I have been fighting the urge to comment on the latest A-Lister dustup. I told David that his latest series of excellent posts were the tipping point, and that I had to comment. But then I found the post below that I left on BMA back in February, the last time this 'debate' ignited, and I realized that I couldn't top my first effort. Some of the numbers are outdated, but the idea I was trying to express is just as true today as it was 6 months ago:
When I left this post last month, I did so because I thought the whole 'A-Lister' dust up was a temporary by-product of boredom, and that we'd all rant/laugh/ramble about the subject for a few days, realize it's all very silly, and get back to talking about much more important things.
Alas, I was dead wrong.
Instead, the 'debate' over the blogosphere's version of a class system has only intensified. Now it seems some have determined that the key to blogging nirvana, which of course is 3,000 links and 10,000 visitors a day, is being held by the gatekeepers known as the 'A-Listers'. All blogging goodness is in the hands of a select few bloggers on the mountaintop.
Right idea, wrong gatekeepers. The gatekeepers aren't A-Listers like Doc Searls and Steve Hall, they are the anonymous IPs that read your blog. They are the people that come, look around, and either decide that your blog sucks, or that it kicks ass, and then they tell ten friends.
Last week everyone was excited about Dave Sifry's update on the state of the blogosphere. We all got excited when we heard that there is a new blog created every second of every day. But think about that for a minute....if there are that many new blogs each and every day, how many new blog READERS are there? New readers that not only have no idea who the so-called 'A-Listers' are, they could give a damned less. Every day. If you're a Z-Lister, they have no idea, and again, could care less. They just care about what they read on your blog that they just found for the first time. What they read that first time could decide if there will ever be a second time.
See our job isn't to impress Steve Hall and Doc Searls the A-Listers, our job is to impress Steve Hall and Doc Searls the BLOG READERS. When we start worrying about getting the attention of a few bloggers that we perceive as being important, we risk losing the attention of our blog readers. And if we've lost that, we have nothing.
BMA will have been live for 5 months on the 16th. We currently have 58 links, and to the people that subscribe to the 'A-Lister' view of the blog world, that means we aren't very important. On the other hand, traffic levels have never been higher than right now, we averaged 806 visitors a day last week, and at the rate traffic is increasing, we're on pace to touch 25,000 visitors for the month. Good thing we aren't paying attention to the people that think that a blog's worth is defined by its number of links, but instead to the visitors that come here every day, and hopefully enjoy what they see.
Because that's the key. We have to stop this worrying about who is linking to me, and who won't. The time we spend bitching about how 'unfair' it is that the haves are supposedly holding back the have-nots, is time lost that we COULD have spent producing great content on our blogs, and contributing to the community. Stop worrying about why Scoble never reads your blog, and worry about giving the gal that's reading your blog RIGHT NOW a reason to come back.
Because your readers are the REAL A-listers. Treat them as such, or they'll happily leave your ass to bitch about why no one comments on your blog, and your pet theory that it's somehow gotta be Guy Kawasaki's fault.