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Why Lists Matter

Earlier this week Babble named a list of the 100 top mom blogs. Just a few moments after it went live twitter was bubbling over with congratulations for the winners (most often from the winners to others). A lot of the noise around the Babble list from those not listed is how much lists don’t matter, how they are divisive and never showcase anyone with talent and they’re rigged because the people deciding have a horse in the race.  

All those things might be true to a very limited extent but the reality is that lists do matter.

If you suspect that I’m bitter about not making the Babble list this year, you’d be wrong. Am I disappointed? Absolutely. Do I need to up my game? Yes. If you didn’t make that list and you think you belong there then I have one recommendation for you. Write better. 

Would I say that there are fundamental flaws in how a list of 100 top mom bloggers is determined? I could try to make that argument, but I won’t. It wouldn’t be an honest discussion.

The women listed on the top 100 list are good quality bloggers. They’ve worked hard and shared their year with their audiences. 

Blogging has landed me on plenty of lists. Nielson and Babble put me on lists and then RedTri and MomDot got in on the action. If I want to say that Babble’s 2011 list is irrelevant then I’d best be prepared to say that those previous accolades were all garbage and I’m simply not prepared to say that.

Let’s face it, lists matter. People who want to work with bloggers don’t necessarily know the mom blogging community. The people who want to hire bloggers don’t want to read our blogs. Not only is that okay, but it’s good. Bloggers need infusions of outside dollars, we can’t spend our days paying one another.

I don’t think it’s lazy publicists who will target these 100 women for the next calendar year. I think it will be smart publicists. Well, one of my friends totally disagrees, she only wants to work with “second tier bloggers” because they’re easier to deal with (and no, I’ll never tell you who she is).

Erin will tell you that the lists don’t matter because Erin is on the list this year and it’s the polite thing to say when the rest of your community clearly didn’t make “the list”.

Let me be the friend who tells you when you’ve got toilet tissue stuck to your shoe. Don’t be the blogger that complains about being overlooked. The lists all matter. Someone’s got to be the best. This year it wasn’t me, and I’m not going to pretend like someone made a mistake. I’m just going to work harder and I challenge you to do the same.

20 thoughts on “Why Lists Matter”

  1. the list doesn’t matter cause I am not on it..which means it was rigged. KIDDING. Congrats to every blogger who is on the list, whom are all very talented. I am happy to be a part of a community that inspires lists period. And thanks for the mention in the post, which was even better than making al ist.  Even if I didnt get a link.


  2. I’m probably one of the few weirdos that would prefer NOT to make those lists. I don’t want that kind of attention. Despite the whole “narcissistic” side of blogging, I don’t want any spotlights. However, I don’t care for the list either because it’s the same people year after year. There are some incredible bloggers always getting overlooked because they’re just not part of the right blogger circle. Perhaps Babble should start focusing on “up and coming” bloggers with new faces on each list.

  3. It’s not just about writing better – it’s about breaking into the ‘judges’ field of vision.  I know plenty of bloggers who write amazingly well yet they lack at marketing themselves or have some other issue be it design or what have you.

    It seems that gaining the right attention is hard to do and it’s this mystery that has people scoffing and whinging.  I try not to measure myself around lists  but the reality is that if I ever made it onto one, I’d be pretty proud of it.  Congrats to all in the inner circle.

  4. If you didn’t make that list and you think you belong there then I have one recommendation for you. Write better.

    Do you really think that the list is made up of the best writers?

  5. Hi Jessica!

    I had to double check the ‘list’ while reading your post because I swore that you DID make it on the ‘list’ :)  

    I see your point and it’s a fair discussion.  I too believe that ‘lists’ matter because as much as we ALL strive to be on one such as Babble’s (I confess!), there will ALWAYS be a better blogger/blog/writer.  For me, the Babble list is like being at a school awards ceremony and being called up for ‘Honorable Mention’ because I would have reveled in being one of ‘those’ students.  Lists are cool and I have zero issues with anyone being highlighted for their incredible talents and efforts.  Thanks for sharing your POV.


  6. Lists do matter, but they shouldn’t. Because they are never a correct representation of what we are and what we do. Here are my issues with Babble’s version – first and foremost I’m a bit surprised those involved in creating the list did not recuse themselves from being on the list. Now that’s their business, and they may very well belong on the list- rightfully earned-but  it *looks* weird to have them there. Here’s the other thing- I’m #31 and I find that insane. Why? I haven’t even been blogging with any regular effort. None. My traffic is TINY. I’m not kidding. It’s TINY. I was at like a few hundred uniques a day when I finally uninstalled my sitemeter. Which makes me think this list, as many are, is nothing but smoke and mirrors. It’s who we ‘THINK’ should be on a list- not who really EARNED it or DESERVED IT. As a tweeter- then they, maybe I could see ME making a list. As a BLOGGER… I’m just not so sure. I’d love to know how they came up with the list. 

    And then finally, as I have said over and over and OVER again…lists are linkbait. Not ONLY are they free content for the site putting the list up (oh, give us your favorite posts you love, give us a blurb about why you like xyz) and their site has content for eons because all these mom bloggers just handed over answers and blurbs which will generate traffic for the site and the content for the site for months to come (free to them too, they didn’t have to pay for it) but they PIT us against each other. Yes, we all want to succeed and YES I want that trip/invite/freebees swagzilla but I’m not taking it at the expense of my friendships. 

    Linkbait is why they don’t matter. I’d much rather honor those who have written something extraordinary – and yes, my job does taint my view of how things ‘should’ be. But I haven’t been ‘working’ for over a year now, and I can honestly say community is at the core of all of this. We started this NOT because we wanted to make some list or be the best…we started it (or at least I did) because we wanted to write about our lives and share with friends. Then came the PR and the marketers and the free stuff and the fun. And then list came out and people took them too seriously …. and BLEH. 

    I wish we could go back to the old days where we just hung out and talked and blogged and commented about our lives and kids. 

    1. Erin, you may “only get a few hundred uniques a day,” but your writing is amazing. If it was quantity of page views instead of quality of writing…the list would be very different. 

      1. I appreciate that Heather. Thank you. I think my larger point was that it’s the perceived notion of who is ‘big’ and who isn’t. And the fact of the matter is I am not, and never have been, a ‘big’ blogger. I’ve just always ‘acted’ like one. And at some point long ago, people bought it. While I like to think I do write well, I don’t think that’s why I (or many others) were chosen. I think it’s the idea of who is ‘big’ and ‘should’ be in that inner circle. I’ve always been glad I can at least help bring those who’s voices might not be as loud – out into the open and help them become a bit louder. So many are so deserving of that big voice. 

        1. Hmm, you are definitely right about perceptions. I was glad that the list expanded to 100 this year – it was great to discover new bloggers. It’s one of those things (and I say this having been on the lists and not been on the lists) where I definitely see the same names on the lists over and over, but can you have a best-of and NOT have some of the same names? I mean, there are some REALLY GOOD BLOGGERS on there. Could it truly be a Best-Of if they were left off? 

          Just thoughts…

          I hate that people feel badly about not being on the lists. I feel sick to my stomach about it. 

  7. I love you for this. JG would make ANY of my lists. But the humility you’ve shown with this post, is what anyone should strive to possess. I know JG, and I know this is written with 110% honesty. This is why she’s someone whom I value 10000000x’s over!

  8. I would love to be on one of those lists someday. I know I’m not there yet and based on the genre of my blog, I may never be. My only question is how they find the blogs to consider. How do they define “best”? Is it truly the best writers? Or is it a combination of writing talent and the ability to market yourself so that the right people actually hear of you? With the thousands and thousands of blogs out there, many good ones must be completely overlooked if they are able to narrow it down to 100 with a lot of repeats year after year. Just as writers should challenge themselves to constantly strive for better, I hope the organizers of these lists are doing the same.

  9. I am a fairly new blogger and really do not understand the inner workings of “Bloggdom”…I wish I understood more. Writing is one thing but getting noticed is another whole piece of cake. Branding and marketing and adsense etc. setting up a website…really you should make it on to a list just for trying.  It seems there is some mystery to being successful…it is not just about good writing or is it???

  10. I’ve been blogging since before it was called “blogging” and have landed on  “lists” before, but never Babble. In fact, I had never even heard of Babble before a few of my friends just recently bragged about, I mean, mentioned being on the list. Guess I’ll just have to be happy that my website made USAToday’s list this year (total tongue in cheek). Maybe I should make a list…. Jessica, you would be on it.


    I’ve never been on any lists but I’ve been told by many great bloggers that I am a good writer . But no lists for me. I’m not sour grapes, I just want someone to tell me what the hell im doing wrong or tell me to shut up and go home.The whole point for me, is to be a writer,it has always been the point but maybe it’s more of a pipe dream. I love my fellow bloggers but sometimes I feel like I landed smack dab in the middle of good old boy blogger community and I’m the freakishly tall Latina from the north. NO LIST for me. But really all I want is to be on that list:(

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