Popular Blog Sites
At BlogHerald The Demise of the Geek Bloggers talks a lot about how the various genre's of blogging have waxed and waned. I think part of this is just chest-beating, but I also have to ask two other questions:
Is it true?
Does it matter?
Certainly geek sites were the first on the map. After all, the geeks were the ones that built all this to start with. Many of the current crop of bloggers wouldn't have been technically capable of putting up a web page ten years ago. The geeks were capable, so naturally their pages were popular: geek pages were almost all there was, and the majority of Internet users were geeks or near geeks themselves.
That's all changed. Almost anyone can put up a web site or a blog now. Mommy blogs, political blogs, pet blogs: the people doing these don't necessarily have any geekish qualities at all. The readership has changed too: ten years ago, the general public was just starting to discover the web. Now, it's more unusual to find someone who doesn't use it at all.
So you would expect that the popularity of geek blogs would decline when compared to other types of blogs. There are a lot more people interested in poker, child raising, pets, politics or whatever than are interested in the innards of C programming. But I don't agree that geek blogs are in decline; they just aren't as popular as other subjects, and never were.
Does it matter anyway? Do I give a rat's patootie who the "top blogger" is? Honestly, not very much. If it's one of MY blog categories that is in the top listings, sure, I will want to study succesful pages, but that's the only reason - I'm not into hero worship. But if the top blogger is one who writes about baseball, well, that's not my thing. I don't care about baseball any more than most of the world cares about Object Oriented Programming, so what possible importance is it to me if that baseball blog is number one in the world?
It would perhaps be of more interest if these "top blog" lists broke things down into categories and ranked similar sites against one another. But even that leaves me curling my lip just a bit. If I really enjoy reading Joe Smith's babblings, but the rest of the world apparently doesn't, am I going to stop reading Joe's blog because he isn't at the top of some list? No, of course not.
I suppose some people need to compete, and other people need to know who's "winning". I don't care very much about that. I might use such a list to help me find other blogs I might be interested in, but that's about it. I don't care who is on top today.