I'm not going to cover the story of the Z-List again, you can find more about how it all began here. This, if you are just back from a lost island where you spent 3 weeks of delightful vacation out of time... and of course out of the bloggosphere (...sigh!).
I just thought I'd point Seth reaction out, as his "Z-List Squidoo" page was a real enigma to me. I just couldn't understand how the votes were lead -not to say orientated- and was immediately shocked by the way people were sending more negatives than positive votes. This was indeed a complete nonsense and definitely out of the original "Spirit of the Z-List".
Well it seems that Seth himself reckons he didn't expect such an evolution of his Squidoo list. In his post he tries to re-focus his intentions:
"My original intent was to make it easy for people who weren't on the list to be on the list. I knew after I posted the list I found that I'd hear from a bunch of bloggers asking to be added. Alas, I don't have the time or the energy (or even the skill) to figure out which ones to add, so I decided to make it an open list."
Seth also says he is disapointed by the acting of "some bloggers" who tried to "game the list".
"Several bloggers worked hard to game the list I posted, instructing folks to vote other (worthy) blogs down. That's sad.
Several bloggers added their blogs even though they were clearly irrelevant to the point of the list
And many bloggers got their feelings hurt because if there's a list, and you're competitive, then being near the bottom of the list is a bad thing."
As we could expect it, this explains why the votes were irrelevant and not made according to the quality of the listed blogs. Now, from a more personal point of view, this is exactly what I found annoying. The fact that too many people were sending negative votes ineluctably lead me to disagree with the Squidoo list. It is more the votes themselves than the related ranking, actually. But hey... don't misunderstand me, I do like competition, but in an appropriate context, with equity and respect.
Finally, in his post, Seth Godin sends a message to his readers :
"So, I'm looking for a moderator. If you think you'd like to run the lens, promote it, improve it, etc., stop by the site and enter a paragraph in the comments field at the bottom (and I need way to contact you!)."
If I can't find someone to give the page to, then I'll probably shut it down. The web is a daily experiment, and this one, like most, was interesting. I'm disappointed that a few dozen had such an impact on the rest of us..."
Unless people (or just someone) think a moderator could make the difference, Seth announces he will shut the page down.
My 2 cents : From a rational perspective, I think there is indeed a limit to the Z-list. The paradox is locked within the list itself. It does ineluctably generate more traffic to the listed blogs as it does to the relay sites. People obsessed by rankings know that and will try to hijack it again, adding sites that don't belong there... in one way or another.
So, is the spirit of the initial idea fading away? Maybe. But it doesn't matter. Why? Because there is one good reason (not measurable) and already highlighted by the Z-List:
New links were made...
and good content was spread.
The auto-filters of the list are the blogs themselves. They are the moderators. Each blog involved has the freedom to keep in touch (or not) with the Z-list members and linkers. The end doesn't justify the means... because there isn't one.
So, yes... the Z-List will probably die-out or mutate (already did!), but definitely not without leaving positive particles around. That's what (imho) counts... and naturally, scores a lot more than any Technorati or parallel rankings.
(Snapshot of the Z-List Squidoo ranking at the time of this post) ; )
PS : Sandy at Purple Wren just added her personal creative touch to the list. Check it out ! Brilliant idea Sandy, thank you.
PS2 : I'll be out of the bloggosphere for a few days, back next week (no lost island, I promise!) So it is time for me to send you my...
BEST WISHES for 2007!
May all your dreams come true!
Warmest thoughts to Noel and his friends, Jan, Gavin and their family.