Blogging Celebrities: You Are Joking, Right?
I've been reading more blogs lately that reference the A-List of bloggers, and the concept leaves me a bit flat. Obviously some bloggers are much more popular than others, but the elitist idea of blogging celebrities sort of makes me laugh. I would caution any "A-Lister" to enjoy their fame while it lasts because there's a revolution coming to the internet, and it won't be based on who's friends with whom and which blogger can manufacture the most votes in a popularity contest. The revolution involves an even more rapid disemination of information than that which we currently see.
Any trend towards non-inclusion should not be encouraged in the blogosphere. Allowing the same type of biases that fuel the traditional media should be avoided at all costs. Blogs need to be tools that anyone can use, and everyone should have a shot at getting traffic for their blogs. We can learn a lot from A-listers about how to successfully build readerships, but we need to be careful not to put them on a pedestel.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not attacking anyone for promoting the idea of an "A-List", especially the bloggers who are listed on it. I am, however, urging caution against placing too much emphasis on something as ephereal as "internet fame". If everyone gets their "15 minutes" of fame off-line, I'm pretty sure the actual shelf-life of an internet celebrity is more like 15 nano-seconds. Unless these A-Listers work hard to improve the entire medium of blogging, they'll enrich themselves temporarily, but ultimately won't have a lasting impact on how people communicate. The chance to make a lasting contribution is there for anyone who turns attention to the postives of blogging, and avoids basing all their decisions on personalitiesf.
For off-line celebrity to happen for a person, a number of factors have to occur. One of these is usually longetivity. Even relatively young celebrities like Tom Cruise have more than 25 years of experience in their field. Blogging compared to movies or TV is a very new artform. I find it difficult to imagine bloggers who maintain their blogs for fifty years, but obviously this will happen over time. Many bloggers are full-time, so maintaining their blogs is not a huge challenge. Since they're monetizing their traffic, they will remain properly motivated and should continue on building content indefinitely.
It's hard to actually imagine what blogging will be 40 years from now. I can pretty much rest assured that the changes will be enormous. Look at the first version of WordPress and their newest and you realize how much more sophistication is available each day in the blogosphere. As money interests continue to pour into the field, it will morph and morph, until the form of blogging we do today is very unrecognizable in the future. And how will the A-listers fare? Much will depend on how capable they are of performing and adapting over the next 4 decades. If they do, and they become known by everyone and their grandmother, then we can call them true celebrities. But until then, they're just big fish in a relatively small pond.
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