Nice to see from Dave (and Gabe) that this blog is #97 on a new Techmeme Top 100 list — especially since this blog is currently #465,937 in Technorati’s Top Zillion, with an authority level of 14. My old one, which peaked in the top few at Technorati, is still at #877, with an authority level of 1647.
This here is the same blog, with the same name; just with a new URL and a new publishing system. Visitors run in about the same numbers (a few thousand a day). From my end it feels about the same, except for the publishing system differences. (It’s in WordPress now.) I still write it with the same outline editor. (And thanks to Dave for making it work.) But the differences in Technorati rankings show how tied we are to the URLs we use. Thanks to that fact, I have a long way to go, just to catch up to myself.
It’s funny how we love these ranking systems, whether we like them or not. I think it’s because we like our world ordered in various ways: alphabetical, numerical, geospacial, chronological… But humans have always also been obsessively interested in ranking each other, in the notion of popularity, in who are the alphas and betas among us, and in stories about them. Witness tabloids. Or the fact that People magazine rakes in something like a $billion per year.
It’s something I’ve always understood, but never liked. As a kid in school I did poorly at academics and sports, and I lacked other distinctions that would have made me stand out. (Such as criminality, which was a popular option where I grew up in New Jersey.) Something happens to relationships when high ranking is involved. Those blessed with popularity risk feeling arrogant and entitled, while others risk becoming deferential or adorational. That’s why it rankles me when somebody says I’m an “A-list” or an “alpha” blogger. I’m just me, dude, not a number.
Bloggers are people, not institutions. We’re the publishing equivalent of single-celled animals. Being an alpha blogger is like being an alpha paramecium. And I don’t mean that as a knock on blogging. On the contrary, I think highly linky personal publishing amplifies the humanity of its authors. It puts in sharp relief our singular distinctions as human beings. Each of us is a #1 and Only.