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Some Thoughts About Lists

I don’t think it matters what industry you’re working in or what function you play in that industry, I’m willing to bet there are people blogging about it. To that end, there’s most certainly people or groups or organizations that eventually compile a list of the top ten or fifty or one-hundred or so blogs in said industry or function. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking HR or sports or writing or Doctor Who or Bay Area vegan chefs – someone somewhere is keeping tabs for better or worse.

Personally, I don’t have anything against these lists that tend to pop up all over the internet between December and March every year, I’m sure they serve some sort of purpose – at the very least I’m hoping it drives some fresh eyes to the listmaker’s website (and hopefully those of the bloggers rounding out the lists). Though, as a matter of honesty, I’m pretty sure The HR Field Guide doesn’t appear on any of these lists of the most awesomely super-magic ninja-certified HR blogs (or talent management or leadership or, well you get the point) – when you have analytics you know who you have reading what and making it onto a reputable list/ranking is like the flax seed in a green smoothie… unnecessary, but it definitely makes the whole thing that much better. But, inevitably there’s always backlash about these things, people get bent out of shape about inclusions or exclusions, they fume over the validity of the selection criteria, anger sets in when a blog is dead or seldom updated and manages to crack the collection, declarations of popularity contest get tossed about – people take lists seriously.

But here’s the thing, most of these lists are comprised of someone’s personal opinion (I don’t recall seeing one from an objective industry trade publication), we’re all entitled to an opinion and if we’re honest, opinions are really what the internet is all about (or at least it’s what blogging is about). Rather than have a conniption fit, do what I do and take a look at the list(s) – look for the awesome blogs you didn’t know about, start reading them, maybe try and learn something. Maybe someday The HR Field Guide will appear on a list or two, odds are I won’t insert some shiny graphic in the sidebar touting my “making the list” or anything of that ilk but I can hope it will bring me a few more readers (and in turn help me find a few more things to read) and at the end of the day I think that’s the perspective we should all take on the good, the bad, and the ugly of annual lists.

And if you’re interested in my list of awesome-sauce HR/TM/Leadership blogs, you don’t have to wait for any formal ranking (which is likely to never happen here) – just take a peek over in the sidebar and check out the “Smart People, Elsewhere” section (there’s a link at the bottom to look at everyone in the feed and the group grows every time I find a new bit of awesomeness to add to my reading list) – and there’s no ranking system as it rotates based on updates to the compiled sites. So take a few minutes and do some exploring – I suspect you’ll fall into the same trap I do and you’ll start gleaning a bit of wisdom and learning a thing or two. 

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The Human Resources Field Guide
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