Death to the list. Long live the lists.

Jason Calacanis wants another top blogger list. Sorry, Jason, but that still doesn’t get it. That is old-media think, my friend. It’s not about one list of the top. That’s as absurd as saying, here is a list of the top 100 people using cars. Blogging is just a tool. There is no top list of the users of it.

What I’d think you’d be proposing instead, based on your experience at WeblogsInc., is a bottomless bucket of lists: Engadget’s top gadget blogs (and as a reader, I’ll look at Gizmodo’s list and at Ubergizmo’s and make my own list), and Adjab’s top ad blogs, and Autoblog’s top car blogs, and on and on and on.

You don’t want a list of the top 500 blogs, Jason. You want 500 lists, right?

This is the mass of niches. Why do we keep trying to turn it back into a mass?

  • http://www.truthlaidbear.com N.Z. Bear

    Jeff:

    You’re exactly right, and that’s precisely the path that I’ve been taking with The Truth Laid Bear. Whereas I used to present the simple, monolithic Ecosystem (one list for all blogs), I now provide community pages for sub-groups of blogs which include not only an Ecosystem-like ranking list for the group, but also shows the latest & most-linked-to posts from that group.

    Check out, for example:

    U.K. Blogs:
    http://www.truthlaidbear.com/communitypage.php?community=uk_blogs

    The Raging RINOs: http://www.truthlaidbear.com/communitypage.php?community=rinos

    College Football blogs:
    http://www.truthlaidbear.com/communitypage.php?community=collegefootball

    I’m open to setting up virtually any Community with a page at TTLB, someone simply needs to ask and more are being added all the time…

    NZ

  • http://thefatguy.com Scott Chaffin

    Do you know your RSS is broken? At least for BlogLines…

  • Jim Dermitt

    I ran across a list for only $5.00 on an auction site. You could buy the list and resell it for $5.00 to everybody else.

  • http://buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Scott: How broken? Bloglines (at least its search) has been completely broken for me for two days. Any additional info would be great. thanks.

  • http://blogebrity.com/blog Nick Douglas

    Meh, I like Jason’s idea. The Hot and New list would be a different list every day, Jeff.

    I’m toying with some categories for blog lists at Blogebrity. But it’s amazingly time-consuming. I’d just ask for submissions of topic-specific lists, but to be frank, I like my style of commentary more than any submissions I’ve seen.

    I’m not arrogant, I’m just better than everyone.

  • http://www.blogads.com henrycopeland

    Here’s one list of lists Jeff: http://www.blogads.com/advertise/order. Compiled by members of the respective blogospheres with apples-to-apples comparisions of people’s traffic… with more structure and lists on the way.

  • http://www.phillyfuture.org Karl

    And two more since we’re sharing :)

    Philly Blogs

    The Philly Ad Network

    NZ – I think what you’re doing is very, very cool. You, the Daypop folks, and Blogrolling are unsung early innovators that get lost in the mix to often.

  • http://www.keshertalk.com/ Yehudit

    It’s still all about attention. If one blogger gets lots of attention (for whatever reason) and links to another blogger, the second blogger gets some of that attention.

  • http://thefatguy.com Scott Chaffin

    Broke #1: BlogLines Subscribe didn’t find a feed on your site.

    Broke #2: your little orange button has a malformed link.

    I got around it with hand-editing, but you might want to have your IT Dept. give it a look. Not as big a deal as I made it sound…

  • http://lovehopesexdreams.blogspot.com Tish G

    I kind of like Jason’s idea of each search engine having their own list. I’ve gone into various search engines like Blogpulse and found that I have less links (never really more though) than I have at Technorati. Constantly using Technorati as the only barometer ends up putting the power to create a buzzy A-list in the hands of Technorati. Parsing it out dilutes Technorati’s perceived final word on what’s hot in blogging

    And Jeff…while I definitely respect you, I still disagree about lists and power. I get what you’re saying about old media think, but considering there are many who still rely on good old msm to give them the low down on everything, including blogs, what shows up on lists, and how lists are interpreted, may end up having an effect on how the tool of blogging is perceived and how it is used. For example, if there’s too much buzz about how blogging can be dangerous for one’s reputation, and for young people, it might end up having a chilling effect and silence voices that may make a difference.

  • Andrew Jackson

    The post is fine and I agree overall –you are rejecting any kind of high status position. (You are allowed to seek status, it helps your wallet.) But you have a pic of you on MSNBC (how many bloggers have one of those) labelled as a ‘blog daddy’, which you may well be, but even if they labelled you as such aren’t you accepting daddy status (top 10? top 50?) by including in in the sidebar?

  • Michael Denial

    - Death to the list. Long live the lists – August 3rd, 2005

    Yeah! Me too, me too! Hey guys, I’m off to read the list/s! Exciting, ain’t it?!

    Whatever happened to substance over machismo placement or positioning? Maybe the blogsphere should employ counters to count the counters, counting the counts.

    Forget about the blogs. Forget about the blogger’s blogs, I want to see more and more lists, that’s all I live for. What else is there?

    I don’t need news feeds, web logs, news wires, etc. etc. Nah, the lists, they do it for me!

    Sheesh! Those who live for lists are deranged, mentally challenged, and beyond help.

    It sounds to me that those advocating lists are either bored with the content of BLOGs and the like, can’t read, or have nothing better to do than to constantly revisit their own blogs to reread to help make them feel better about themselves [like I do]. Surely I can’t be alone on this one.

    What’s happening here? Is everyone deeply possessed by lists and not BLOGs. Are you really losing sight of what BLOGs are really about, not least, their content.

    Instead of guzzling that perfect glass of Chardonnay that is the next BLOG, consider its relevance, impact, meaning, the impression it makes on you, or the subject it points to, the effect it has on the community [blogsphere, or corporation], the tone by which it is being delivered, or perceived by the reader; don’t forget the impact it has. Even, what the blogger him or herself is trying to convey, and the prominence they hope to get from their very own BLOG… it’s their BLOG for Christ’s sake, give it some time, don’t just judge it for worthiness to a worthless list.

    I have an idea for those struggling to come to terms with their addiction for lists… just don’t bother reading BLOGs… oh, but that’s what you were already doing, isn’t it?

    Scenario: when betting in a race, do you bet on the horse’s form or the jockey’s ability to make the horse run well, or that the course and its condition will be the deciding factor for the horse and jockey to achieve coming top of the list of winners and losers… if so, the course wins and there is no need for a horse or a jockey anymore.

    Have blogs and bloggers really become that mundane in the delivery and approach, respectively, that the talk of the town is now lists? WOW! For me to worry about lists wouldn’t allow me to get anymore shallow.

    That should see me near the top of the next list then. Who gives a… [Insert obvious expletive here]