Gatekeepers without gates

Unlike the physical world that we live in, with it’s bullies and caste society, the virtual world (cyberspace if you will) has no restrictions on who may enter.  There has been a fair amount of discussion lately on the A-list of bloggers being “gatekeepers” in our digital society.  While I do believe that there is a bit of a caste system going on in the blogosphere, mostly it is because of the originality of those involved.  Some of these people have been around a while.  Some, like Michael at Techcrunch, haven’t been around much longer than I have.  Yet, Techcrunch has experienced a much faster climb up the ladder than I.  Why?  Because Michael is extremely good at what he does.  It doesn’t hurt that he lives near the action either.

Doc Searls seems to have taken offense(slightly) with the  “Gatekeeper” idea.  He even goes so far as to offer to help:

I’ll just add that, if ya’ll want to subvert some hierarchies, including the one you see me in now, I’d like to help.

Adam Green calls on him to put action to his words by finding a blogger that he hadn’t heard about and linking to them each day.  That’s a great idea, but with one major flaw.  There are millions upon millions of bloggers that Doc probably hasn’t heard of. The only way for this to work is if each and every one of the “A-list” bloggers did the same.

I personally have experienced Doc letting people through the gates.  If there really are any gates.  I don’t believe that there are.  I believe that if you really want to join the ranks of the power bloggers, you need to be consistently original and insightful.  I think that I have had moments of doing so, but I cannot honestly think that I do it consistently.  People like Scoble get away without being truly consistent with it as they have paid the time to have off days.

No, Doc, you’re not a gatekeeper. I agree with Squash here. Sites like memeorandum with it’s recursive inclusion and references create the gates.  Bloggers like myself who constantly link to the “A-listers” are creating gates too.  Many of us were told when we started that if we want to join the “club” we needed to get you guys to link to us.  And we were told that the best way to do that, was to link to you early and often.  And for some it works.  Problem is that doing so creates a pedestal for the “A-list” in ranking sites like and technorati.

What we should be doing instead is searching for new bloggers like ourselves and sharing discussion with them.  We don’t need to force discussion with the “A-list” to get the traffic and recognition.  We need to create it.

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About Shane Ede

Shane Ede is an IT guy by day and a Entrepreneurial Blogger by night. You can follow him here on Thatedeguy or over on Twitter and Google+.


  1. Amen, brother!

    Humans must be hard-wired into creating a caste system. Sad. And lately? Even the so called A-listers are behaving like “The Heathers” and that is just scary. I’m all for creating our own discussion, finding our own way, and generating our own traffic. I can do without the recognition, but cash or chocolate? I’m in.

  2. To me a lot of these complaints about “a-list” bloggers seem born out of jealousy more than anything else.

    The biggest “problem” with the blogosphere is that it is a supply-and-demand situation that is overly heavy on the supply. There are plenty of good blogs out there, but only so many blog readers to pay attention to them.

    I don’t even see how any given “a-lister” could act as a gatekeeper. If a blog’s content is good enough, somebody is going to find it and read. If the already established “a-listers” choose not to link to it, it is their loss. Because other people will recognize the talent and they will link or read.

    To get noticed in blogging you have to be very, very good for a very, very long time. I still remember when my blog was nothing but me talking to the void. I’m not exactly an “a-lister” now, but I have a sizeable community of readers. It just takes time to develop that.

  3. in this virtual world even if some are more advance or in the “A-list” if they can do it, so can we.


  1. […] I was over at Shanes site again today (Yep, I do visit your site regularily man.) and he had an interesting post about A-list bloggers and their seeming control of how successful newer blogs might be. Rather than burying another three paragraph comment on his blog I thought I’d post it here: […]

  2. […] I wrote before about Gatekeepers without gates and the discussion continued everywhere.  Since I’ve been looking for alternate ways to follow the discussions on the web and really haven’t found much.  Memeorandum would be great if it would open up a little.  As it stands now, I really think that it only has a base of about 300 blogs.  That’s not much considering technorati has a list of 28 million. […]