Monday, March 10, 2008

50 most powerful ways to provoke the blogosphere

I was merrily following gapingvoid on twitter when he pointed us at this (50 most powerful blogs in the blogosphere). Hugh was gently crowing (no doubt with tongue firmly stuck in cheek) that his blog was included while superstar blogger Robert Scoble's was not.

My response was "Most powerful blogs? Contradiction in terms, surely?"

When blogs become large enough in 'reach' to turn up as 'hits' on lists, I worry there is a real risk that their agenda will change to meet new needs, and a further risk that what makes a blog a blog is at risk. They will start to serve an audience of consumers rather than a community of contributors.

They face the risk of becoming a microniche, on-the-cheap broadcast.

In this context too much attention could be worse than too little because if all that attention means you can't/don't/become unwilling to engage in conversation, the heart of the blog is gone.

Anyone who's tried to engage in a conversation on a 'hit' blog will know what I mean. I won't name names, but some of you are pretty poor at joining in the conversations you set out to provoke.
Blogs (as I've posted before)

In the process of blogging, one blogger linking to the work of another, new value emerges, for example:

  1. Two-way flows of information.
  2. The creation of trust, validation and reputation
  3. Decentralised, self-forming adhoc communities of interest
  4. Zero hierarchy or silo restrictions.
Too much harm is done to 1, with the knock on risks to 2,3 and 4 when you become a 'hit' blogger.

So, genuinely, I really would prefer to be famous for 15 people, than 15 minutes. Careful what I wish for, hey?

What is certain is that if you want to stir up the blogosphere there is one sure-fire way: publish a list of the 'best/top/most-powerful blogs. The 50 on it will say thanks very much.

The 80,000,000 (-50) that aren't, are likely to point out the above in their own sweet ways (resulting in a bubbling of activity pointing back at that very top 50. Just as this does.)

The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?