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December 30, 2002

Cliques

I'm not trying to be mean or dismissive of something that obviously is important to some people, but who exactly is on this Blogging A-List, and who keeps track of it?

I have some thoughts about this, but I'm afraid the Popular Kids might beat me up at the bike rack after school. Yeah, right.

Yeah, it seems like there's an Inner Circle, but that's because you're only looking at a REALLY SMALL SET OF BLOGS. I love Robyn (as a random example) as much as the next blogger, but if every blog you read has her on the blogroll, then chances are you're not getting much variety. Because that's how it works... everyone links to EACH OTHER IN A CIRCLE. THAT'S WHY IT LOOKS LIKE AN INNER CIRCLE.

So break free if you don't like it. If the little circle you've found yourself in isn't playing nice, find another one. God knows there are enough freaking blogs on this planet that you don't have to stick to the same ones. And you probably aren't reading half the ones on you're blogroll anyway.

And for the record, I read Christine's blog everyday, and have left probably two comments in my whole life. I have no idea if she reads my site at all, but I sure as hell don't feel like she's in some exclusionary inner circle that she's freezing me out of. I'm not that fragile.

Maybe I need to create my own A-list. I'll work on the application later tonight.

By the way, go read these blogs, because you probably aren't:

Twenty-five Seconds of Silence

The People's Republic of Seabrook

Addendum: 10:25pm
I'm feeling snarky, so I think that those bloggers who think there is an exclusionary A-list should just start calling those bloggers out specifically on their blogs -- you know, by name. If you really want to know who your friends are, then you need an all-out blog war, the magnitude of which we haven't seen in months... I mean, we've seen hints of it here and there, but really... when was the last time people really went through and cleaned out their blogrolls because bloggers were posting crap about other bloggers?

OK, not really. Here's the point I'm really trying to make: Let's for example say that the A-list of bloggers people are talking about includes me, Tess, Jodi, Mad Genius and Kelly. We all link to each other, blog about each other, comment on each other's sites and most importantly communicate with one another beyond the blog. We email each other, phone each other and visit each other (live in person) when we can (interstate travel!). We've created bonds with each other that go deeper than blogging, which become evident when we're blogging, because we've got secret code going and we're frequently the subject of each other's blogging because we are so important to each other's lives.

Now obviously, we are the Queens of cool, and so many people read us and link to us, and we read many people and link to them, but we've got this big connection with each other. Not that we don't like all of you, and in fact we do! We each have other friends, outside of each other, and that's OK, cause we like to share... And then other people find us and they join into the fun, and they are a little confused because they don't understand some of the chatter because, well, they weren't there last week when it happened. The blogworld moves pretty fast, folks... so those newer people... well, I don't know who they are, but they are welcome to hang out, but frankly they aren't Tess, and I might not respond to them the way I respond to Tess because, well, they aren't Tess. And you know what? It's my damn site, and I'll do what I want to.

So maybe these people think we've got this A-list thing going. And maybe we think we've got this A-list thing going, because we've got 100 bloggers who link to us. But if you get 100 blogs away from us, people haven't heard of us, and there is this whole other A-list with the same petty crap going on, and it all boils down to the same damn thing:

If you don't like the way a blogger treats you, find a different blogger. There are plenty.

And finally, I would like to point out one more thing. A blogger might be obscure to you, but that doesn't make them obscure. Each time you use that sort of language, you increase (even unintentionally) this idea that there is an A-list or inner circle. Language counts.

Posted by at December 30, 2002 06:48 PM

Voices:

27 Comments

Christine Dec 30, 2002 7:48 PM

I've read your site! I've read your site! I've read the People's Republic of Seabrook too. Of course he's in Houston with me, so that's how I found him.

I've decided today that's my new goal. (One of many...) I'm going to try to link to at least one obscure blog a day and then branch out and read more of them. I do that already to some extent, but I want to do it even more. Not that I'm leaving my old friends behind - that's not it at all! No, I just want to read others too!

Carla Dec 30, 2002 8:36 PM

I think people who give out awards like "new blog of the year" and stuff like that add a little bit of noteriaty to the whole issue. I think more people should do what you and Christine did, highlight blogs as often as you like. Isn't that the Aortal project anyhow? That said, I do think there is a teeny bit of truth to the A-list theory though. Participation in a certain photo project led me to think so. My feelings on that have nothing to do with being fragile though.

Jack Cluth Dec 30, 2002 9:16 PM

Thanks for the plug! It's nice to know that someone stumbles by my little corner of the Internet from time to time. Sometimes I wonder what I need to do to attract more readers, but when I'm being sensible I remember that it isn't necessarily about the numbers. I enjoy what I'm doing, and I suppose that should suffice- it's not like I'm making any money off of this, eh??

Zuly Dec 30, 2002 10:33 PM

Christine -- I think you should just go, girl, and do what you want. Blog on, girlfriend.

Carla, I apologize for implying that you were fragile. I've expanded upon my point above.

Jack, glad you stopped by. I'm enjoying your site immensely.

Loralei Dec 31, 2002 12:52 AM

Hmm I tend to blog roll those that appeal to me. And if they do tend to get boring I will take them off the list *shrugs* I am not here to win any sort of popularity contest. I blog because I can. *I blog therefore I am* ::Yeah ok I thought it was funny *snorts* I don't really care if people that I have linked link me or not. It just isn't all that important to me. I see your point and in case you can't tell, I am agreeing with you. =) Have a wonderful New Year.

Theresa Dec 31, 2002 1:35 AM

I think by A-list, everyone means those certain few blogs that it seems everyone links to. The most popular ones. Like I said in Christine's comments, I don't think anyone does it on purpose. I totally agree with Zuly - it's the result of forming bonds with particular people who then seem to be favored over other visitors. The way I see it, if you're feeling left out of the circle, form your own circle! :)

robyn Dec 31, 2002 3:31 AM

Man, I get paranoid when I see "A-List" and my name tossed around in the same place. It's almost like it's an insult. And it's definitely not who I strive to be... I think I'm going to blog about this as well. I don't know what to say yet, but I always get sad when I read there are people who feel left out. I've certainly never tried to do that to someone intentionally in my own blog. I blog in my underwear for crimeny's sake. ;-)

Ain't too proud to blog Dec 31, 2002 4:05 AM
It's getting so lonely inside this bed Don't know if I should lick my wounds Or say woe is me instead And there's an aching inside my head It's telling me I'm better off alone But after midnight morning will come And the day will see if you will get so...
Read more in If we met tomorrow for the very first time »

Ain't too proud to blog Dec 31, 2002 4:10 AM
It's getting so lonely inside this bed Don't know if I should lick my wounds Or say woe is me instead And there's an aching inside my head It's telling me I'm better off alone But after midnight morning will come And the day will see if you will get so...
Read more in If we met tomorrow for the very first time »

Nicole Dec 31, 2002 9:06 AM

I was wondering sort of the same thing -- who is this Alist that you speak of? *grin*

Jennifer Dec 31, 2002 9:12 AM

You know, I tried to post about this too - and it just didn't come out right. I'm thinking about deleting my posts and just putting links up to yours and a few other people who said it better than I did and just writing: "YEAH! What THEY said!!"... Damn! Nicely put.

The Working Mom Dec 31, 2002 9:19 AM
I SWEAR IT!! I swear up and down - the last one. and then NO MORE!! We'll let the dead
Read more in The last post on this... »

The Working Mom Dec 31, 2002 9:39 AM
If you were here yesterday or early this morning - you would have seen my lame attempt at trying to
Read more in There! »

Brian Dec 31, 2002 10:37 AM

I've said this at Christine's blog and a couple of other places already, but it seems like it can't be mentioned enough:

There are almost one million people using Blogger, and who knows how many more using MT and all the other blog tools. Worrying about who is in the "Top 100" seems like an awful lot of wasted effort to me.

Tess Dec 31, 2002 12:05 PM

Excuse me... but... none of you have visited me in person. Sweet Jesus... I'm an outcast on my own A-list!!

;)

Nicely written, as usual, Zuly. You always hit the nail right on the head, completely avoiding your thumb.

statia Dec 31, 2002 12:36 PM

DAMMIT, there is no a-list. :o) It's a made up thing.

I try to read all the blogs on my list every day. I might not always make it. But it doesn't mean that I don't read them. I might not always comment either, because sometimes, it's something that you can tell is more personal. What are you going to say? "Gee Ricky, I'm real sorry your mom blew up!"

So many people think, oh, she's friends with Robyn, so I'll get in good with them because I want to be a part of that. Some people fail to see that I'm truly friends with Robyn and Todd. I've adopted them as my own family. We have a bond from talking all the time. Just like you, Tess, Kelly and Jodi. Oh, and I'm planning to kidnap them and bring them back to PA where they rightfully belong. :oP

Donna Dec 31, 2002 12:45 PM

Just popped over from Jennifer's - and I'm glad I did; you've just said a lot of what I've been feeling, very eloquently, I might add. I'm nowhere near the A-List, but I do occasionally blog in my underwear - and I have read The People's Republic of Seabrook!

allison Dec 31, 2002 1:16 PM

I read certain blogs because they're good and eyecathing, and I skip others because they're just plain boring to me. That's the extent of any 'lists' i keep. Though I was quite amused when I started reading today and found this whole 'A-list' saga going on :)

Kelly Dec 31, 2002 2:53 PM

As usual, your post has me thinking, Zuly. Well said.

This A-List nonsense is made even more absurd by the need of many to quickly jump in and claim that popularity in the blogiverse means nothing to them. Oh, really? Well, if you're obsessively monitoring your traffic, begging to be blogrolled and finding yourself consistently embroiled in the true retardation of these "blogwars," you're smack in the middle of all the absurdity. No, wait, you ARE the absurdity.

As for the feeding frenzy that occurs in the middle of these "blogwars" you reference, it's just so predictable and, yeah, it's about time for the children to pitch a fit over *something* isn't it? It's just so tired. How many times have I seen these ridiculous battles go on for *months* with people who just can't get over a conflict and still harping on the evils of their "foe," either overtly or "anonymously" in their daily blogging? Truthfully, I find it all a little sad.

Now, Zuly, Tess, Jodi and Mad Genius -- are we all still planning to wear a skirt to school on Monday??? ;)

Once again, great post, Zuly.

Mad Genius Dec 31, 2002 2:58 PM

Poodle skits on Monday! I'm sewing on the last 7,389,638 sequins!

Mad Genius Dec 31, 2002 3:01 PM

Skirts...I meant to say skirts. I hate it when I do that!

Jodi Dec 31, 2002 3:01 PM

Yes, Kelly. *A* skirt. A big one big enough just for the six of us. It will not be a poodle skirt, though. It will be a ... CIRCLE skirt. Or maybe an A-LINE. It's only apropos, don't you agree?

Carla Dec 31, 2002 3:10 PM

I didn't you were calling me fragile :)

Kymberlie R. McGuire Dec 31, 2002 8:00 PM

You go, girl! :) Happy New Year!

Neurotic Fishbowl Dec 31, 2002 8:05 PM
It's that time of year again - the time when people reflect on the year and its events and make
Read more in Happy New Year From The Neurotic Fishbowl »

Neurotic Fishbowl Dec 31, 2002 8:07 PM
It's that time of year again - the time when people reflect on the year and its events and make
Read more in Happy New Year From The Neurotic Fishbowl »

Tess Jan 1, 2003 5:38 PM

I have not worn a skirt since 1991 and I don't intend to break the tradition now. These knees must remain concealed. It's a matter of national security.

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