Again, Meredith, thanks for contributing to this discussion and challenging the nature of the list. What follows is my attempt at an explanation for my rationale behind changing the judging process from my subjective opinion to systematic voting.
Reason 1: It was extremely difficult for me to pick the top 10 blogs.
I highlighted the struggles I was having when I published the ballot. The quick reminder is that the amount of Gen Y blogs I had become familiar with had increased significantly. It became an agonizing process to narrow it down to ten that provided the most value, especially considering I wanted to accurately evaluate each blog, which consisted of reading at least 3-4 posts from reach.
It boils down to the fact that I didn’t have enough time anymore. Also, I think Andrew Norcross brings up a great point, “Any list, esp. one that is a “Top …” is subjective by design, whether it is based on the writer’s preferences or those that vote.”
Reason 2: I wanted more conversation surrounding the list.
After a brief discussion with Valeria Maltoni about the shortcomings of the AdAge Power 150, I wanted to create more conversation about the top Gen Y blogs. I didn’t have to post all the blogs that were also receiving votes, but I want to showcase as many great blogs as I can and spur conversation like the one we’re having right now.
Prior to the voting, I never had anyone passionately step forward willing to do a guest post about the list; one that took the opportunity to highlight additional bloggers no less.
[And a great way to do that, would be to submit a ballot of course.]
Reason 3: This list is for my readers.
My readers, and the readers of the Gen Y community, are the people who voted for these blogs. I want this list to showcase great bloggers, but I also envision it being a great resource for people looking to familiarize themselves and connect with people writing about things that they are passionate about and that are relevant to their lives.
My lists prior to voting were a lot of the same old blogs, primarily because through my lens I thought they deserved it, but I didn’t want it to be what the most valuable blogs were for me, but for all of you. You can’t make everyone happy right?
Those are my primary reasons, but now I want to specifically address a few of the things you mentioned in your letter.
“Voting means it becomes a popularity contest. Or more so, it becomes a game of which bloggers tells their readers and friends to vote for them the most or which blogger votes for themselves the most.”
Interestingly enough, the voters that completely ignored the ballot are the ones at the top of the list, and the ones that blogged about it, tweeted about it, etc. are either near the bottom of the list or on the bubble. My interpretation of that result is that the people that obtained the most votes had content that spoke for itself, regardless of any campaigns.
Also, I required, at minimum, five blogs to be submitted for a ballot to be valid. This successfully weeded out a few people that just sent in, “I vote for _____” and that’s it. Ensuring at least 5 blogs typically means they at least read and are familiar with said blogs.
“But how can a blog that had one post in the entire month of January be picked as ‘Top Gen Y blog’”
Maybe for the people voting, that one post brought as much value into their lives as blogs that posted a lot more often. Also, you highlighted Driven Leaders as a blog that should’ve made the cut, yet guess how many total posts it had between November 30th and January 20th when voting ended? Zero. I have no doubt Anthony’s blog would have had a great chance to make the list otherwise.
I’m not telling you I get more out of any of them necessarily, but evidently the people that voted did. First let me preface this by saying that I think all the additional blogs you mentioned are phenomenal. Now, let me ask this? Are Ben’s and Penelope’s blogs extremely Gen Y relevant?
Ben’s is one of the most consistently thought provoking blogs I read, and he’s definitely a member of Gen Y, but the content he produces isn’t targeted to that audience is it? And while Penelope’s blog certainly has some great posts for our generation, there are plenty others that discuss the exact same things you point out about Holly’s. Except for me, Holly is is my generation and so I can relate a lot more to her problems (and potential outcomes) than getting divorced, funding a company, yelling at my kids, and dating farmers. (I love both blogs and as you’ve mentioned they’ve both been included on my previous lists.)
A few final points to think about and to extend the conversation:
- Is volume always a good thing? Couldn’t it be overwhelming?
- Is a good campaign a sign of a good blogger? That the recognize and leverage the power of community?
Finally, I didn’t conclude Penelope’s blog on the list because I didn’t think it was necessarily Gen Y targeted. It’s the same reason I left Richard Millington’s brilliant Feverbee off the list. It’s about building great communities, not specific issues that we as a generation deal with and negotiate everyday.
The best part about the voting system is that in April we could have a completely different list with entirely different blogs being showcased. Or not. We’ll see.
Thanks again for your submission Meredith.
In Defense of Voting for Top Gen Y Blogs — http://tinyurl.com/cssrun