There’s always something to howl about

Twenty-five most influential bloggers? Influence upon whom? Toward what objectives? Or: Why collectivism makes my skin crawl

Brad Coy sends news that I have been named as one of the Inman News “25 Most Influential Bloggers” for 2008. I don’t know this first-hand, since you have to be a member of the Inman Secret Handshake Club to gain access to the “Special Report.” Not quite true: You can also buy the thrilling “Special Report” for only $79.00. That’s only $3.16 an influencer.

But wait: The price just went up to $3.29 an influencer, since, as with last year, I am renouncing this denomination.

I’m sure the people who named me to this list thought they were offering me some sort of distinction. To the contrary, I see it as a diminution of the work we are doing here. Among the influencers are people I see as being active exponents of knowing evil. The rest are decent-enough folks, but I don’t see them, for the most part, as being stout advocates for anything that I regard as being good or vital or important. Nice people, but they’re just people.

Influence by itself is a meaningless standard of value: Fifty million Frenchmen can be as wrong as one. For the most part, the people in the whose opinions matter most to me already write here — and, of course, those great minds are all but entirely omitted from Inman’s list, even though their influence is more-positive and more-consequential than many of those included.

But none of that matters. What matters is this: I am either right or I am wrong — as are you. Agreement means nothing, endorsement means nothing, beauty contests mean nothing, dipshit lists like this mean nothing. All that matters is the quality of your thinking and and quality of your writing. The world is made by minds, not mobs, and I don’t want my name to be used to contradict that proposition.

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20 Comments so far

  1. Tom Vanderwell October 30th, 2008 12:15 pm

    *stands up and applauds*

  2. Steve Krzysiak October 30th, 2008 12:17 pm

    Thanks, I was waiting for someone on the list to blog something like this. I couldn’t agree with you more! Rock on Greg.

  3. Todd October 30th, 2008 1:02 pm

    Are you on the list Mr. Swann? ( I am too broke to pay to see it ).

  4. Teri Lussier October 30th, 2008 1:05 pm

    When Brad sent that to me, my first thought was that you must be doing something wrong. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    >All that matters is the quality of your thinking and and quality of your writing.

    If I’ve learned nothing else from BHB, I’ve learned that, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Thanks again for being an insufferable bastard.

  5. Bob October 30th, 2008 1:15 pm

    When I saw the list, my only questions were “who do they influence” and “how”, even though I mean none of them any disrespect. Aside from some social media tips, I just don’t see the influence that is supposedly being peddled.

    I would rather see a list of posts for 2008 that impact the industry. Probably a much shorter list though.

  6. Greg Swann October 30th, 2008 1:22 pm

    > Are you on the list Mr. Swann?

    As with everything Inman, this list amounts to the Twitterati celebrating itself. But it would reek too much of hypocrisy to have left me off — even though my reaction is predictable and redundant — since half or more of all the original ideas in the conversation start here. It’s an insult to many other very original thinkers here that they were omitted from the list in favor of otherwise nice people, hale-fellows-well-tweeted, who bring nothing of moment to the debate. But, as before, none of that matters. We’ll press on regardless, doing the job we’ve always done, dragging the rest of the world in the future like it or don’t. If you need someone else to tell you your work is good — it isn’t.

  7. Bob October 30th, 2008 1:25 pm

    “who bring nothing of moment to the debate”

    Most don’t care to debate.

  8. Tim Golden October 30th, 2008 1:28 pm

    “The world is made by minds, not mobs”

    For the most part true, but I guess you have never heard of ‘low information voters’ …lol



  9. Eric Bramlett October 30th, 2008 3:45 pm

    So…I’m thinking that Inman is going to make exactly 24 X $79 = $1896 off this little award.

    Are you guys familiar with the Who’s Who Among American High School Students scam? Pretty. Similar.

  10. Todd Carpenter October 30th, 2008 4:35 pm

    I share page 4 of this report (that I got for free Eric) with Greg Swann and Dan Green. Two of a handful of bloggers that hold my deepest respect.

    There are five present or past Bloodhounds on that list, plus the Keynote Speaker at the upcoming Unchained event. I’m certainly not offended to be included. Honored in fact. Of course, if Teri Lussier wrote the same report, and included me on it, I’d be just as honored.

    I will agree that “influential” is an odd term for the list. I said the same last year.

  11. Cheryl Johnson October 30th, 2008 6:31 pm

    I know I’m registered at Inman, but I don’t recall being charged any $, at least not recently. But my ability to recall stuff does leave a little to be desired lately.

  12. Brian Brady October 30th, 2008 7:01 pm

    Whom do y’all influence?

  13. Bob October 30th, 2008 7:21 pm

    The list I saw initially was made up of just those on the The agent that forwarded it to me left off a few because she “had never heard of them”.

    Calculatedrisk (which I read w/o fail) is one which has influence and has transcended past just ordinary blog into something far more. That site is what blogs want to be when they grow up.

    When you impact change and are routinely cited by national, mainstream press, you have influence. patrick .net is another. I also think OC’s Lansner is a no brainer for that list.

    All are excellent writers, but “influential” should either not be the adjective, or the list should be pared down a bit.

  14. Sean Purcell October 30th, 2008 7:28 pm

    @ Bob – I just donโ€™t see the influence that is supposedly being peddled. I am not sure how you intended this, but I am influenced almost every day. More importantly, my clients benefit from the influence. But most enjoyably, my competition suffers from the influence.

    @ Greg – If you need someone else to tell you your work is good โ€” it isnโ€™t. You know, it is not always about your needs. Sometimes it is the source who “needs” to be recognized. By authoritatively calling out your talent they hope to reflect their own.

    By the way: your work is good. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Bob October 30th, 2008 8:27 pm

    sean, I really see only a few on that list where if the blogs were gone tomorrow, there would be a void. Real influence is notably when it is gone.

  16. Bob October 30th, 2008 8:36 pm


  17. Sean Purcell October 30th, 2008 10:16 pm


    I should have been more specific. I meant I am influenced by Greg Swann specifically and BHB in general. Which is to say, if BHB were gone tomorrow there would be not be a void… there would be a crater.

  18. Brad Coy October 30th, 2008 11:01 pm

    What I don’t get is why a list of bloggers are chosen and put up on a shelf for sale. The content amounts to something that could be put in a post easily. And, yes they are ‘bloggers’. The very idea of the product does not make sense really. I mean, is somebody buying this? With a little research of your own you’d find that the cat’s out of the bag on at least half of the list. What’s so special about that? Are we left to think that at 13 @ $79 is then a bargain to be pointed in the direction of some influence?

    Bloggers provide content at the cost of their own blood, sweat and tears. Where Real Estate and Technology disconnect is when they are evaluated and then sold off on a list that’s seemingly very subjective. I know nothing of how to build a community platform for RE pros. What I do know is that as a member, I need to trust. That’s yours to violate.

  19. Thomas Hall October 31st, 2008 8:28 am

    So is it fair to say that “love the hair, hope you win!” was insincere and a mockery? All I know – I would never relinquish the tiara!

  20. teresa boardman November 2nd, 2008 8:03 am

    What is quality of thinking? I never thought about thinking that way. I would like to learn more.