Frankly Mark’s call for an end to the top 50 and his concomitant suggestion that bloggers needn’t concern themselves with ‘statistics’ strikes me as just fine. Though his claim that Witherington and McKnight have more readers than anyone in the top 50 is utterly unsupportable (since they chose to host their blogs on commercial sites, there’s no way to know how many readers they have). That aside, I’ve always seen the Top 50 as a farcical and humorous exercise in navel gazing and never taken it seriously enough to be as bothered by it as others always seem to be. In fact, the very fact that it seems to be so important to people like Loftus says far more about them than it does the utility of the listing.
When NT Wrong initiated the Top 50 we all knew what it was: a diversion, a frolic. It has since become something else, a serious enterprise for various souls who feel slighted if unincluded and joyful if rising in the ranks. But it is, as a project, quite unimportant. Anyone, at any time, can check their Alexa rankings (0r any other ranking system they choose) and see how they measure up against this one or that. Indeed, people are even free to pretend that everyone in the world is their avid and loyal reader. It’s all good, as the kids say (and they hate me for saying it- which makes it more fun for me to say).
To borrow and mutilate a phrase from my beloved Kierkegaard: ‘whether you blog or not, you will regret it. Whether you rise or fall in the Top 50 rankings, you will regret it. Whatever you do, you will regret it.’ If you can live with regret, blog for yourself and those readers who may find their way to you. If you can live with regret, don’t blog at all. Just play world of warcraft or smirk at blogging or whatever it is you wish to do.
As for me, I’m going to continue to be me and point out my constant #1-ness because it brings a smile to my face to do so. And I’m going to continue to blog in my own voice without apology or remorse because I know, and I know I know it, I will regret it if I don’t. And if I do.
End the Top 50 if you want, scorn the Carnivals, eat dog, love cats, be totally depraved if that’s your heart’s wish. But rest assured, I won’t desist. Even if it makes each and every single solitary person on the planet loathe me as much as Jim Davila and Joe Cathey do.
[NB- Those are just my reflections on Mark’s post. Feel free to keep yours to yourself or express them on your own little patch of cyberspace. Comments on this post are disabled because, frankly, I don’t care what anyone else thinks on the subject].