The revolution of the blog peasants – or who gives a hoot about the A-listers anyway ?

GuillotineI am not too fond of blogging about blogging, but I could not help noticing (courtesy of this TechMeme’s thread) that Nick Carr was ranting The Great Unread, in which he complains how tough it is for the loneliness of the mundane blogger (the blog peasants, that’s us) and how they struggle to get attention from A-listers (aka the blogging elite – them). That part of Nick’s piece made me smile (I was attending the conference he is referring to):

The best way, by far, to get a link from an A List blogger is to provide a link to the A List blogger. As the blogosphere has become more rigidly hierarchical, not by design but as a natural consequence of hyperlinking patterns, filtering algorithms, aggregation engines, and subscription and syndication technologies, not to mention human nature, it has turned into a grand system of patronage operated – with the best of intentions, mind you – by a tiny, self-perpetuating elite. A blog-peasant, one of the Great Unread, comes to the wall of the castle to offer a tribute to a royal, and the royal drops a couple of coins of attention into the peasant’s little purse. The peasant is happy, and the royal’s hold over his position in the castle is a little bit stronger.

Given the growth of the blogosphere, I am not even sure about who A-listers are and what they represent anyway. The original A-listers from 2 years ago (when I started blogging) are largely gone (“sent to the guillotine), and it has been a long time since I removed almost all of them from my blogroll, and replace them by people who are meaningful to me. Tools like Technorati, TechMeme, Digg, Wikio,, Google define the new A-list on a much more granular basis – and that’s how it should be.

IMHO good content will find its way to rise to the attention of the people who are meant to be interested in it.

  • Jackie Danicki

    Nick Carr hasn’t heard of niches? I can assure you that the ‘A-list’ bloggers in, say, the beauty blogging world have no use for the ‘A-listers’ in, say, the search engine blogging world. And so on. I thought we’d covered this all a couple of years ago.

  • Dennis Howlett

    Jeff – this A-Z list stuff is a crock. Nick was on about patronage as the basis for so-called popularity. But you’re right. It’s about attention from those that matter to the individual, not a gazzilion links from people who don’t.

  • howard lindzon

    He started a good discussion though. Give the guy that

  • Dave

    dude, ya got 5 digits worth of readers in your Feedburner Blog Feed stats… you IS the A-lister!

  • Serge Lescouarnec

    My main pet peeve would be about blogs who either do not accept comments or ask you to register to do so.
    I do not disagree with the need to filter comments but to me the ongoing discussion that blog comments permit is an integral part of the liveliness of the ‘format’.
    Have a good day

  • Vernon LUn

    I believe bloggers contribute to the vast knowledge and inspiration of the Internet whether you have 1 reader or 1 thousand. The problem is that there is no-one who is actively out there promoting the good blogs especially the long tail. TheGoodBlogs was formed specifically to address that. BTW: James, you are being circulated by TheGoodBlogs and that’s how I found you.

  • Robert Scoble

    Jeff, you crack me up!

  • Greg Michael

    Excellent! Jeff! Exposing the arrogant rants of Nick Carr. It doesn’t take long for the peasants to create their own media villages. While the castles decay with the insane kings patting themselves on the back. See