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Cementing the A-List?

Cementing the A-List?

A-ListIt’s been a while but yet again I have been accused of propping up the “A-List”. How have I fueled the conspiracy this time? By listing my daily tech feed reads.

From what I can gather from the IM complaint I received late last night, by listing the particular feeds I mention in the post I am maintaining the A-List in their position of power, while keeping down the struggling Z-List blogger in attention poverty.

Rather than honestly listing the actual feeds I use, I should instead list feeds you might not have heard of.

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What do you think? Does it harm the blogosphere to link to “A-Listers”?

View Comments (15)
  • Id assert that the “A-List” is simply a social construct that’s completely made up. We all have our own A-list of blogs and people and sites that we follow.

  • Not at all. People’s time is precious so they look for quality signals, pointing them to the best blogs. Making lists like that is a very user friendly thing to do.

    Hopefully though people would also look beyond the most commonly named blogs to see what else is out there.

    Not sure if you saw Chris, but that was an attempt to use these kind of recommendations from people. We took 100+ internet marketers and feed into the system their blogroll recommendations. That then gives us a news aggregator, with the visibility decided by the community. The search is also pretty damn cool :)

    Using that had really pushed me to read more of the ‘hidden’ blogs in the community. So, listings like that do not have to cement an A list, if you can find a way to use those votes dynamically.

  • Hello Chris. I wouldn’t say that you’re maintaining the A-list and suppressing the Z-list. There’s nothing wrong with linking to them. But, where is the value in giving out a list of blogs everybody had already heard of and almost certainly already have in their feed reader? Personally I’d have been much more interested in the feeds you read that I may not have heard of. To be honest I think that a lot of the A-list is way over rated and find myself reading the Z-list far more. Mainly because the A-list are typically a large group of employed writers and the Z-list a single individual view. Most A-list is just the same as reading an industry journal with about the same depth. With Z-list you might get somebody who has real insight into what they are writing not just some google scraped expertise.

  • Im not too sure what to say. Why would someone say you must list Z-listers. The post was simply about the feeds that you read. Im sure you didnt list the feeds you did, just because they were A-list. The Z-listers should stop hating the A-listers and actually spend more time trying to become a real authority in their niche!!

  • @Paul – Yes I usually say that I have my a-list, you have yours, but it seems a recurring theme whenever I link to a so-called A-lister that I get pulled up on it

    @Nick – I will check that out, thanks

    @Jack – The idea was A) to explain how I approach my daily updates (I work down the list depending on time) and be the hope was people would suggest better alternatives in the comments

    @Steven – Exactly, I listed them because that is what I use but I am open to people recommending better

  • “where is the value in giving out a list of blogs everybody had already heard of”

    Possibly none, if everyone really has heard of them, but it’s worth bearing in mind that not everyone has the same concept of who’s on the “A list”, or even knows or generally pays attention to everyone on that list.

    Granted, when I scanned the list I knew of everyone on there (I do think it’s quite amusing that someone’s accusing you of linking to the “A List” BBC — of course they’re “A list”, they’re one of the largest and most established broadcasters in the world)

    I suppose the only problem with sticking to a fairly small set of feeds is that you can miss a lot of the interesting, but initially less popular stuff. Sure, Techmeme is fine, but if a lot of people are reading, linking, and writing about the stuff on it, then a lot of other things could be largely missed.

    That’s why I have a lot of keyword feeds as well as a handful of site feeds. The big sites will come up in the keyword feeds, but so will a lot of smaller sites. Of course, then there’s the problem of information overload, but that’s a whole different issue.

  • Everyone has their own unique ideas of what constitutes value, and their own responsibility for uncovering what is useful for them. The recommendations from other bloggers is a gift that should be appreciated, not criticized.

    Best wishes,


  • I was more impressed that you had a list of just 10 essential tech feeds. As I mentioned to you on Twitter last night, I’ve got more than 80!

    An interesting tool is to subscribe to a few Google Reader “shared items” lists. Despite what many people might think about Robert Scoble (for example), his shared items feed can be fascinating reading sometimes and it has really opened me up to a few new blogs I have since added to my own essential reading list. Ditto to Steve Rubel’s “thinkers” shared items list.

    Ultimately a lot of these guys are A-list for a reason – they’ve contributed to a community in some significant way. More often than not they have earned their place in the food chain.

  • I’ll admit, it probably would have been nice to see those ‘other’ things you read too. But that’s the thing, we’re assuming that you have others. That list fit in well with the article.

    Whatever, the commenter probably just wanted you to link to his blog.

  • No harm at all. A-list whining is just jealousy. You link to the people in your network or that you respect/admire/read. If the people in your network are so-called A-listers, then whatever.

    I’m nowhere near the A-list but instead of whining about it I’m just doing my thing. I’m not concerned about being on any list, other than the friend lists of people in my network, people who are important to me and who feel that I offer them value.

  • No, it doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t help the A listers, so what’s the point?
    To me a Z lister is somebody that doesn’t post regularly (less than weekly.)
    I’d like to see some bloggers that are in the 20M to 50M range.

  • Hey Chris,
    My personal thing is I link to those that fit that particular post. Sometimes they’re A-B and or Z listers. It depends on the content of what I’m writing about.

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