the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

The Fourteen Millionth Most Popular Blog

Last weekend was the Blogher women bloggers’ conference in Santa Clara, California.  A couple of my new online friends, such as Lizriz and Nichelle, went to the conference — and from all accounts, it was very inspirational.  One of the hottest topics of conversation at Blogher was about how hard it is to get into the old-boy’s network of the Technorati Top 100 websites.  I didn’t realize that blogging was already becoming the same as everything else, with a power structure and leaders of industry (except for the fact that it’s a lame industry and nobody makes money at it).  I know as a man, it’s easy for me to call Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing on his cell phone and schmooze him into giving me another link on his site, but I don’t like to take advantages of my gender.  For women, it must be especially difficult.

Until today, I didn’t realize that many people have dreams of getting into the Technorati 100 top sites.  People thought it was weird when I revealed that my first clicks of the day are always the single women on my blogroll.   What’s wrong with that?  I’m a guy!  It’s natural.   My female readers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors — sort of like a real life Dove Campaign for Real Beauty — I even found out today that one of them is a lesbian.  I don’t discriminate.  In contrast, today I read about some bloggers that stack their blogroll with "top sites" just to feed off the aura.  Now that’s a hundred times more creepier than loving the sweet words of a good woman. 

Here in the Los Angeles world of celebrity blogging, there is a lot of jealousy going around now that blogger Mark Lisanti of got his own puff piece in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times Calendar section.

For some the drug of choice is nicotine. For others, it’s marijuana or gambling, alcohol or shopping. For Mark Lisanti, the one-man band behind Hollywood’s website du jour,, the addiction is hits — page views, computer eyeballs — from the working men and women whom he’s distracted from their jobs with his pithy running commentary about celebrity hubris, the multitude of foibles that grow in Hollywood like tumbleweeds on the prairie.

When I read the following, I could almost hear the collective groan all the way from Blogher:

According to Technorati, a San Francisco-based company that ranks blogs according to the number of people linking to them in the last 90 days, Defamer was recently the 69th most popular blog out of an estimated 14 million blogs worldwide.

How does this "Eastside hipster" — as the Times called him — do it?  How is he #69 (even his number is sexy) and the rest of us are up in the bleachers with 14 million other losers?

Save your money.  You don’t need any fancy "blogging conferences" to help you succeed.  The answer is right in front of you face.


Here is Mark Lisanti.  Look how he isn’t smiling, despite the fact that Defamer is about silly celebrity gossip.  Like a successful high fashion model, the trick is to never smile.


This is a recent photo of me.  Look at that stupid grin.  What am I smiling about?  Why do I look so ridiculous?  This is the photo of a man who will never get close to the Technorati 100. 

Update  August 3:   In reaction to the Technorati 100, Jason Calacanis is starting a "Blog 500."  Now, there’s going to be more ass-kissing to do.


  1. sunshine

    Mark Lisanti doesn’t look like he’d be very good in bed. Kind of dour and a little too impressed with himself.

    There are those of us who like reading the #2’s who try harder.

    Those horn rimmed glasses again! Be still my heart.

  2. Charming, but single

    You know, I don’t think people start out wanting to crack the Technorati 100. They start out just wanting to get a few readers and comments, but then they get hooked and want to see their visits and incoming links double. (Hence the popularity of sites like BlogExplosion and BlogCrowd.)

    For every hundred thousand blogs, you have one that “made it” and generates some ad money or gets the author a piece in a publication or some minor amount of glory in the ‘sphere or whatever it is that we all want. And because we’re bloggers, we hold on to this slightly unrealistic idea that SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE wants to read what we have to say, even if it is only about our shoes. With that comes the idea that someday we’ll all “make it” it some way.

    It’s also important to remember that Mark Listani “made it” at a blog that came with a built-in audience of Gawkerites, cross-marketing on two of the biggest blogs out there (Gawker and Wonkette) and a salary. True, he blogged before Defamer, but he would have had a much slower journey to the top without Nick Denton’s help. (Not that Mark Listani’s blogging isn’t fab, because it is, but look at that picture. He’s got a light-up sign with his blog’s header on it! Money and association are a large part of why Defamer is popular.)

    Also, Neil, everyone knows that Technorati doesn’t make passes at bloggers in glasses.

  3. JJ MacMillan

    Neil, we couldn’t get hold of you on your cell. The good old boys network meeting has been moved up to tomorrow night. Please call Jerry Seinfeld and Bob Guccione to remind them.

    As usual they’ll be handing out Hollywood and Big Government contacts written on the back of $100 bills.

    Oh, and as usual, don’t tell any women about it.

    See you there!

  4. ashbloem

    Wait, where IS Lisanti in that photo? Hanging out in front of his Defamer sign? Just holed up in his office, living vicariously through the celebrity he blogs about?

    But you, on the other hand. At some outdoor concert, luxuriating in life! Hurray! Pass the cooler of beer!

    I know which blog I’D rather read.

  5. Megarita

    HA! You’re adorable! I love the stern Defamer fellow….he looks very serious about his very important site. It’s a rag that can’t even afford its own ink, for pete’s sake! (Hell yes I read it!) The whole eyeballs things get very self-inflated and pompous and silly after a point. But yet it’s apparently what we all want. Tedious.

  6. Nancy French

    That photo of him is hilarious! Why are people so full of themselves…

    I like your picture better. 🙂

  7. xtessa

    ah, so that’s why Simon Cowell and Gordon Ramsey are “interesting”. just be mean enough to gain popularity points… hmm, i wonder where i can get bitchiness lessons?;)

  8. kristine

    i’ll gladly give you some bitch lessons. i’m pretty good at it, i’ve been told.

  9. drew

    I love Lisanti/Defamer, but the guy is raking in dough for THE MAN. Hence, the sourpuss look. That’s why you’re a happy camper, Neil! No corporate chain. Can I get an amen?

  10. C. Chain


    Thanks for geting the sweater and the stylish frames into the blog. Let’s plan on a pic with the Wal-Mart water wings next week, OK?


  11. Leese

    The absence of hands in your picture is suspicious.

  12. Modigli

    Awww, Neil! Look how cute you are! You may not be Mr. 69 on technorati, but your blog is definitely one of my favorites.

  13. :: jozjozjoz ::

    I am always smiling in my pictures. I’m doomed too! 😛

  14. anonymous city girl

    Hey we got the same glasses!

    Please please tell me this is completely satirical. There is no “Blogher” convention for women. People are not vying for ranking in something as self indulgent as blogging. You made it all up!

  15. Bad Maria

    Ha! Why on earth would I pay money for a conference to get better at something that ultimately doesn’t make me any money (unless it was practical like sex or juggling)? Funny how this post comes on the heels of Kris in DC’s post yesterday about all of us being highschoolers – I guess that would make Mark the moody guy, that guy that nobody understands because he’s just too smart and deep and arty, that guy that all the girls want to do to show him that they “get him”…..BLECH!!

  16. justin

    Frowning is the new smiling.

    Didn’t you get the memo, Neil?

  17. Edgy Mama

    Shit! I didn’t even know about the Technorati 100. Not only am I not ON the list, I don’t even KNOW about the list. Oh well.

    LOVE the glasses, Neil. What a cutie!

  18. Danny

    “Defamer” has quantity going for it, but I’d take “Citizen of the Month” any day. I still can’t stop talking about the “Race Relations and Barbra” post. Brilliance!

  19. M.A.

    Love the glasses. And Mark Lisanti doesn’t look comfortable with himself. He’s trying to be cool. Poor Mark.

    You, on the other hand, look happy. Better to be happy and ranked lower than 100, than an unhappy, smirky man in the top 100.

  20. meme

    some of us employ these methods for other reasons: sullen=sultry, pouty=sexy, look of utter disdain=golden ticket

  21. Josia

    So THAT’S what you look like! What men’s network? Guys love getting calls from women … and always make time to meet with them – I can always get through to basically anyone I want to. Neil – why aren’t you picking up?

  22. Miriam

    I wonder why fashion models don’t smile. Have they had all their teeth extracted?

    I want to add my voice to those who think you’re cute–also never heard of the Technorati 100.

  23. Tatyana

    Mute. Mute in adoration.
    Sopha, baby, are you crazy?

  24. Neil

    Boy, you are all so kind. I wasn’t expecting this. I thought you’d all be off clicking on the Technorati 100 and writing comments to them instead of me. (I know that’s what I would do). But now I realize that my readers are just a group of good-hearted, but unambitious bloggers.

    As for Mark Lasanti, I don’t know him, but in case I someday run into him at Ralph’s Supermarket — I think you are a an attractive man despite your sullen look. I’m especially jealous of the goatee. I tried to grow one numerous times, but it always came out scraggly, like the guy on Scooby Doo. More power to you!

    (does anyone else see the irony of me making fun of the new found celebrity of this blogger who makes fun of celebrities?)

  25. The Moviequill

    just start attacking people for no apparent reason, and make it personal..and then watch your totals go up

  26. mrsmogul

    What do they talk about at the Blogher conference? Is it going to be like the boom where everywhere was really into it and then poof!! Everyone loses their internet connection and can never go online again because of blogging so much?

  27. Brooke

    I can barely keep up with my blog as it is, in order to get on Technorati I’m guessing you would have to make blogging a full time job. A full time non-paying job. Which would make you the most popular loser on the internet. Not exactly something that would send me to a convention to gather information on. But that’s just me. I’m happy with my little blog community!

  28. leesepea

    I’m ranked 275,005th.

    I’m lucky if I get 50 hits a day.

    I see you’ve dropped by, though. Thanks for commenting!

  29. jenny

    shit, i’ve never even visited defamer. guess i better get with the program. anyway, ever since i found your blog, i read it everyday. you see, i’m much more inclined to root for the underdog.

  30. Nichelle

    you’re adorable…the next time I am on the west coast…I will blogstalk you. 🙂

  31. Amazing Anonymous

    you’re smiling, tho. i know others have pointed this out, but i’d rather know/read the work of someone happy and flip than someone who simply rips the headlines.

    cheers! (nice glasses, by the way)

  32. anonymous city girl

    funny how different someone can look from the picture you paint in your mind from reading their writing.

  33. Carl V.

    Fashion models don’t smile because they are starving…that and their teeth are rotting from all the bulemic vomitting going on to maintain their unrealistic weight.

    Great shot of you. Perhaps you would move on up the list if you took this exact same picture of yourself on a beach with bikini clad women on all the surrounding blankets!!!

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  35. Salliter

    Dont forget!

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