Just over a year ago I wrote an article titled 5 Reasons Why I Probably Won’t Share A Guest Post From Your Blog. Obviously I highlighted 5 reasons why I wouldn’t do it while still highlighting a few guest posters in the article. I’m someone who has my principles, and I stick by them. I also have reasons why I do things; whether anyone likes them or not, they’re still my reasons.
Now it’s time to talk about this thing I’m calling “group list posts”. In essence, these are posts where someone is addressing a certain topic and then either gets opinions from a lot of people or designates the “top” whomever based on their own criteria… which is usually no criteria, just opinion.
For full disclosure, I’ve been a part of a few of these over the years on different topics. I’m someone who, if I’m a participant, will help promote an article multiple times. Some of you might ask the question “if it’s good for me, then why won’t I share the posts of others who are doing the same thing”. I’m going to tell you, whether you like it or not. 🙂
First, I don’t like group lists without criteria, especially if the topic line is something like “The Top 50 Women Bloggers”. What you usually see is a list of 50 women without any type of criteria. It leaves me asking why are these women the top 50? Did you use a ranking system like Alexa or Kred? Did you just make it up and throw a title on there you knew many people would check out to see if either their names were on it or maybe one of their friends?
The biggest problem with these types of list… and a lot of other lists I’m going to bring up… is that they’re either all or overwhelmingly white; yeah, I went there. You think I’m making this up? Am I being sensitive?
Here’s an example. An article titled Start A Blog Like These Top 50 Successful Women Bloggers at this link, successfulblogging.com/start-a-blog/ (no, I’m not actually linking to it; you can copy & paste it if you’re so inclined) has 5 Asian women and no other minorities. This one was easy to pick out because it has a picture of every blogger.
Another article was titled Top 25 Bloggers In The World and was written on Medium at this link, medium.com/iambloggerguru/top-25-bloggers-in-the-world-94c81406ddb1. This one was interesting because there’s 3 women on the list, one of whom isn’t really a blogger (Sorry Arianna Huffington, but you’re not…) and all the rest are white men… and the writer was Asian!
What this shows is that the criteria is fake, and the writers need to expand their fields of knowledge. That’s why the women had to have their own article (even if they missed out on the minorities) and I’ve had to write my own articles highlighting black blogs… but I haven’t said any of them were “top” anything, even as I wrote my Black Web Friday series for months back some years ago.
Second, lists with criteria almost always have the same people… and once again they’re almost always white and male. I did find an article titled “Up and Coming Influencers Share Marketing Predictions for 2016” at ninjaoutreach.com/influencer-marketing-predictions/ with 7 women out of 25, way out of the ordinary, and out of those numbers one was black… and I didn’t know her. There were 4 Asians, which means 80% were white and 72% were male… and I knew more than half of them.
It was good that I saw my buddy Lisa Sicard (hi Lisa!). But where was Ileane Smith? Where was Lisa Irby? Where was Kim George? Where was Danielle Little? Where was Reg Saddler? Where was Enstine Muki? Where was Kharim Tomlinson?
Just to be clear, it’s not that I don’t appreciate some of the topics and some of the people highlighted on these sites. I don’t begrudge some of the folks who show up often; some of them are well known for their contributions; I thank them for that. The issue is that just like the movie Black Panther has shown, there’s a thriving community of people of color in America that deserve more attention and promotion.
The problem is that I hear all the time “I don’t know any black bloggers” or some such nonsense. What do you think I am? I’ve been out here for 12 years! Others have been around a very long time. I know who “you” are; doesn’t that deserve a bit of reciprocation?
I don’t want to be on a list because I’m black; I want to be on a list because I know what I’m talking about and I happen to be black! I don’t want to be an anomaly; I want to be part of the large community that’s also part of the small community… if that makes sense.
If not… let me share this story by video:
A little bit more inclusion; is that too much to ask?
Third, you almost never get anything usable from these lists. Whenever I’ve participated, I’ve always offered specific and usable tips. Mostly what I see is tripe that everyone says that’s meaningless. Y’all know what I mean; telling someone to write “good content” is useless (I’ve got you covered; “great content” lol) unless you either tell them what good content is or give some more specific recommendations.
That’s all I’ve got; what say some of you?