Keep Trying

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Flattening the Curve

To no one's surprise, David Sifry did not remove the word authority from the Technorati 100 even though it's not a true statement. Many people are bothered when people grab and and delegate authority. This is one of the biggest problems with the bigheaders in the blogosphere's longtail curve.

So in the spirit of the new Flat World, it's a service to keep on questioning this grab for authority. I don't think the Technorati 100 is a case of authority being earned. Popularity, possibly, but authority - not in my blog.

Doc, David Weinberger and Dave Winer were discussing Cluetrainerisms on Chris Lydon's new radio show. They clearly see themselves as authorities on a wide variety of subjects like from technology, education, community and just about everything.

In a must read post, Dave Rogers questions the authority of the Cluetrainers and particularly the statement that the Web is unmediated:

Doc is, or was, (always will be?) a marketer. His job was to craft messages to "sell" products. His weblog is crafted in a way that "sells" his ideas.
Doc's weblog is as heavily mediated as network television, it's just that there's only one box in the org chart and his name is in it. This isn't a criticism, it's just an observation.
I've mentioned before that marketers have a very loose relationship with language and the truth. Words mean what they want them to mean in the particular circumstances they're using them. Which is why "markets" can be "conversations," and "authority" without "responsibility" isn't a cause for alarm.

I need to reiterate once again that Doc, Dave and David are fine people, but I am often troubled by their word-pirating and sad world view (examples to follow). I think they really believe what they are saying, but they are so mesmerized by their own authority that they can't really hear other points of view. It's ironic that in their world of "conversations" they are truly carrying on the "dialog of the deaf".