Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Blog Establishment?

One of the biggest buzzes to hit the blogosphere suddenly: blog networks, "A Listers", and an allegedly "impenetrable" blog establishment.

"I'll never be an A List blogger," newbies whine. "They have a tight clique, and won't let anybody in. The blogosphere is going to be a handful of top bloggers, while the rest are ignored and unprofitable, no matter how many dorky ads we put on our blog."

Accusations of clinking (clique/cul-de-sac linking), favoritism, and the goo rising to the top of the (mostly) garbage heap known as the blogosphere...

...all these scowls and grimaces, disembodied in blog post text, are flying menacingly in the atmosphere above our blog-addled heads.

I have found the A Listers, most of the ones I've contacted with surveys, warnings, or questions, to be very kind, open, and willing to help the "little blogger" Vaspers the Grate.

Doc Searls, Cory Doctorow, David Weinberger, Christopher Locke, Evan Williams, Richard Edelman, Matt Mullenweg, Mark Cuban, Dean Esmay, Joe Katzman, Perry de Havilland, Buzz Bruggeman, Robert Scoble, Hugh McLeod, Seth Godin, Tom Peters, John C. Dvorak, John Battelle, and many others have been exceedingly nice, responsive, and helpful.

A Listers really do care about "little" or "long tail" bloggers. I have much proof of it, and I'm not someone they "had" to be nice to, though I'm not very easy to ignore at time, y'know?

It's the schmucky crap bloggers who cop an attitude with you, then abandon their flimsy boring blogs a month later.

Blog Empires? Blogs assembled into a "media" or group blog/blogger association, like Federated Media, MetaFilter, Blog Expulsion, BlogCritics (which I joined recently and have yet to do a single one arm pushup at)?

Many different configurations and conglomerations of blogs have been tried, the most successful is Jason Calacanis and his Weblogs Inc.

But how I tire of all the bickering about "A Listers and why I'll never get to be one"...bull! You whiners are underachievers, mediocre, and deserve your obscurity.

Now, on a bright note, consider this, from the Jason Calacanis blog:

"Peter Rojas gets his due"


One of my favorite moments came a month or two after Peter Rojas had jumped ship from Gawker to Weblogs, Inc. Nick Denton and I were having drinks and he told me that I would never be able to manage Peter. Denton then went into great details about how he couldn't manage Peter, that he was demanding, and that he would never compromise his vision.

I thought for a second and said to myself "hmmm... that sounds like a description of me."

I knew we had done the right thing in courting Peter to join WIN. The truth is Peter Rojas is one of the hardest-working and most brilliant people I've ever worked with. He's a force of nature on an individual level, but the side of him most people never see is his amazing leadership ability. Having been on *his* team at the last two CES' I can tell you that leadership is his real skill. He knows how to inspire folks to do great work--and that's much more important than being able to do great work at the end of the day.


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How refreshing to see a maverick praised for his eccentricity and independence. And his prophetically fiery vision and fierce devotion to it!

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