Hugh thinks so.
In the past, say, from the late ‘nineties until the last six-twelve months or so, Bloggers’ readership grew IN PROPORTION to the social networks that were built up around them. Hence the phenomenon of the “A-List”.
But if we’re honest, looking back, it was always these circumventing social networks that were the really interesting part of the equation. The actual blogger in question, less so. Even if in our celebrity-worshiping culture, we sometimes forgot that.
Then suddenly, along comes stuff like Twitter and Facebook… et Voila! Suddenly, social networks start being successfully created without the “A-Listers” having to act like “Hubs” [or “Human Social Objects”, if you want to get REALLY technical]. Suddenly, the need for A-listers to arbitrate “Who the Cool Kids are” [and who they aren’t] is rapidly and thankfully diminished.
I totally applaud this development. Whatever your blogging strategy may be, I personally believe that on average, 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.
I don’t get this? I mean, posting your new startup link in Pownce, Facebook or Twitter won’t get you anything except visibility from the people you’re networked with.
The power of the “A-list” is in the eyeballs they can produce for you.