Meritocracies

Johnathan Wilde talks about the blogopshere as a kosmos.

Last week I wrote about how the blogosphere is a free market anarchy – a system without any top-down command authority, where property rights are fully secured, coercion is nowhere to be found, and all relations are voluntary. At first blush, if you did not know I was taking about the blogosphere, a picture of an entropic free-for-all would have likely entired your mind upon reading everything after the hyphen in the previous sentence. No leader? Pandemonium! No design? Chaos! No control? Bedlam!

Yet, the as any denizen of the blogosphere knows, it is not chaotic. Why not?

He goes on to talk about Technorati and the Ecosystem (both tools that I use) and how they help. But they are just tools — they aren’t the why. The why is that the blogophere is a meritocracy. You are as good as you are, and it all evens out.

I’m at about the midpoint of the ecosystem, link and traffic-wise. The answer why is easy. That is how valuable my effort is. I like to think that I write well and have valuable insights, but I don’t do it much. Guys who post as well as me but post more rank higher. Guys who post as much as me but don’t write worth a damn rank low.

I don’t pimp my blog. It is a choice that I have made, but it costs me rank. It is effort that I do not invest in the blog, so the blog isn’t as valuanble. That is how a meritocracy works. “On the internet, no one knows that you are a dog.” That isn’t just a joke. On the internet, you are your ideas. That is the most fundamental unit of a meritocracy, and that is what the blogosphere is. Good writers rise to the top; average writers sit in the middle, and the crap writers sit at the bottom.

If you are at the bottom, yes, that means your blog is crap. It may not mean that you write like crap — you might just not write enough. You may have technical limitations; Blogger really does hold you back. But if you are ranked lower, it means that you are doing something less well than the people above you.

(Via The Agitator)

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