Competition

The Market vs The Masses

The blogosphere is nothing but the online equivalent of a human society. Chris Garrett, notes:

Remember todays A-Lister could be tomorrows “remember him?”, and they all started out somewhere. The audience you are ignoring could be tomorrows A-List.

If you define your A-list according to Technorati Top 100 or equivalent, then yes, it could be so. Also, the A-listers have something we don’t.

Let me start with a tentative OD (Operative Definition) of an A-lister:

A-lister: Any person owning or authoring a blog which commands statistical superiority in a particular category/subject/topic over other ‘fellow’ blogs (and bloggers) in certain matters of detail.”

The certain matters of detail being outlined below, along with tentative operative definitions, for a randomly chosen category:

  • Traffic: Daily page views in thousands
  • Reader-base: in thousands (RSS/Atom Feed Subscribers)
  • TrackBacks: Anywhere between ten to twenty per day.
  • Comments: Genuine:S**k-up ratio of 1:10 (may be)
  • Flamers: Flames:Comments ratio of 1:10

And last, but definitely, positively, not the least:

  • Private/Closed Beta Invites

Scoops. The A-listers get the scoops. And the public seems to hang on to every word. And you and I are equally to blame on that front.

Think about this. You visit a blog and read an excellent article. Then, you scroll down and see zero (0) comments and you think, “Hmmm, no comments? Looks like this guy gets no traffic at all. So why bother, he’s not gonna miss me any way, heck he doesn’t even know I came here!” The next guy comes along and does *exactly* the same thing. And the blog ends up wth a meagre 20-30 unique visitor traffic with no returning visitors.

On the other hand, an A-lister blogs about his vacation in Miami or his Blogosphere experiments and watch the traffic shoot!

Are we hypocrites or what?

I am not saying that we suck-up to them all the time, but if you draw up the stats you will see that 80% of the “A-list” bloggers’ posts have been reviews/reports of ‘the next big things’ or stupid PR experiments. Occasionally, there are a few flames too. When was the last time you saw an A-lister come out with something genuine and refreshing?

Bloogging may not be all about the traffic, but it is human tendency to seek some recognition especially if one believes he/she is worth it. I will not blog for the masses if they are not going to acknowledge me. What’s the point? Isn’t it a failure? It is like a startup which does great things but doesn’t sell.

Blogging for the market and Blogging for the masses are polar opposites. Blogging for the masses is when you provide value and generate conversations, even if it means discussing whether the weather is good for flying or not. Blogging for the market means that you HAVE to look at the traffic. Remember, your blog is no different than the advertising bill board off Freeway 66.

After all, you have to make every stopover count, right?

Disclaimer:
Intelligent readers will please note the following very important points:

1. I have not linked any of my subtle references back to Robert Scoble of Microsoft, PR guru Steve Rubel and Jeremy Zawodny, for fear of getting flamed.

2. The A-lister stats in the Operative definitions were simple guesswork. If anybody has conducted appropriate research and can give me the correct figures, I would be only too happy to post them on my blog.

3. Yeah I know, I am lazy.

Technorati Tags: blog, a-list, market, masses, peeves

Author: Chris Berry

2 thoughts on “The Market vs The Masses

  1. Firstly, sorry for the delay in replying. Was a li’l tied up.

    What I see is, there is a hierarchy in the Blogosphere and there’s no denying that.

    What I find disgusting is that the A-listers act like serfs when they should be acting like compatriots.

    One of my personal beliefs is this:

    “If you keep doing a good job and if you promote people doing a good job, you don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from.”

    Replace “people” with “bloggers” and “meal” with “inbound link” and you have a pretty clear picture of what I am talking about.

    Right?

    Regards,
    Shri.

    “It doesn’t matter where you stand, as long as you do.”

  2. Blog readers certainly have selective voyeuristic tendencies. A-listers are becoming rock stars 2.0 and readers becoming the 16 year old groupies. Out of my read list, the only person I consistently enjoy reading, and IMHO is genuine and refreshing, is Chartreuse. Because he cares more about bringing original content than anyone else. There aren’t many blogs that “sound” like him or carry as much “stories” as his.. but is it debatable if he’s an A-lister? Chartreuse.. don’t ever change that default WP theme! Let the content speak for itself!

    The inter-weaving A-listers effect make for a blogging chorus line which frustrates me the most as a reader. Individually, these people occasionally have insightful things. But more often, it’s one person saying something refreshing and the rest of the chorus line echoing the same thing for the next week. When you have feeds from 10 different blogs talk the same thing about (for example) the sale of Blog Herald on the same day, by the 3rd feed, you’re simply pressing the delete button as quickly as you can.

    Then of course, there’s the scoop! Yes, he scored an interview about the Blog Herald sale, let me blog about “that” scoop! Sheesh… The caroleing doesn’t end.

    Sometimes, I just wonder where these A-listers are getting new audiences? It’s simply recycling and shifting your audiences to my audiences to his audiences etc. It’s the same population that clicks ads, it’s the same population that is addicted for more blogosophere / new media voyeurisum. I wonder when the interest will die down?

    Last thought, I think the masses ARE important! I will continue to blog with an attitude of for the masses rather than the market. The passion shouldn’t die simply because nobody comments on your blogs.

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