Top 10, Top 100 etc etc etc … it doesn’t where you look in our society whether it be online or off – rankings of one sort or another are an integral part of our social interaction as well as how we place ourselves in the scheme of things.
We love to rank things; whether it is the best restaurants in the world to the top 100 albums of all time and everything in between, because of our innate need to always have something better to shoot for. In raw terms it gives us something to live for.
Everything in our society is based on rankings from our place in the social class system to our place in the workforce. We get rewarded whenever we move up in the rankings. Sometimes those rewards are monetary and sometimes they are nothing more than public bragging rights.
In the tech blogosphere rankings is something that many like to deny even exists and if it does it isn’t important. Well they obviously haven’t yet heard of the newest type of ranking to hit all courtesy of startup Xobni and their plugin application for the Outlook email client. Apparently part of the Xobni application assigns a rank to each of your email contacts based on a ratio of incoming and outgoing email. It is the new hot game to be hitting tech related offices – who’s your number one.
This is one reason why I laugh my ass off every time someone in the tech blogosphere tries to deny or downgrade the value of the so-called Technorati Ranking system. Ya sure, the idea might offend the tender sensibility of some of the goodie two shoe bloggers but others will do it because they are doing everything to protect their ranking turf.
The problem right now in the tech blogosphere is that bloggers are getting gun shy of even having a ranking system because of this belittlement of it by those that are already at the top of the food chain. It hasn’t helped either that the basic human nature of gaming any ranking system in order to falsely increase one’s rank has also had a negative effect.
Both the protecting of top place turf and this gaming of the system has made it difficult to have an honest system for the rest of us to work with. Hell it has even scared of Technorati to the point they are destroying the company by trying to do everything they can to remove the idea of rankings.
It doesn’t matter if you change the name to something stupid like social graph or be up front and call it what it is – rankings the point is that this is a natural part of our makeup so let’s cut the crap and work towards a good honest ranking system with all the checks and balances needed to keep it honest. On top of that let’s quit lying to each other about how unimportant rankings are regardless of the bull being fed to us by those that don’t want their turf (money flow) threatened.
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