Do you have a Blog A List?
There’s a lot of talk about ‘A-lists’ in blogging circles from time to time and I generally don’t get into the discussions about what makes a blogger an A-lister or not or how a blog makes it into any such list.
To me these discussions are pretty pointless and are often filled with egos and/or tall poppy bashing.
Having said this – I do have my own ‘A-list’.
My A-list is a folder in my Bloglines account that is the first thing on my computer that I look at when I wake up in the morning and the last thing that I look at before I hit the sack (and I check it throughout the day constantly).
It is filled with around 20 RSS feeds that I consider to be essential reading across the main niches that I follow. They are RSS feeds of blogs that I know will contain any breaking news in those niches.
As a result if I log into Bloglines and see that there are unread items in my A-List I know that it’s fairly likely that important news is breaking that I need to be aware of.
My reason for having this A-List is that my Bloglines account currently has over 600 feeds that it tracks each day. Some of those feeds have many items per day and it’s not uncommon for me to have thousands of unread items at any given time which means that important stories that are breaking can remain hidden for hours (if not days).
An A-List helps me cut through the clutter and keep my finger on the pulse.
So what are the characteristics of MY A-Listers (please note – I’m not writing about the characteristics of good bloggers, just the blogs that are in my A-List folder)?
- They post regularly – but not too regularly - I want the important news from these bloggers and that’s it. While I subscribe to bloggers who write more commentary type blogs my A-Listers are more newsy type blogs.
- They have a long term demonstrated ability to be on top of the news and even break stories - these bloggers have an uncanny knack of having posts up within hours of a story breaking – no matter what time of the day or what day of the week it is.
- They stick to their niche – they know what they blog about and they stick to it. I know when they post that it’s something worth reading.
As I say – I do have other blogs and feeds that I value highly and that I prioritize but they generally write opinion pieces, tips posts and other less time specific and newsy posts which don’t matter if I get to them quickly after they are written or not.
Of course I expect to be asked about who is on my A-List?
I’m not actually going to reveal that information – partly because the feeds in that folder are specific in topic to my own interests and niches and won’t be really that useful to anyone unless they happen to have the same eclectic mix of interests I have. The other reason is that while I call it my ‘A-List’ that it’s not really a list of blogs that I think are better than others. They just happen to be useful to me in reporting the news in those niches.
Do you have an A-List (whether you call it that or not)? What other ways do you get hot or breaking stories in your niche?