Duncan Riley> Today, August 31, is, according to some, Blog Day, and what better occasion than to express the follow thought:
Together we are one blogoshpere.
You see, some people, like Robert Scoble think that there are many blogospheres. He’s wrong. There is one blogosphere, and together this Blog Day we can stand united knowing that together, for all our differences we are united together as mankind, for all its differences, still constitutes mankind collectively.
Don’t believe me? Here’s the Wikipedia definition:
Blogosphere (alternate: blogsphere) is the collective term encompassing all weblogs or blogs as a community or social network.
Within the blogosphere there are many millions of networks, sub-networks, cross linked networks: think Amway circles on speed and drawn over the entire suburban area of Los Angeles or Sydney, because you’d need this much space to draw all them all, and the lines between them, joined end to end, would probably circumnavigate the world several times over.
Scoble and I agree on one thing, it is a world of niches, but its all the niche’s combined that make the blogosphere.
Where we part ways is the value of lists, because unlike Scoble, and probably a significant number of other people, I like lists, and I think the whole point of the Feedster 500/ Jason Calacanis money for a better list idea has been lost. My reading of Calacanis was the encouragement of new lists to replace the Technorati 100, he was looking for a list that showed a broader range of bloggers and blogs so that we could see a bigger diversity of blogs that are making a significant contribution across a broader range of topics. Feedster may not be perfect but its the best looking list I’ve seen yet. But lets not stop at this list, because unlike Scoble’s chequered view of the blogosphere there are already a lot of other lists out their. BlogTopSites has a growing database of categorized blogs on it based on traffic, and although I’m not using it yet for my own blogs I’m seeing a lot of people who are. Blogs of the Day is a site I do feature my blogs on which provides an interesting variety of sites. Any number of BlogCatalog type sites exist that feature blogs based on categories. Scoble writes that he wants to see a “top 100 list of scrapbookers”, so we agree here, but to some extent they probably already exist somewhere (and if you have such a list let me know, and don’t forget to email Scoble as well). Just because they aren’t featured on the big sites doesn’t mean that the little guys compiling such lists are providing any less a service.
Lists are also about giving credit where credit is due to those that have worked hard and made it… including Robert Scoble. They also provide something to work towards. When I started blogging one of my early goals was to make the Technorati Top 100 list. I never quite got there (207 at the time of writing) but it was still something to aspire to. Aspiring to be great is not a bad thing, its a good thing that encourages competition, hard work and focus. And it doesn’t have to be aiming to make the top of the list at Technorati, the aim could be to be the top of the scrapbooking blogs, top of the model airplane blogs, its doesn’t matter what list it is, but take away the ability for people to compete, take away an ability to benchmark competition, and you’ll see the blogosphere swamped by the mainstream media and big corporations because they’ll be the only people that will have the muscle and power to stand out from the crowd.
A 100m runner aspires to win the gold medal at the Olympic games. Others may just desire to qualify to compete at the Olympic games, what’s wrong with bloggers having lists that they aspire to be on or be top of?
Communism as a concept claims all workers should be equal working for a greater good whilst we all know that in matter of fact Communism breads a ruling class that get to enjoy the spills of being the ruling class. Dare one say that if you abolished all blog lists today the ruling geek bloggers on that list will never be able to be dislodged or challenged and therefore will take the mantle of the ruling class for ever more in what they will profess to be a classless society in an attempt to guarantee their ongoing rule?
So this Blog Day, together we stand, one blogosphere, many lists, and a magic space where even a lad of modest means living in country Western Australia can take on Microsoft’s very own uber-blogger, and maybe even have a shot of winning an argument.
Ain’t the blogosphere grand!