We had a discussion about "blog stars" in the comments to my post yesterday. Kid Mercury has been saying for as long I recall that niche communities are the future of the Internet. And he believes that niche communities are led by "blog stars".
So I asked him to name 10 "blog stars". And this is what he said:
1. fred wilson
2. heather armstrong (dooce.com)
4. jdawg (gotta admit it....you know i don't run from the truth boss)
5. mike masnick
6. dave winer
7. kanye west
8. richard macmanus
9. om malik
10. mike shedlock (globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com)
and that's off the top of my head; there are many others .....
to clarify, blog stars can simply be defined as independent media creators/publishers who have created and continue to engage their own niche community. because of the influence they hold over the community, they will have the assets required to crowdsource labor and to make endorsements. their relationship with their fans, if managed properly, can enable P2P transactions as well. it is critical to note that when evaluating the potential profitability of a blog star, we need to consider not only the quality of the content they produce, but their governance/political skills as well, as their influence must be used to manage/lead/inspire the crowd.
there will be many blog stars in the near future, as blog stars are the epitome of the "power to the people" nature of the internet.
I was tempted to take my name off the top of the list, because that is not what this post is about. But I left it there because it would be weird to start with number two. And I think it's also true that this was not a "top ten" list, but simply a quick demonstrative list of what "blog stars" are.
I'll add a few more "blog stars" to Kid's list. I enjoy and belong to these communities:Howard Lindzon
Please don't get upset if I left you off this list. It was not intended to be exhaustive, just instructive.
Blog stars are real people, not companies. You can't be a blog star if you blog for a company, unless it is your company (Om and Richard are examples of that kind of blog star). And the Kid says you have to operate a community on your blog. That is why Seth Godin is not a blog star in the Kid's definition. Honestly I struggle with the example of Seth because I think he is able to execute the "blog star" model even though he has no community on his blog.
I suspect there are thousands of blog stars operating in various sectors out there. It's an interesting model to study. I know how powerful it is already. If the Kid is right, it will become even more powerful in the coming years.