Yesterday Jeff wrote a piece claming that: There is no A list. There is only your list.”. It was a thought provoking piece that I had to respond to. You just can’t deny its existance really. It’s there. A group of blogs who have considerably more influence then the rest of us. Given that influence by inbound links. And using that influence to spread what it feels is attention worthy. In my response I made clear I don’t think of this as some kind of clique or club like other bloggers do – just an expression of human nature taking form. It’s a natural occurance. Not a problem that needs to be solved. But something to deal with – even route around – if you need attention for something – feel that it is worthy – and the current group of attention influencers doesn’t care for it or see it yet.
In responding to me saying that: “Some would argue that the A-list, even if it exists, doesn’t matter. That thousands of D-list links can exceed the value in attention-driving a single A-list link can deliver. Indeed, I think this is true. However, the time it takes to be heard among so many can take much, much longer then what one related A-list link can do in a few hours. The difference can be astronomical and can’t be underestimated.”
Jeff posted this reply:
…heard by whom, Karl? If you want to be heard by an audience the size of TV Guide, then we’re all Z list. But then, TV Guide isn’t A list itself anymore either, is it? That’s the way the world is going: The mass is dead! Long live the niches!
We need to stop thinking in the old terms of mass market, big circulation, big ratings, blockbusters. That world is dying. We need to stop thinking that when we are in a niche, we’re in something lesser. No, it means we’re in a community. We’re in a good conversation, not a loud crowd.
I used to write for an alleged audience of 25 million at TV Guide and People. Now I write for an audience of a few thousand. Call that whatever damned list you like. I like it much better.
In his comments I replied:
…I’d answer – to be heard by folks who don’t already hear you – who you want or need to hear you.
We are definitely Z-list (all of us) in comparison to the TV-Guide’s audience. Good point. We are definitely in a niche. In many niches actually. You can sub categorize me till the cows come home (whenever that is) – but it makes no difference – there is still – for folks seeking and needing attention to for what they are doing – a struggle. And there is a way to judge ‘attention influence’? – even in this small niche we all work within here on the web. The most influential have been tagged with the term ‘A-list’?. Maybe it’s a derogatory term. I have no idea. I think term sucks. Makes it sound like a clique when I think it really isn’t. Not actively at least. DailyKos and Powerline are NOT part of the same club. They don’t chat everyday. But the existence of their influence – or yours – can’t be doubted. It can be measured. Itts there. Denying it doesntt make it go away. I’m not saying this is a problem – but a reality to deal with.
And yeah no matter what list or category you wish to put me in – I’m happy to be here right along with ya. The web is participatory – the major differentiator from what’s come before. It’s read *and* write. It’s two way. That makes all the difference.
Speaking of his comments, we’re having a great discussion there I think.