A fellow called Jeff Jarvis wrote at his blog, BuzzMachine, on the A-list debate in "I'm on another A-list... so shoot me now". I came across it via danah boyd's "the biases of links". Here's my disclaimer: I'm unfamiliar with Jeff's blog, nor have I read whatever else he's written on this topic; nevertheless, I want to respond to a couple of things he said.
He refers to Tish G's excellent piece at Snarkaholic and then says:
"But the real point, Tish, is that you're missing the real point of this new world: There is no club. No one can stop you from speaking anymore. You can be heard if you have something someone wants to hear. Use that freedom. Fly with it. Stop growling on the ground." (Emphases added by Sour Duck to highlight unintentionally ironic statements.)
He ends his point with, "We need to stop thinking in the old terms of mass market, big circulation, big ratings, blockbusters. That world is dying."
Culture isn't dying. The patriarchy isn't dying. White male privilege isn't dying. The old boy network isn't dying. Classism isn't dying. It's alive and well on the internet and in the world of blogs, and if you don't see that, it's probably because you're speaking from a position of privilege.
The "there's nothing stopping you" argument willfully ignores (a) the higher status that being male holds in our culture over being female, (b) the enormous resources and networks more easily accessed by them (not to mention ownership of companies, media conglomerates, publishing houses, etc.), (c) the higher status of white skin in our culture over those with brown or yellow skin, (d) the higher status of middle-class over lower-class.
Yes, there's nothing stopping you. We're all equal in cyberspace. And I've got an old Apple Newton from 1993 I'd like to sell you.