The lesser known
June 8, 2005 at 7:17 AM
There has been a lot of sites circling around lately about web celebrities; A lists, top 50 lists, what famous web guru are you, who's in the musical baton circle, the uberrati etc. The funny thing is, as much as I do read those who are popular within the industry I often times find a lot of value from those who are lesser known. It makes me wonder about the 80/20 theory (well, to me, it's more fact, but still) and randomness. If we only pay attention to that 20% what gets overlooked when one or two people from the 80% write something good? What if no one read Tim Berners-Lee's proposal on Information Management? What would things be like today? This is why I make it a point to read the lesser knowns. Whose feed do you subscribe to who may be a lesser known web professional? What lesser known web professional blogs do you know about that I may have never seen before? Add your comments below.
I heard an interesting theory about bloggers and ideas: the big-time bloggers aren't the ones who necessarily come up with the big ideas, but they are the ones who can identify them as big ideas and articulate them to others. In other words, they're the best of the human aggregators, reading voraciously and posting often about ideas they glean from the long tail.
I read Angie McKaig, and I find her name is often left out of the inner circles.
Joshua: I've heard that theory and it's very true. The problem is that it's inefficient to stay on top of the 80% of bloggers out there. Much easier to stay on top of the 20% "A-list". But think of recent posts from people like Zeldman and Shea. Very little content, very many links. They become our filters (aka: human aggregators) of what is and what isn't good to read. del.icio.us/popular works in much the same way. It becomes a reliable filter for what is interesting. For me, it's people like Roger Johansson and D. Keith Robinson that continually generate good content that are the people to watch.
Jonathan, Not to dismiss Roger, because I think he has a fantastic site and lots of good content, but I disagree with you. 456bereastreet is on as my blogrolls as any other I've seen, and he posts links to other people's content with very brief reviews almost daily. ~d
Douglas, I agree. We could also say the same about Angie McKaig, D. Keith Robinson. Anne van Kesteren seems to rarely make it on to blogrolls, but should. Angie and Roger, I know are read by tons of people, yet rarely listed on blogrolls. Keith, well, one look at blo.gs popular list and it's very clear he's in the popular crowd. So we are sorta on the right track here. It's sad to see so many people sorta take advantage of these great sites and authors... and what I mean by that is clearly reading their work, even using their links, but rarely linking back to them... instead that space is reserved for A-list bloggers... as if it to try and get ones site to "fit in." I can only hope that with better content distribution channels that these authors will get more recognition for their efforts.. but sadly I feel that the more distributed the content gets, the more disconnected the authors name gets from the content itself. How can we change that?
Good article, and it does seem as of the late the "big-time" bloggers have been posting very little content. Lately it seems more like trite word games being passed around the in circle.
Another month, another screen grab confab. I found alot of new sites by checking out the commenters on Camerons earlier confabs.
One of the reasons I removed blogroll from my site is that it was nearly imposible to find really good content on the a-list bloggers. People will always have Bowman, Shea, Zeldman and other early stars in teir feed readers, even though they do not post for months. If I would to list everyone I follow, it would be hard to actually find someone who consistently post good stuff, the stuff I can use in my work. Consistently meaning at least once a month. Human aggregators seem to becoming the thing to follow. I find Mezzoblue's daylies, 456 Berea Street, SvN and WebGraphics to be the best hub points for web design things.
Don't forget about Marko Dugonjić at maratz.com, he has been having some great posts as of late.
Mark Wubben, Egor Kloos, Rob Mientjes... Basically, real life friends who have not-so-well-known blogs. Then there's the occassional read of many, many lesser known bloggers around the world, but I generally don't subscribe to all of them because, well, my bloglines list already contains too many blogs to keep track of. I figure, the linklogs of many will inform me of the occasional great article by someone who isn't on my list. :-)
With Textpattern gaining in popularity, more and more people are looking for good plugins to extend the functionality of the CMS. I found that Rob Sable has created quite a few excellent plugins for Textpattern, with easy and understandable tutorials to go along with them. And if you're ever stuck, he always seems quick with his responses to questions.
I read one of the best articles I've ever read on Seth Goldstein's blog earlier this week and although he's a very well known figure, his Feedburner count is only at 151. Unbelievable.
Kevin Potts who has a blog called GraphicPush Some of the most interesting and useful articles I've seen on freelancing. Few months ago he said he was going to quit blogging and I unsubscribed to his feed, but I stumbled upon his blog again through another site a few days ago and noticed that he changed his mind and is still blogging. He only has 12 subscribers through Bloglines, I think mostly because of the false resignation.
I would definetly fall into the obscure and unknown group, but I must say that I like it that way. My website has a small, but dedicated audience that enjoys my writing. I feel that a large mass of roving readers is not beneficial to a website's community. With my current audience, I get frequent, valuable feedback that has helped me a great deal. I may eventually try to publicize my site, but for now I am very happy being in the unknown 80%.