Illustration of Derek Powazek by Adam Ellis

Infinite Gates

A small note to all those staring deeply into their navels and fretting about the role of gatekeepers in the blogosphere.

This is a gatekeeper.

gatekeeper

Her name is Dana Barrett and she’s waiting for the Keymaster to bring about the return of Gozer the Gozerian, who will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, he came as a large and moving Torg. During the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, he came as a giant Slor. (Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!)

So that’s a gatekeeper. Fortunately we haven’t seen one since 1984, when Ghostbusters came and went.

If you have a website that you post to every day, and you’ve amassed a sizable readership, good for you. But you are no more a than the New York Times is a homepage.

What you are is a popular nerd, king of your very own soapbox. Congratulations! But being a gatekeeper in the age of the blogosphere is completely meaningless.

After all, how valuable is it to be a gatekeeper in a world of infinite gates?

As el jefe Sifry recently said to New York Magazine:

“You think the A-list is the A-list is the A-list,” says David Sifry, the CEO of Technorati. “But I’m telling you, boy, does it shift – and does it shift fast.” Cultural winds can drive blogs in and out of favor: When Sifry founded Technorati in 2002, many of the bloggers on his top-100-most-linked list were computer geeks, such as journalist Doc Searls and programmer Dave Winer. But as blogging grew to encompass politics and pop culture, Searls dropped to No. 96 and Winer to No. 126.

Fretting about the blogging “A-List” is as old as blogging itself. Here’s a post I made five years ago, where I retired from blogging, or came out of retirement from blogging, or something. I can’t even remember. It was all incredibly important to me at the time, but now it just looks like navel-gazing, self-important nonsense.

Everything old is new again.

So now, my fellow bloggers, I beseech you: Ignore the numbers. Ignore the lists. Blog what you love and the rest will follow. Everything else is just noise.

Props to The Wife for the Ghostbusters reference.


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Hi, I’m Derek. I make awesome community-centric web stuff. I sometimes post things to Instagram and Twitter. I’m mostly harmless. More.





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