Keep Trying

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Main Stream Bloggers (MSB) Assert Their Authority

It didn't take long, but the Main Stream Bloggers (MSB) are asserting their authority.

Last week I wrote:

The long tail is a blogging myth in which the heavy-traffic bloggers try to convince the little guys, like you and me, that we are really the important ones in the blogosphere. And we should keep on blogging and linking to the big guys, since collectively the bottom 99% has much more viewership than the top 1% - or something like that.

In a comment here, Kevin Marks one of the very smart employees of Technorati authoritatively decrees:

The long tail is not a myth, and the many do outweigh the few. Pick a few words around a topic that you are interested in and search for them at Technorati and see who you find.The top 100 is not the most interesting page on our site by any means. I wrote about this before - Call off the Search.

Dave Rogers responded:

I think Kevin misunderstands the use of the word “myth” in this context. Whether or not “the many do outweigh the few,” it is the few that most profit. If the Top 100 is not the most interesting page on Technorati, then where does it rank in Technorati’s hierarchy of interesting pages?

On his blog Dave says:

I still have hope that Kevin Marks will reply, it is the weekend and he probably has a life, but so far, nothing heard.

My bet is that Kevin will stonewall the issue, given his interest in maintaining the authority of his MSB company Technorati. Markets are Conversations - sometimes.

Dave gives a cogent analysis of Technorati's position:

What Technorati needs is sustained and growing attention, so it must do things to attract attention to itself. This is the purpose of the Top 100 list. It makes Technorati a valued asset to the highest attention-earning webloggers, who, in turn, direct attention to Technorati.

That may be a source of diminishing returns, however; as the Top 100 stratifies and stagnates, there isn't as much "flow" being generated toward Technorati except as the subject of criticism. Once Jeff Jarvis made the Top 100, he pretty much stopped talking about it, preferring, naturally, to talk about himself.

Dave concludes

You know, I wouldn't care, normally. But the bull- level is getting pretty high around here, and it's starting to stink up the joint.

Anyway, just thought I'd point this out in the interests of "transparency." Just doing my bit to subvert hierarchy and make the world a flatter place. Just your friendly conductor handing out barf-bags onboard the Cluetrain™.

It may be too late, as the money has started to flow, but it would be nice to take back the blogosphere from those who are exerting excessive and unearned authority. The MSB, like their MSM predecessors will probably stonewall this attempted conversation, so all we can do is link to Dave Rogers, Shelley Powers and others, so that the sad and unfortunate truth gets heard. (Note: I still think a number of the MSB 100 are very fine people.)