Friday, November 24, 2006

If an A-Lister blogs in the woods, does anyone read them?

I got an email from Terry Ng a few days ago alerting me to the fact that I am now officially a 'B-List' blogger, and that he has created a special widget for other bloggers to determine what list they are on. I think it's a smart idea from Terry, and obviously a great source of linkbait as bloggers all over the internet are linking to his widget.

But in the end, it all gets another 'so what?' from me. As I've said all along, being an A-List blogger is about as prestigious as being the 3rd-best bobsledder in Cuba. When you get outside of the blogosphere, really no one cares.

But Chris at Shotgun Marketing brings up an even better point. While we are so busy with navel-gazing, we aren't seeing that growth of the blogosphere as a whole may be stagnating:
My current view of the "State of the Blogosphere" is that it’s like the Shakers. Bloggers are passionate about the blogosphere, but the belief will die out because you’re not creating new adherents.

Yes. Your blog is ranked 9,XXX on Technorati, but the only thing that really shows is your influence with other bloggers. What’s the reach of your blog to the non-blog community?

Right now the blogosphere, for all its power, is equivalent to a room full of people who each have a bullhorn and they’re all talking. Every now and then, they all point to one of the bullhorns and maybe repeat what that A-list bullhorn is saying. And every now and then, someone from outside the room stops and listens, but it’s mostly a closed system.

I said months ago that if you're looking to make waves in the blogosphere, you are swimming upstream, and the key is attracting attention from the mainstream, whether it be the media, business, marketers, or everyday people on the street. IOW, finding ways to OPEN the system. Most of America from the individual to corporate level could care less about blogs.

Show them what they are missing.

BTW I want to thank Rachelle and the AMA for inviting me to attend MPlanet, a 'marketing event' that will be taking place in Orlando next Weds.-Friday. Sounds like a ton of fun, and includes marketers from many of the top companies in the world speaking, including our own Eric Kintz on behalf of HP. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend, but many top bloggers will be there, and Peter Kim will also be presenting. Hopefully, in 2007 we'll begin to see these events include more bloggers as speakers.

Pic via Flickr user Matt McGee

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Anonymous said...

I agree with you, there are huge gains to be made making content relevant to folks outside the blogsphere.

Occasionally, folks outside the blogosphere view a blog as a "website", and have little idea what it means to "digg" something.

When content is relevant to folks outside the blogosphere, and they "bookmark" you in their "favorites", you're making progress.

Anonymous said...


In the year I've known you, I'd say you haven't changed a bit. Yes, you've gotten more experience under your belt, and yes, you've gotten more exposure and recognition (all well-deserved), but at the core you're still genuine. That's what counts in my book.

Anonymous said...

A big difference between the bloke (I've never written this word, where'd that come from?)...the bloke who finds free ice cream.

We can either run to our 'gang' and say, "Psst...hey fellas...I know where we can get some free ice cream - follow me."

Or, we can run outisde and shout to all that can hear, "HEY, EVERYBODY - FREE ICE CREAM, C'MON OVER."

I hear ya shouting, Mack. Let your voice stay strong. The bears may need to hibernate, but we've got cubs to raise.

Mack Collier said...

Andrea thank you. I'm smart enough to realize that I'm not smart enough to think that link counts make me any better or worse than another blogger. I can name a blogger that only has about 20 links, which according to Technorati puts him in the 'low authority' range, I believe. Yet a couple of months ago, CNBC was showing him on-air as a credited source for a story. That doesn't sound like someone that's 'low-authority' to me.

Mike it's funny because A-Listers have the most to gain from seeing the blogosphere grow, yet they are the ones doing nothing to expand its reach.

BTW apologies for the word-moderation on comments. Lately I've had a rush of spam comments, mostly from some jackass named 'Scott A. Edwards'. Hopefully none of you have seen these, because I usually delete them within minutes. If any of you know a way to block comments by commenter, email me.

Kim Klaver said...

Hi Mack:

So of course I went to test my list quality, and I squeeked out a "B-List blogger" status also. As South Park's Cartman says, "heed my ah-thorih-tie".

I don't think I have more than three people who blog as readers. Everyone is just a regular person with no blog.

They're all people who are entrepreneurs, mostly earning some extra income from home.

Many of them learned what a blog was for the first time by coming to mine.

I am happy to see you focus on expanding the readership to "beyong other bloggers...

That means that people might have to reach out to audiences that might be the (potential) customers of the companies they work for or consult for - the way Scoble started by winning over many Microsoft developer customers.

He's doing the same to expand the audience of his new employer, Pod Tech.

Wherever you land (assuming you haven't found your dream job yet), you'll be able to do that for them, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...


I suspect at least a few marketing bloggers are doing more than posting and waiting for someone to show up. That is kind of like running a direct mail campaign by sending out a single post card and then waiting for the phone to ring.

Here are a few of the tactics I use:

1) Use my posts within ongoing e-mail marketing campaigns, for me and my clients, with links back to the appropriate blog and or web site.
2) Send out posts as white papers, again inviting folks to visit either my blog or my web site.
3. Put the link on all my marketing and advertising materials.
4. Invite attendees at my workshops and presentations to get lots of free advice at my blog and web site.

I do lots more but this is just a sampling. Like growing a business, getting the word out takes time. And those of us working as consultants, I suspect, use blogs to grow businesses. And like any tool it isn't an elixir but it helps.

Personally, I enjoy blogging because of the social context and contacts.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should stop calling our blogs "blogs" altogether and treat them more functionally. They're just an extension of everything else we do, work or play. The "b" word still alienates many non-bloggers.


Tim Jackson said...


As usual, you hit it out of the park with the whole need to appeal outside of our own circle of influence and safety- as well as poining out the irony that the A-Listers who NEED the blogosphere so they can be important are most often the ones doing nothing to grow the blogosphere.

If we keep "preaching to the choir", how will we ever grow the size of the church?

Keep fighting the fight- you'll have lots of us fighting it with you.

BTW- Thanks for the Bama news too...

Mack Collier said...

"If we keep "preaching to the choir", how will we ever grow the size of the church? "

GREAT quote Tim!

Tim Jackson said...

Mack- Thanks. To borrow from our Southern heritage's rich use of language; "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and again."