Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy, and flattered that What’s Next Blog is on a bunch of top 100, top 25 and now, a top 42 list.
But the criteria for each list is largely subjective, and, as soon as there’s a list, there’s someone who figures out how to game the list. Not to mention that most lists are created as a way for the creator to game search engines so the list-maker’s site will increase its search value. Therefore, just about all such lists are meaningless.
The latest is from Junta which has a Top 42 Marketing Content Blogs list where What’s Next Blog is currently number 19.
They emailed me and asked me to put a badge on my blog to promote their list. I looked for the criteria and saw that “our experts” determine which blogs should be on the list and how they should be ranked. “Who are these experts?” I emailed, noting that without transparency, the list is meaningless.
Today, they added an explanation of the criteria and its ridiculousness boggles the mind:
“We are assuming that longer content is “meatier” and therefore higher quality content.”
To paraphrase Tina Turner: What’s length got to do with it? Who’s got time, in our information-overloaded age, to read 1000-word posts?
If you can’t say what you have to say, most of the time, in a 350 word or less blog post, you need to re-write.
Clarity, research, writing quality, links to further information, relevance, news value, and heart all have a lot more to do with the quality of a blog post than length.
So pardon me if I ignore another list while they figure out what really makes a blog worth reading. But, hey, thanks for including What’s Next Blog on your list.
Posted by B.L. Ochman
you are on the mark here BL – Blog for the content, blog for the community, blog for the joy of blogging.
Once we step out of that and start looking to monetize, then these lists are important. Just because they are an easy, “USA Today” approach to blogs.
But you realize there is much more to this medium than Top this or that. In fact, if we fall into the trap of Tops, then social media didn’t do much to advance our knowledge or society. We took the same metrics, the same 20th century approach and used some new technology. Big deal.
I understand why top lists exist, but I hope they are merely a data point and not solely relied upon for all the information that’s fit to blog.
Albert – I have nothing against monetizing blogs!
I love blogging and the blogging community is the finest, but What’s Next Blog also is my storefront, a place where I sell my reports, and a source of advertising revenue.
You’ll never hear me complaining about people monetizing their blogs!
We agree though, that blog content is king. Nobody will keep reading a blog that doesn’t have good content. And keeping that going for years on end requires love and dedication – two things money won’t buy.
I particularly loved their email to me saying congratulations on being #43 on the Top 42 list!
They got their links, B.L. ….that’s all they wanted anyhow ;)
Great point, and as usual, the way you present it is always amusing. Understanding influence goes way beyond popularity, which is why Technorati has problems remaining relevant. I am fortunate that I can use my company’s own tool, Media Intellect, to discover good content on the topics I am interested in, and use it to figure out who are the most influential in those areas.
BL – Thanks for taking the time to give some constructive criticism. You are dead right, the list we created is not nearly perfect and we still have a ways to go. We’ll shoot to make it better next time. Your comments, and others, help to do that.
The only goal was to bring something of value to the content marketing community. Hopefully, the list does that. If not, it serves no purpose.
I hear you on the “length” argument, and I agree there is a better way to measure this.
>>If you can’t say what you have to say, most of the time, in a 350 word or less blog post, you need to re-write.
Or you need to hold people’s attention better when you’ve routinely got more to say.
Sorry Brian, but I respectfully and totally disagree.
Yes, there absolutely are times when a blog post needs to be longer than 350 words, but those times are few and far between.
And when posts are long, they should be bulleted or in lists, or they should be re-written to be shorter.
If you have that much more to say, blogs may no longer be the medium for your content.
People are completely and totally overloaded with information. We just don’t have time to routinely read lengthy posts.
Less really is more when it comes to writing.
>>If you have that much more to say, blogs may no longer be the medium for your content.
Or (respectfully) maybe blogging has changed since you took it up, and you missed it?
>>And when posts are long, they should be bulleted or in lists.
Yep, standard operating procedure.
>>People are completely and totally overloaded with information. We just don’t have time to routinely read lengthy posts.
I’ve got 30,000 people who routinely think differently. Maybe it’s time you explored how things have changed instead of serving up 2004 dogma?
Brian – i’ll see your 30,000 and raise you another 100,000 regular readers.
Have a nice night. Or is that too 2004 dogma a thing to wish you.