Blogging mindfully

The following three items turned up in sequence in my aggregator this morning.

While it’s starting to shape up as another A-List/Power law debate, I think something else more interesting is going on that Dina is highlighting. There are new cultural norms taking shape here influenced, as always, by key characteristics of the technology. At the same time, as Finkelstein points out, these norms are also shaped by predictable aspects of human nature.

It can be a struggle to tune into the nuances of this debate. You can choose to listen to a small set of voices all saying the same thing. You can choose to seek out diversity in sources and perspectives at the expense of having to develop your own synthesis. Most importantly, you can choose to do so mindlessly or mindfully.

1. Revenge Of The A-List(er/ers).

Feel the floor, I mean being flat on the floor, while a very few have the floor. [Seth Finkelstein’s Infothought]

With this key graf.

What I am saying is that bloggerdom is as gatekeeper-constricted as other Big Media. It’s a gatekeeper of audience, not a gatekeeper of production, but this makes no different in the final result. To be charitable, people keep responding to that observation by saying anyone can pitch a story to the editors, I mean the gatekeepers, and that they are unmoved by insularity and clubbiness. Which, by the way, is exactly what Big Media claims too, and I think is about as true (note the implication there – people can think conections count for more than they in truth do, but denying they mean anything at all seems over-idealistic)]

Scoble is responding to Finkelstein’s earlier post. Or more precisely, he’s using his take on Finkelstein’s post to make his own point. But the nice thing about blogs and linking is that we can easily go look for ourselves.

2. Finkelstein notes that he isn’t in the A list.

Seth Finkelstein says that the A-list isn’t linking to him. Or something. Seth, you miss the point. How did I get to the supposed “A list?” By linking to everyone and by reading more than 1000 blogs. Seriously. Why does that matter? The more you link and the more you read, the more likely people are to link to you and talk about you. Here’s a question for you Seth: have you ever linked to an A lister? Here you do and you get linked to by two of us.

Here’s my top blogger tip: if you want people to link to you link to them first! A link is a gift. Everytime I get a link it tickles my soul. Plus, it shows up in my referer log so I notice you did it. How do you think I found out about your blog?

I have a saying. Everyone gets one link for free. But you gotta earn the “n” link. So, the stakes go up next time. Next time you’ll have to be interesting. Sorry, but that’s sorta how it works. (Yeah, my boss ignores me when I go in to ask for a raise too and mubles something about how my coworkers are writing more code and doing more cool stuff to help customers).

Oh, and look at my experimental aggregator blog. What percentage of those posts are from the “A list?” See, you don’t need to be an “A lister” to get noticed.

I’ve only been blogging for about three years. It doesn’t take long to get onto the A list if you wanna be there (here’s a hint, it isn’t as interesting as you might think). Just write something that other bloggers find interesting. Don’t know what that is? Well, then visit Technorati and read some more blogs.

Oh, one rule that an “A lister” taught me very early on: don’t beg for links. There’s nothing more uninteresting than that. [Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger]

And Dina finds an interesting perspective on community that is worth considering.

3. Blogs Grow Community.

Another way of looking at community …. Why the Amish would like Blogs.

“The Amish way of life is actually a means to prevent interaction with outsiders. Oddly this is precisely why they are such supporters of community……………………..

The problem with the Amish method of community or the beauty of it depending on how you see it, is that there is not really any growth. The only way you get more Amish to have kids. That limits the growth to a pretty slow number. The same is true of Separatist or Elitist communities. If you aren’t trying to actively convert users, or working on ways to have communities interact you aren’t likely to grow your communities.” [Brandon Wirtz’s Digital Mix]
[Conversations with Dina]