anil dash explains it all

aka “The a-list part II” Started up a correspondance with anil dash, and he was kind enough to […]

aka “The a-list part II”

Started up a correspondance with anil dash, and he was kind enough to tell me the story of the a-list and let me share it with you…

Well, story was perhaps overstating it. The fact is, no one’s ever canonized an a-list, because no one knows who’s on it. Except that Kottke surely would be. And, by extension, Meg. Even more curiously, there are people who are friends with all the a-listers, read by all of them, but *aren’t* on the list. Judith’s comes to mind.

That site that you saw at that was quickly abandoned was the work of Joe Clark, who also wrote a screed at

His whining there was prompted by the New Yorker’s article on Blogger (well, it really focused on Meg & Jason’s relationship) which the article’s author has posted on her personal site at:

It was at that point when people really started to pile on, through a

combination of opportunism and jealousy. This can be seen at MetaFilter


Then the topic clearly burned itself out and people got annoyed by any

mention of it. To me, that’s when the fun started:

After that, any mention of Pyra or Blogger or any of the people who worked there inciting bitching about the whole thing, with the only common thread being (1) jealousy on the part of the whiners, mostly because their sites get fewer hits and (2) accusations of elitism. Which I consider largely crap (I’m guess I might be biased) because not one of the people who’s ever been labeled as an a-lister has ever been anything other than cordial to me, either in person or via email or phone.

Here, then, is my stab at an A-List. There’s many more that *might* be listed, but I’ve erred on the side of exclusion. Which seems appropriate, given the subject matter.

Kottke. This one’s a given.

Megnut. See above.

Evhead. I think, by dint of him being the only one who stayed at Pyra.

Haughey. Because of the one-two punch of former Pyra employee status and


Powazek. He’s former Pyra and the {Fray}. That probably counts.

Beyond that, it gets a bit fuzzy. Peterme is considered one, although pretty much none of the others links to him anymore, except out of habit.

Nominees for inclusion would be Zeldman, although he’s east coast like me and travels in very different circles. Possibly PB’s, as a former key Pyra guy. But he’s very quiet and so’s his site, so people tend to overlook him a bit. I think a strong case could be made for Heather’s “Harrumph” but no one ever says anything bad about her because everyone likes her. So her a-list status would be pointless.

Judith’s Calamondin has been referred to as a-list, which is again strange because, while many of the others in those circles read her site, she’s pretty low-profile overall.

I’d probably personally include Brad Graham’s Bradlands, as everyone

knows and loves Brad. By the same token, RCB’s Rebecca’s Pocket. But again, the whole point of the a-list is to bash its members, so neither of them fits the bill because you’d have to be a right bastard to find anything nasty to say about either.

I guess I’d throw in Zannah’s /usr/bin/girl/ but she also seems to not engender a lot of antipathy, so she gets omitted, too.

Okay, my brain is empty now, and I can’t think of anymore. This concludes my exhaustive study of the subject. Feel free to use this information as you wish. 🙂

a later note said

Even better, and more simple, check this out: Fan-faves. Ignore the first 2 or 3, and you’re set.

First, how many diaries can one read on a regular basis?

Second, I can’t imagine a list without lance .

But I didn’t even know there was an a-list, so I can’t be trusted.


Add Yours
  1. 3

    Oh yes, Christina hosts swanky soirees which lots of fabulous folk attend and gets invited to parties by the tres chic, so she’s definitely a-list.

  2. 6

    christina, you were on my a-list before i even knew there was one…back when (to my then weblog-ignorant mind) you were just someone like-minded who posted on sigia and chi-web (and whose art i liked, as i recall). i bow down to your coolness.

  3. 8

    the fact that anyone spends even a modicum of time thinking about such things is quite amusing to me. man, don’t we have frail egos?

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