very useful because they don't, in and of themselves, create visibility and engagement. It may be that their ranking algorithm isn't great, but more likely it's because Technorati doesn't choose to create "new content" from their rankings in the way Memeorandum does. Technorati is about measuring, reporting, organizing. Memorandum is about emulating conventional media. It's the kind of technology bridge needed to solve visibility problems, but it also is one of the prime types of technologies that will create the metphorical A-list.

Who knows, if the masses ever throng to the blogs, maybe the only way to solve the pecking order problems will be to issue certificates to those allowed to make comments. That will close the loop. :-)

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