There’s form for this kind of blog post. False modesty, for sure. Cloying, faux disbelief, usually. The kind of thing that makes you want to kick the author in the shins. “Oh, now now now now. Who? Me? No, no no. Surely not! What? Stand on this big stage and take this lovely bouquet? A top ten list? That I’m in? Little old me? Me? Memememememe? Why! I’m just overwhelmed! I’ve only ever done it because of the love I have for mysel… no, sorry, the social web! And I’d just like to thank…”
How curious. Yes, it appears I’ve been ranked one of the 20 most visible web people in the country, in a bit of work by NowPublic, the social media website. The BBC’s Rory Clellan-Jones comes top of their list, along with a bunch of BBC folk and Guardian colleagues, plus Tom Coates, Stephen Fry and – infuriatingly – my wee brother, who has entered the list three places above me at number seven, and is now crowing.
The rather odd list appears to be driven by some kind of tallying of digital media output. Quoth the press release:
“The goal of NowPublic’s MostPublic Index is to measure—on a completely transparent, metric-driven basis—who has the greatest digital reach and is most effectively broadcasting their own personal brand online,” said Leonard Brody, CEO of NowPublic.
“Broadcasting” my “own personal brand online”? It all sounds a little vulgar. And there are some names from the UK I’m surprised to see are missing. I mean – surely Paul Carr doesn’t break wind these days without it being catalogued, photographed (drink in hand), measured and fired out across an RSS feed? [Later: Charles Arthur, also on the list, points out it's crazy that colleague Jemima Kiss isn't on there. She really should be.] And are we really saying the BBC’s Robert Peston – Britain’s blog sensation this year, having broken significant stories on his through the financial crisis – should be a place below yours truly?
Ah, feck it. The form would say maybe we are. It does seem I gained this distinction for this semi-opaque goldfish bowl of my own making – blogging, Twittering and Flickring, and doing so in such a way as to be read by you, gentle reader. I’d suggest NowPublic perhaps put too much weight on leftfield metrics and totting up what means of communication we use, rather than the content (and audience) itself, but let’s not look this one too closely in the mouth, eh?
So, rather than say anything more that is, by turn, curmudgeonly or egocentric, let me simply say something insincere and demonstrably untrue. Something like “this is as much an honour for you as it is for me”… and then I’ll leave it there.