A-Listlessness: Hugh MacLeod on why the A-List is dead

Hugh MacLeod, who I’ve sorta followed for years, but who I really follow now that we’re Twitter friends, just posted something on his blog that you may not believe, but is so true, I’m going to refer to it forevermore as MacLeod’s Law of A-Listlessness:

“You’re far better off going off to somewhere like Facebook and building your own social network with like-minded folk, based on your own collective interests, your own collective passions and own collective sense of merit, than loitering around the Blogopshere, waiting for some rockstar like Scoble, Arrington, Cory etc to link to you… and hoping in vain that the latter will somehow transform your life. It won’t.”

Observation: When you set up a Facebook account, you’re not weighted down with the responsibility of being a publisher or writer or pundit or whatever it is that keeps most people from setting up a blog. On Facebook, you’re not a Facebooker — you’re just you. You can connect with people based on something other than linking to what that person just observed (like I’m doing here with a link to Hugh).

More on this later.

Later: As this post has generated some drive-by traffic, I’d like to observe that many on the blogosphere are reacting to what they think Hugh wrote, not to what he actually wrote. As for me, I am not opposed to the notion that some people are great at blogging and they draw a big following. My point is this: If becoming one of those bloggers — in other words, being a publisher and media-creator with a following — is your goal, then your blogging needs to be second-nature and a natural flow of the way you process information — or it will quickly become a dreaded chore. On the other hand, if building a strong network of friends and business associates or others with a shared passion, then perhaps there are other approaches than blogging that may be more appropriate to meet that need. For me to say this is not an indictment of blogging. It’s merely an observation that parts of the “live web” are not best understood when applying publishing or “content creating” metaphors to them.

  • hugh macleod

    Yes, Rex, that has always been the rub, since time immemorial: to be “just you”, as opposed to a mere “social object”. Harder than it sounds 😉

  • Rex, you blog is really gonna be great “later” when all this Facebook stuff gets posted. Are you writing a book on Facebook?

    Or do all these “more on this later” endings just mean that you are really digging Facebook and will continue to write along these lines?

  • Rex Hammock

    Jackson, I feel your pain. I’m afraid the build-up is overblown, however. I’ll get it all out of my system this weekend. I’ll keep it short and sweet, however.

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  • Rex,

    I have been researching info about the traffic impacts of FB and Twitter. My first port of call was Hugh’s site and have followed the links. So here I am!

    Just so that we are clear – I was then and still am not a FB fan at all. Neither do I like Twitter, MyBlogLog, or any of the social network that mushroomed over the summer. I am first and foremost a blogger fan. But when I do get the urge to binge on oneliners, I hop over to Twiiter to tweet and satisfy my compelling Twitter pangs.

    I do enjoy internet technology and always crave the latest gizmo. I am keen to learn what happens and where the whizzkid developers are leading us to. It is exciting and vibrant and has me hooked.

    So with this and with your comments above in mind and given the issues FB has faced lately such as the proliferation of ‘friend baiting’ for no other reason than to grow the contact list, do you still advocate FB above LinkedIn for business people?



  • Rex Hammock

    Robert, I’ll be honest. I’m so far removed from this post now (six months later), I’ve forgotten the context of my support. In the past six months, both FB and Linked In have evolved. I don’t recall ever being an advocate of FB for business purposes, except advocating that people should use it and understand it as it was — and is — the best example of a platform with which to manage a personal identity in the context of a social network.

    That said, LinkedIn has evolved dramatically in the past few months to include some of the elements I was probably touting at the time this post was first made. For business networking, LinkedIn is clearly superior now.

    And, frankly, my 17 yr old son hates that I have a Facebook account, but I don’t think he’s ever heard of Linked In — another point for LinkedIn.

    However, this a rapidly moving target and I’m sure that in a few months I’ll think something different.

  • Rex,

    I too have had to eat humble pie about FB since my first rants. Am pleased to see that LinkedIn rose to the challenge presented by the likes of FB. I hope they sustain the momentum to develop further and do not let the traction they gained since the summer diminish.

    By the way – my son would disown me if he knew or even suspected I had a FB account! He regards FB as his and his agegroups’ domain. Adults (especially mums and dads) are verboten so I keep schtum about the fact that I used to have one! I want to see 65yrs!

    Many thanks for responding. I am wanting to post my article by Monday night.

    Be well and I hope you and your family have a fabulous festive season.

    Kind regards