I must have been under a rock since Nov 06, when David Sifry launched his state of the Blogoshphere. One thing stood out in particular for me was this:
"The Very High Authority Group (500 or more blogs linking in the last 6 months)
In the final group we see what might be considered the blogging elite. This group, which represents more than 4,000 blogs, exhibits a radical shift in post frequency as well as blog age. Bloggers of this type have been at it longer – a year and a half on average – and post nearly twice a day, an increase in posting volume of over 100% from the previous group. Many of the blogs in this category, in fact, are about as old as Technorati and we’ve grown up together. Some of these are full-fledge professional enterprises that post many, many times per day and behave increasingly like our friends in the mainstream media. As has been widely reported, the impact of these bloggers on our cultures and democracies is increasingly dramatic."
Full disclosure—according to Technorati, I currently have 430 blogs linking back to me. So technically, I am fast approaching this "elite" status according to the report.
Only one problem. I have a serious issue with the word ELITE. Now I'm about to get into a mini-rant that probably has nothing to do with how David intended to use that word and more with how we interpret it. You've been warned. :)
Here's my beef with elitism. Considering yourself an elite means that you feel like you are superior to others. Once you begin to feel superior, you begin to dismiss the validity that others can bring to the table. You desire to surround yourself with people "just like you". It becomes increasingly important to be accepted by these people who's opinions matter to you. The opinions of the "non-elite" begin to matter less to you even though you say the opposite.
Being elite means you see yourself as set apart. As special. As "gifted" or "intelligent". Being elite means you value mostly yourself and others in the "elite" class—even though you say you look out for the "little people".
Bloggers who find themselves in this position might actually want to view themselves more as "leaders". True leaders sacrifice themselves for the people they lead. They look out for their people. They influence as opposed to leading by force or dictation. They earn loyalty vs. demanding it. They are just as flawed as the rest of us and are willing to embrace their flaws—and share this with others. They may be charismatic, but they also struggle to keep themselves grounded. And most importantly, they mix it up with the everyday people—genuinely, because they know in their heart they are merely human, as we all are.
So, there may be truth an emerging class of bloggers which enjoys more exposure than most. There is nothing wrong with this. It's reality. But if we find ourselves to be that fortunate—let us never think of ourselves as "smart", "sophisticated", "in-the-know", "special" or in other words—elite.
And lastly as person who creates, I view elitism as one of the true enemies of creativity next to ego. The minute we feel elite, we lose our child-like curiosity. We forget to do silly things that others might find embarrassing. We don't feel the need to take chances as much. And we don't think we can learn from others who think and live differently. And that's when creativity dies.
End of rant. It's just an opinion. I could be wrong.