Does Advertising Age taking over Todd And’ Power 150 represent a coming of age of the blogosphere or just more advertising? The blogosphere has always had its lists – Top 10 reasons Why, 5 Ways to, 3 Tips for and The Power 150 marketing blogs. And everybody loves them. That’s why they are so popular.
The delightful subjectivity of these kinds of lists is one of the things that differentiates blogs from commercial publications like Advertising Age.
This list was born as the grassroots’ effort of Todd And with the help of a few dedicated and passionate volunteers. Todd and the people who supported this effort for so many months should be congratulated for the attention the list has received.
Ad Age’s announcement of their affiliation with The Power 150 highlights one of the difficulties of corporate entry into the world of blogging. Ad Age is a highly influential and respected professional publication and the addition of their imprimatur to The Power 150 grants an aura of authority that is in one way counter to the spirit of its foundation.
According to Jonah Bloom, Editor of Advertising Age, the publication will use The Power 150 as the main editorial benchmark when referencing blogs in print and online.
By anyone’s estimation lists such as Todd’s are entirely subjective. Of the four metrics which determine a blog’s ranking within The Power 150, three are based on the number of readers or the number of times a blog is mentioned by other blogs. But the secret sauce is Todd’s opinion of the rated blogs. That admittedly subjective metric that makes up 25% of the score may be the difference between being in the middle of the list or not being in the top 150 at all.
Though it’s not Ad Age’s intent, their authority essentially marginalizes those blogs that are not on The Power 150. And there are hundreds of worthy marketing blogs out there. So many, that Todd expanded the original list of 150 to 350. How will the blogosphere react to this marginalization? Probably in the way the blogosphere always does — with more lists.
Will this dilute the power of The Power 150 and thus dilute the value of Ad Age’s foray into the blogosphere? Only time will tell. But it highlights the complexity of corporate America’s entry into an environment where subjectivity is actually a good thing.
The customers of the blogosphere are the readers and the bloggers themselves. They may react in ways the corporations do not expect.
Valeria Maltoni • Conversation Agent • Philadelphia, PA • www.conversationagent.com