An old familiar discussion has popped up again in the blogosphere. Every few months a debate breaks out about the blogging “A-List” and the inequities faced by those not included.
This time, Jason Calacanis (for the “A-List”) and Tony Hung (for the “blue collar” bloggers) go at it, with healthy interjection from Hugh MacLeod of Gaping Void. Tony makes good points about the fact that many A-List bloggers were already famous when they began blogging, and that they tend to be clustered in California and New York City, but other than that, I’m not sure why anyone (especially someone as talented as Tony) should dwell on this subject.
My friend Loren Feldman who, like myself, was an unknown a year or so ago, chimes in as only Loren can via a video entitled Stop Crying. While I don’t agree that “there is no A-List” in a literal sense, I do agree with Loren’s overall point—just work, and don’t worry about it, because it just doesn’t matter.
Of course there’s a blogging A-List—Technorati assures it by providing rankings and by highlighting the Top 100. It’s human nature to rank and classify, and the blogosphere is no different. But that’s not the point, because unlike with other hierarchical systems, in this case the A-List doesn’t have anything to do with your success unless you let it.
And when you look at it that way, the truth is there really is no A-List.
Jason Calacanis and Hugh MacLeod have never linked to me, and it’s likely they’ll never link to you. So what? They are not gatekeepers, because social media provides innumerable other paths to gaining an audience.
That’s why the A-List doesn’t matter, and why social media is so cool. You can succeed without those famous bloggers as long as you work at it. And it’s easier online than it’s ever been in the real world.
I think paraphrasing a wise little boy from The Matrix says it best:
Spoon boy: Do not try and make the A-List. That’s impossible. Instead… only try to realize the truth.
Blogger: What truth?
Spoon boy: There is no A-List.
Blogger: There is no A-List?
Spoon boy: Then you’ll see, that it is not the A-List that holds you back, it is only yourself.