Always On Takes Easy Route

Tony Perkins’ attempt at an “Open Media 100” list of influential bloggers is a predictable, tried and true publishing phishing expedition.

Yes, the list has all sorts of well-known and well-read bloggers, but:

  • Did anyone that would be reading his publication (site) ‘not’ already know of these people? No.
  • Do we really need Always On to share this? No.

Even for novice blog readers, the info is already available (Technorati’s Top 100 Blogs). So, where is the ‘news’ value here? And, after all, we can make our own lists.

You know, a challenge should go out to Always On’s Tony Perkins. As I discussed with Jeremy Pepper, the difficult list to make would be the ‘next’ 100 bloggers after their list of “Open Media 100” and the honorable mentions.

Now that list, would have deeper value. It might just show the combined weight of people who are making a difference that we might not know. See, that’s where a site/magazine earns credibility. They exhibit and provide depth. Always On takes the easy way out.

An observer can’t help but think that Always On is just trying to sell 100 magazines (oh, extra copies to send friends/family). It is self gratifying and too simplistic. Plus, the article about “Open Media” is in Closed Media. You have to buy the magazine. Hello?

Look at the list. Compare it to Technorati’s Top 100. How difficult is it to come up with a list of sites that have great link juice. Sure, they narrowed it a bit. And, don’t get me wrong, many (if not all but a few) of the sites are written by great people. Perkins uses an old tried and true publishing ploy to tout the breakout change of communication. Old media ploy to glom off of the new? How sad is that?

Technorati is a great tool. But, popularity alone doesn’t tell the story. It doesn’t mean quality and it doesn’t even assure influence. The New York Post, National Enquirer and others are popular. Perkins lists Ana Marie Cox of Wonkette and Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report under practitioners. Well, he doesn’t say practitioners of what. Trendsetters would have been better. And their’s are trends that don’t help anyone. Also, if you want unique and snarky – where is Dooce in his list? She’s more unique and inventive than Cox and Drudge. She also does it on her own, more so than either Cox or Drudge.

Perkins’ effort seems transparent, to me. The goals? Two. Sell magazines and curry favor. Oh, I know they’ll say that is not their purpose. Perkin’s view is myopic. And who was in on making the list? Perkins’ teaser doesn’t tell us. Gotta fork out the dollars. No thanks. Transparency of the quality kind would be to say – up front – how you came up with the list in the first place. Then, maybe, someone would buy in.

The list may well be just like Modern Library’s “list of the best 100 novels of (the last) century.”

It shows the mostly lily white, mostly American and mostly male influence of the list makers more than the Web itself, I’ll wager. But, the post on Always On doesn’t identify the list makers.

This is just another way to (a) draw an audience, (b) create a buzz, and (c) do the easy thing. That’s just lazy and is the saddest part of the exercise.

Create a list that shows exactly how bloggers are impacting their culture’s and society’s – then we’ll be impressed. Create a list that goes deeper than thin cheap gloss. Make a list that isn’t so white, so male, so ‘inside the circle’ of this myopic view of the greatest worldwide communication tool ever created.

I don’t imagine Always On will ever see this, for a few reasons. Perkins’ closed media doesn’t allow me to trackback. I’m not one of his ‘paid subscriber’ insiders. I’ll stay outside. The air is fresher. Also, I’m not trying to sell anything.

As it stands now, the list is just sad. Gotta give it to them, though. They are quite transparent. But, I thought transparency was supposed to be good?

Introducing the AO/Technorati Open Media 100 :: AO

Introducing the AO/Technorati Open Media 100
Want to break the lock on mainstream media? So do these folks, and they are inviting us to blow the business wide open.

Tony Perkins [AlwaysOn] | POSTED: 06.21.05 @00:05
AlwaysOn and Technorati are pleased to present the first annual “Open Media 100,” the power list of bloggers, social networkers, tool smiths, and investors leading the Open Media Revolution. If you fancy Vanity Fair’s annual New Establishment list of the media and IT titans who matter (like we didn’t already know), you might think of the Open Media 100 as the new, new establishment – people you may not know but probably should. Although many of these folks may never grace the pages of the high-gloss pubs, they will most certainly be keeping an independent eye on those who do. As we’ve all witnessed, this is already happening. Both Dan Rather and CNN news chief Eason Jordon were handed their walking papers after being busted by bloggers.

David Parmet and Jeremy Pepper say it well – in fewer words. What can I say, I felt ‘windy’ on this one. Forgive me.

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