In Defense of

Saturday, July 23, 2005 at 09:18 PM

First and foremost, hat tip to The Common Ills, whose committee approved and posted WTW in their permalinks.

It is actually through The Common Ills that this topic sprang to mind for me. Seems there has been some issue with the "A-List" Bloggers and newbies in the blogosphere of late, and I think I'd like to adress the issue.

So, let's define the term, before we go too far out into left field. defines a-list thusly:

A list or group of the most admired or desirable people, as for a job or social gathering.

In the blogosphere, the group of the most admired or desirable people include Markos of DailyKos, Duncan of Eschaton, Glenn over at Instapundit (on the right), etc.

I know I left a bunch out, and if you're an "a-lister" and I left you out, I apologize. However, I think that, while these blogs are the most-travelled and the best in the business because of their experience and media presence, the term "a-list" is by its very definition subjective in nature.

As such, my a-listers are not going to be your a-listers as the Common Ills pointed out today in their column about this whole situation.

Now, WatchingTheWatchers is nowhere near anyone's definition of a-list, except possibly a few of my pals who read what I write, comment, and generally get rowdy. But I know how I run this site, and how I determine who gets a link and who doesn't, as well as what gets covered here and what doesn't

I link the stories I think are the most relevant for what I want WatchingTheWatchers to be. If there's something really important going on that I don't cover, there's probably a reason why. Normally, it's because I just don't want to. Period.

Newbies in the blogosphere can seek me out, I have an email link right over --> there somewhere, and I'll probably swap links with ya, if you've got stuff I think my readers would be interested in. If I think it's worth reading, I'll likely post it, and if the scoop you have is hot, I may just write an entire post about it. But if I don't, I don't. That's the nature of blogs.

But to lean on people who get millions of hits a week and say they are somehow damaging the cause because they don't link to smaller blogs when the smaller blogs think they should, I believe that is out of line. I believe it is out of line for a number of reasons.

First among those reasons are that it is a great big huge world in here, and we can market our own blogs. Who did Markos bitch at to get his hits where they are, I wonder? You know what I bet, I bet he worked for them, and is now enjoying the success that comes from hard work and perseverence.

Rule #1: If you want to get your blog hits, market the damned thing. -- Post to discussion forums, put up posters in your town, whatever. But don't expect people who worked from the ground up to support you. That's OUR job, not theirs.

The second reason I think it is inappropriate is because blogs are not, typically speaking, democracies. They are property, although sometimes collaborative such as this blog, they are still the property of their owner.

Rule #2: You own your blog, let me own mine -- It's none of anyone's business what a blogger posts except the blogger himself, and his/her editor, if they have one.

I am tired of hearing about "a-list" bloggers, tired of bloggers who expect their careers to be made by the people who made their own careers. We work for ourselves in this blogging business, and we all do what we can.

I know one thing for sure: Angry emails are not going to solve the problem. Maligning the most influential among us will not solve the problem. We need to build bridges, not tear them down. That's just the way it is.