Saturday, October 08, 2005

I'm through with lists

c|net has decided to enter the list game, publishing their c|net Blog 100. This is the last straw list:

I vow to henceforth not use a single one of the ridiculous lists of "top" blogs ever again. Not the Technorati Top 100 (which I haven't looked at in months anyway) nor the Feedster 500 (which has mysteriously remain unchanged since its introduction in early August, despite theoretically being a monthly feature) and especially not this c|net list.

I seriously wonder whether they actually read these blogs before not only choosing them but allocating them to their Categories.

Let's take the Open Source category. Don't get me wrong: I subscribe to Wil Wheaton; I subscribe to Doc Searls. But have you read their blogs? Do they strike you as the place to go for all things Open Source? Wil talks about poker, and, quite movingly, about his family and animals, and, quite charmingly, about being an actor...but this "Just a Geek" guy hasn't blogged much geekery in months! Doc, on the other hand, talks about all sorts of geeky stuff pretty regularly, interspersed with lots of other stuff. Very nice read. But if you put a blog in the Open Source category, then I want to read about Open Source culture, or developments on Open Source projects or, you know, stuff that's usually Open Source-related. I don't want to go read the blog of a guy who approves of Open Source in general.

Let's take the Law/Politics category. OK, how wussy are these c|net guys that they take one of the most popular blog segments out there, Politics, and a) combine it with Law to begin with, b) choose only 3 blogs (all of which are much more Law than Politics) and studiously avoid choosing any of the dynamic and powerful political blogs out there...on either side of the political fence? Ridiculous category.

I mean this isn't even about diversity (of which there's almost none) or going off the beaten path (which they did not. at. all.) This is actually about the credibility of their categories and their choices and how the twain meet.

OK, with all this do I "blog hunt"?

Shocking to say, but often I start with plain old Google. And now I use Technorati's new Blog Finder tool. And more often than not I start with one or two blogs I already know that are around the topic I'm interested in and start following the bread crumbs that lead from their posts and blog rolls.

What I usually don't do, and have now made a vow not to do is use some asinine "Top" list!

Amen to that! With apologies to Arlo Guthrie: If just one person does it, they might think she's crazy. But if we *all* do it, it could be a movement. And maybe the list makers would pay attention.
Thanks Susan. Again, I don't object to the blogs themselves...I read half of them. It's this arrogance of "we're going to tell you what's important", but executed so poorly. All blogvangelists should object to doesn't help our cause at all.
Hi Elisa,

Well, you've got a point about lists. Perhaps, though, the thing to take away is that when they are done by mainstream media outlets they validate blogs as a legitimate part of the public discourse. And that's progress.

Of course, one could take shots at the Blogher blogroll. Despite being a female blogger blogging almost daily for several years on a total of half a dozen blogs, and having made top lists five different times (although not all of the lists and not for the same blogs), no one has ever bothered to include me on the Blogher blogroll or invited me to speak at Blogher.

Good thing there's no money associated with being on any of these lists, or it might actually matter.

Well, the BlogHer Roll is comprised entirely of BlogHer '05 attendees and those who requested to be included, either via emails or by commenting on a post.

No request was denied, but we never went blog hunting for blogs to add on our own, because that would have put us in the position of saying we were arbiters...and possibly leaving someone out and offending (as I'm sorry to sense we may have done anyway in your case.)

I'm happy to add your blog. I've just added Small Business Trends. Please let me know if you have others you'd like to add.
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