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Blogs Are About Being Elite

There is nothing like a good controversy, and have I got controversy for you today. Since this is the first guest post while Darren is gone, it seems appropriate to make things necessarily volatile right from the start.

The subject today is elitism and its place in blogging. You see, it all began over on my blog with an entry observing that Technorati had begun indexing MySpace blogs.

I was Rubel-bombed which brought another breed of commenters to this topic. My argument was that by Technorati indexing MySpace blogs, the quality of Technorati results would be diminished. One commenter responded that the internet is not for elitists.

As a matter of fact, when content production is at play, the internet IS for elitists. Perhaps we don’t like to use those words as “elitism” has a negative stigma to it. However, don’t we all try to get higher pagerank? Don’t we all try to optimize our entries for the best SERPs possible? Doesn’t scoring high in Technorati bump our profile up in general?

In other words, it’s a good thing to be in the elite and it’s highly unfair to those of us who work hard to position our blogs in strategically excellent positioning to have the pool of content thinned by less than excellent content.

What are your thoughts?

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Comments

  1. David says:

    Score one for the elitists.

  2. Yay for elitism! It was bad enough when Technorati started indexing MSN Spaces blogs. Now MySpace?! Until recently I was under the impression Technorati was supposed to be a bit elitist. It’s right in their name! Obviously this isn’t the case anymore. There’s even an MSN Spaces blog in the top 100!

  3. Lyndon says:

    Here, here. No riff raff. It’s bad enough with all the chavs blogging ;)

  4. Well, I agree with the other three commenters and the post, but I wonder how you would describe a trashy blog that gets huge traffic and masses of Adsense dollars? It must be part of some elite, but maybe not the elite we particularly like. :-)

  5. Victor says:

    Maybe if there was a way to better determine what is a commercial blog and what is a personal blog, we could then begin to seperate the good from the bad. Because, in honesty, bloggers that are really working hard with SERPS and the like are probably doing it for one thing: money (and fame I suppose).

  6. Katy says:

    I’ll start to get worried once Techorati starts to work properly….

  7. Victor– I don’t really think this is about being a commercial blog or being a personal. There’s quite a few personal blogs that I read that are SMEs about whatever they blog about. It’s about context and I think there’s a safe blanket assumption that can be made abouot MySpace blogs and if someone was truly serious about being an SME on “a” topic, MySpace would not be the platform for it. I’d say the same thing about Spaces blogs, except that Spaces seems to be the platform of choice from Microsoft bloggers – and they ARE SMEs in their areas. Of course, the signal to noise ratio leaves something to be desired.

  8. Glen Johnson says:

    Indexing blogs from myspace I must say I agree waters down the results of people like myself that are looking to make a living from blogging.

  9. These companies are there to make money not serve bloggers. Tough. Stop whining.

  10. brem says:

    31337?

  11. Michele says:

    I totally agree. I’ve seen a lot of splog links pop up on Technorati as well recently and it really does make it hard to find the good content when you have to search through junk. If it’s a good content blog (myspace or otherwise) then I have no problem with it but indexing anything just because of the server it’s on just doesn’t make sense.

  12. Tom Delaney says:

    Elitists started their journey somewhere too. If their first attempts at blogging were squashed because of a bias to platform, they may have not made it to elite status. In the end, content will rule.

  13. Dev Null says:

    i am a l33t hax0r gimme a bl0g ting

    j/k… yes, i agree, blogs should not be handed to every single teenager out there and then get indexed. Tech.. never had good results, now they are gonna be even crapier then ever.

  14. Josh says:

    Hmm… I think you are all missing the point. Yes, everyone who has a blog works for a high PageRank. And yes, PageRank does, in many ways, separate out an elite on the web. But the reality is that Google indexes everything.

    Now, Technorati does not index everything. They only index blogs. If they want to index more blogs, I say they should do it. They should index as much as they can. In theory, Technorati’s authority ratings should help you separate the wheat from the chaff. Now you can certainly argue that the way Technorati calculates authority isn’t very good and I would join you in that argument. Technorati will only continue to exist if it’s actually helpful when it comes to picking out the signal from the noise and, right now, they have some serious problems.

    So the issue isn’t what they index, but how they rate what they index and how they deliver to you the best content. If they fail in this area, it will be as bad for them as it is for you.

  15. Brian says:

    Technorati wants to extend their popularity contest to the environment where it matters most — with the kiddies.

    But I agree it is a direct contravention the brand “Technorati.”

    Why not create a new site and call it “The cafeteria table with the coolest kids?” :)

  16. Andy Merrett says:

    Web sites are positioned by all manner of means, far outreaching Technorati. The truly good sites will outshine the rest. There are plenty of people with domains and own hosting that publish rubbish. Let’s not target the platform. Why not use the myriad of other ways to find useful content rather than worrying about one service changing or broadening its indexing scope.

  17. Elamb says:

    “Elitist” is definitely not the right choice of words. It comes down to the best content (period)

    I don’t think that MySpace will soil Technorati. I don’t think you give the visitors of technorati enough credit. It is all about content. If MySpace folks have good content then technorati visitors will find it.

  18. Victor says:

    Aarron,

    To clarify my statement earlier: If you’re looking for the differnece between good blogs and useless blogs, then you need to look at those who are:

    1) motivated to write good content. I’d say the –majority– of the elitists’ motivation is monetary in nature, which is why I said “commercial”.

    2) not motivated to write good content. I’d say anyone without any serious push in the back might often write bad content. At most, they might get flamed once or twice, instead of losing their next paycheck (non-commercial or personal)

    Sure there are exceptions to the rule. Some people do write good content, to help others, and out of the kindness of their own hearts (without a single penny earned), but that’s a rare breed.

    Just trying to clear up my generalized statement on commercial and personal blogs earlier. Of course, I don’t know how differentiating between the two might actually be achieved…. ;)

  19. Blog Bloke says:

    I have to say that Josh (#14) hit it right on the money. So rather than reiterate what he said I will leave it at that except to add that by using cheesy methods like putting “make money” in your site title is not exactly setting the bar that high either.

  20. Elamb says:

    I see MySpace as a potential market. I want a peice of it. The demographic is between 18-30. Sure there are a lot of BS being spewd into it but that isn’t new. I’m glad its getting attatched to Technorati.. I want to get to know the trend that is going on there so I can capitalize on it.

    Does this make me greedy? I’ll be that. This is the information age. Its about supply and demand of content.

  21. Andy Merrett says:

    Spot the “Blog Bloke” who surfed on by not knowing anything about ProBlogger.

    1. this is a guest post
    2. this blog is about making money – why would it not have the words ‘make money’ in the title. I don’t think Darren got to nearly 5000 subscribers from using “cheesy titles”

  22. Blog Bloke says:

    Touchy aren’t we? ;-) That’s the point Andy. Any huckster can add “Get Rich Quick” to a title and get a lot of hits. It’s not rocket science you know. Anyhow, don’t take it so seriously. Since this post is about “controversy” I thought I would spice things up with a little tongue-in-cheek. It’s all in good fun. Cheers.

  23. Googlaxy says:

    If everyone is always arguing that a good blog means quality content, so we shouldn’t be afraid of MySpace little bloggers. However, maybe we should be prepared to some increment of irrelevant content in Technorati.

  24. michael says:

    Ted Sturgeon said, “90% of everything is crud.” If that hadn’t been penned in the 50′s, I’m sure the language would be stronger. Those who can produce good content are an elite. It takes hard work, time, dedication, talent, luck and a bit of obsession to be a good blogger. How many are willing to grind out their blogs long enough to rise to the top?

  25. katiebird says:

    Can I ask a dumb question? — What is ‘the sandbox’ I keep reading about?

  26. chartreuse says:

    Welcome to the future.
    First off there is no good reason for Technorati not to index MySpace blogs. None whatsoever. Infact, I would argue that it’s imperative that they do. if they don’t it’s like Google saying they are not going to index webpages originating from New Jersey.

    If you are a person who makes money blogging then you realize that having technorati in the hands of the unwashed masses is a good thing. It gives them a chance to discover you blogs.

    Just be happy you got a head start.

    And one more thing, bring back Darren. Now.

  27. Clark says:

    Your wrong. The Internet is not just for the elite but for everyone. If in your mind this creates a high signal to noise ratio than find tools that help you tune into the information you want to recieve.

    One of the definitions of elite is to be the best in talent in a particular category. In that sense there will be those who are elite at personal publishing because of whatever talent they bring – whether it’s writing, design, or programming.

  28. Chartreuse – I would if I could. I miss him too.

    Alright, let me take this a step farther and stir the pot again. Clark and others who seem to be missing my point, operating from the premise that I’m not saying get rid of MySpace (or any other blogs, bloggers or services), I’d ask you to get back to what I have actually said and that is blogging is about being elite. My point was that you try to be better than the rest. I try to be better than the rest. This whole blog is about setting blogs apart in the hierarchy of blogs. Getting to the top. Making more money. Getting higher SERPs by tweaking blogs according to SEO practices.

    That is called being elite. Or at least trying to be elite.

    So I go back to that premise? I think some of you are having allergic reactions to the word “elite”. :-)

  29. Kevin says:

    It doesn’t really bother me too much as I’ve been having problems with Technorati indexing me lately and recieved no help from their tech support =(.

  30. Steve says:

    I think a number of you missed the point. The purpose of this post wasn’t to ask the question, it was to create controversy!

    From two posts earlier on this very blog:
    But one tip that Darren posted worked out very well for me – ‘create controversy’“.

  31. Tom Hanna says:

    Why worry about Technorati? The much bigger issue is what Technorati doesn’t index – large numbers of long standing, largely read blogs with lots of incoming links aren’t indexed because Technorati has flagged them for a “human review” that is backlogged over 6 months. I suppose they felt they needed to index MySpace just to be indexing something. Personally, I’ve switched to using IceRocket tags instead. Though IceRocket has some antispam standards that make it tough for blogspotters, it’s still indexing bloggers who use paid services or their own hosting.

  32. Theresa says:

    If you truly are elite, wont the extra compition just put you in a higher percentile?

  33. Declan says:

    Aaron why try to create controversy just for the sake of making a splash while Darren is away?

    You could have easily ruffled a few more feathers by REALLY insulting all those people who (still) use Blogger and others who use cheesy names for their blogs such as Six Figure Blog!

  34. David says:

    If your looking for elite go join 9rules. Shit did I say that?

  35. Martin says:

    Aaron,

    While I get where you’re coming from the word “elite” conjures up strong emotions in many – mostly negative.

    Elitist at Dictionary.com…
    1. The belief that certain persons or members of certain classes or groups deserve favored treatment by virtue of their perceived superiority, as in intellect, social status, or financial resources.
    2. a) The sense of entitlement enjoyed by such a group or class.
    2. b) Control, rule, or domination by such a group or class.

    Now I thought that with the blogosphere any sort of elitism (except for A-Listers, of course ;-) ) would crumble and we would all have our own little space to do as we please – and the best will always rise above the pack etc.,

    The other issue is that what’s good and bad is subjective: one person’s garbage is another one’s treasure.

    But at the end of the day you’ve done what you set out to do: cause controversy – kudo to you, you elitist blogger ;-)

  36. chase says:

    I think there should be a way to index quality blogs over others

  37. Adam Graham says:

    Personally, I would go further than Darren. I don’t think they should index LiveJournals. I do a lot of political blogging and in general (with few exceptions) most LJers come off as airheads when commenting on politics or anything else of real importance.

    Nothing says Unprofessional, unimportant, or uninsightful like an LJ* (except a Xanga or a MySpace.) As Technorati has been indexing these services for some time, its hard to see how much harm adding MySpace will do the service.

  38. Andy Merrett says:

    Yes I’m trying to provide good content that is ‘better’ – as much for my own sake of satisfaction as for any monetary gain. I don’t consider myself elitist at all – in fact I strongly rebel against it. The ‘A-list’ are elitist – self-linking, self-important, holier-than-thou – the very things I diametrically oppose. So you can call me elitist if you like, but I will rebel strongly against that title.

    And now as you’ve explicitly said that you’re doing this to stir things up, I shall leave the conversation.

  39. Andy Merrett says:

    “commenting on politics or anything else of real importance.”

    don’t you mean

    “commenting on politics, or anything else of real importance.”

  40. Andy Merrett says:

    “Nothing says Unprofessional, unimportant, or uninsightful…”

    apart from someone who can’t be bothered to change the default WordPress 1.5 (1.5!!) theme?

    OK I’ve really finished now…

  41. Blog Bloke says:

    There are many blogs (mine included) that STILL use blogger and through the use of hacks are as sophisticated as any out there.

    This “elitist” bullshit that’s going around is dangerous and quite frankly — stupid. It has been floating around a lot lately and the Scobles and Guy Kawasakis et al have been leading the charge.

    One of the strengths of the blogosphere is that it has lowered the playing field and allowed everyone to join in the chorus. If you want to be part of the signal and rise above the rest of the noise then just write good content.

    But leave the immature elitist crap behind. It’s time to grow up and forget about all the abuse we received at High School. Geeks rule!

  42. Hone says:

    Elitetism is part of most human societies.

    Its ingrained in people from the beginning.

    Elitetism is eventually replicated in virtually every form of human group interaction.

  43. Sergio says:

    I don’t think that blogs are elite!
    Good blogs are an elite! Nowadays anyone creates and runs a blog without even having a thing to say.

  44. Blog Bloke says:

    The problem that I see using Technorati’s authority slider is there are a lot of good blogs out there that are filtered out because they haven’t developed a ‘high’ rank (yet). As long as we filter them out they will not have an opportunity to rise up the food chain like the others have.

    It is self defeating and only reinforces the elitist mentality. No doubt the so-called A-Listers were behind that idea. So if you want to just read them then subscribe to their feed and skip Technorati.

    The reason that I read Technorati is to find other opines and to join the community. Frankly I’m tired of just reading the snobs. The primary benefit of the blogosphere is to empower society. Not just read a few omnipoobahs sermonizing from the mount. I go to church for that.

  45. You have presented a valid point Aaron. We all perhaps are elitists doing just what you say but after a certain extent elitism really sucks. I mean check out what the A-Listers are doing over and over again.

    As for the myspace, I’m 100% with you. I search Technorati regularly to check out people blogging about similar topics and I know how the posts in Myspace are like
    “Fukcing shittt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THis guy eats horses, Baaa!Haa, That sukkkx”.

  46. Kevin says:

    Lol, “…eats horses…”

    You should change the “suckkx” to suX0r =p.

  47. VhailorZ says:

    correct me if im wrong, but doesnt technorati show the “elite” search results before the “spamming/copycat/n00b” search results? If so then whats the problem? If your blog gets lots of hits, then why complain? you will show up top of searches anyway?

    IMO It creates great competition for ALL to sharpen up on their blogging skills so that they can target the rankings.

  48. DavidC says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me. Why would any serious blogger be concerned about the very tip of the long tail, which is where the vast majority of these blogs will end up. Instead of being ranked 5,000 of 33.3 million, you’ll be 5,000 of 43.3 million. This is a non-issue.

  49. I find this blog pretty boring and ugly for it’s traffic. Does that answere your question?

    People are waisting their time on the elite.

    So gtg now. bye

  50. abd says:

    I am biased because I hate myspace. It is like a huge collection of all those crappy geocities pages that popped up in the mid 90′s. So yes I am against technorati indexing myspace blogs… if you can call them blogs.

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