Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
December 28, 2006 7:37 AM

I Don't Get The Z-List

I believe it was President George W. Bush who said (and I quote), "fool me once, shame on - shame on you. Fool me - you can't get fooled again." I did take part in one Blog Chain Letter (the Five Things Meme), but I'm just more than a little confused about why I should bother with this new one (or any other for that matter) that is making its way across the Blogosphere called, The Z-List.

It all started over at The Viral Garden - a Blog maintained by Mack Collier - with a post called, Revenge of the 'Z-Lister'. Here's a breakdown of the idea:

- Create more link-love for Blogs that you appreciate which may be unknown.
- Cut and paste The Viral Garden's list into your Blog, add your own favorite Blogs and post the list on your Blog.
- All Bloggers can take part by cutting and pasting the post they originally saw and creating a new post on their Blog.

In the end, this Z-List meme should game the Technorati system which uses the number of Blogs that link to a particular one to determine its "authority" (is this even true?). As the meme spreads, this Z-List would get longer and longer giving more Blogs more exposure and links. Collier also asks that people do not include their own Blog.

Why would anyone want to game Technorati?

Why not just add the Blogs you like to your Blogroll? Most people paying attention to their own traffic would notice that you've added the link to your Blogroll and, if your Blog is any good and they like your content, would probably add you to their Blogroll.

I took a look at a lot of the Blogs - a good list is now housed over at Seth Godin's Squidoo where he created a lens here: The Z List - and I'm still lost over how this whole Z-List works.

Why would anyone want to read a post filled with hundreds of links to other Blogs (I've seen some Z-List posts that have over two hundred links in them)? In my humble opinion, Blog postings like that remind me of the early days of link farms. If you really want to know what I consider the "best of the best," I've created a Blogroll (it's over there on the left) and if I catch anything new that's got my attention, you can be sure I'll add it - that's the whole ethos of a Blog - if you like what I Blog about, maybe you'll like some Blogs that have my attention.

I just don't see the attraction of this meme. Maybe I'm being a little Scrooge, but it really has got me confused. I do my best to not link to Blogs unless I really appreciate them and think that you will too. By letting that spirit go, I'm just becoming a traffic whore. I'm sure people who are digging the Z-List meme are getting some traffic spikes and maybe there are a handful of new readers who may not have been exposed to their Blog before, but I'd much rather have people like Seth Godin link to me because of something I've written on my Blog or contributed to his by adding value to the community and the conversation.

Then again, based on the success of the Z-List, I'm probably in the minority. Most people just want the link-love, Technorati rankings and traffic. If you read the original post over at The Viral Garden, the spirit of it was to create attention to some marketing Blogs that may not have all that much traffic. If you look at what it has become over at Seth Godin's Z-List Lens, you'll see a very different meme has taken place.

Sidebar: this Twist Image Blog has shown up on many people's Z-List.

By Mitch Joel