Lists (and being on them)
A few weeks ago, with one post Anil Dash pretty much cleaned out every corner of the the whole linkbaiting-personalities-on-a-list debate. Granted, it’s a matter of passing significance for 99.99% of people out there, especially as it tends to concern the top 100 power-blogger / tech-influencer / web personality / blahblah set (whom I’ve found to be far more like regular people and far less “influential” than most list-makers would probably like to let on). But the man definitely had final word about these lists (and being on them):
“Organizations… create these lists to solidify their power and influence, and to promote their own authority. [Nailed it!] This generally works, with the most exceptional examples like Time’s Person of the Year actually acting to amplify the publication’s own profile. …
For less-known organizations, like NowPublic, having a list like this acts as a phenomenal engine of promotion. … On the web, we call this link-baiting, but offline, it’s simply called flattery.
The rest is here. It was originally written in reference to two separate lists cataloguing web personalities. (And hey, guess what, I happen to make appearances on both, but the linkbait’s only taken on my about page.)