Did we outgrow the Z-List?

… or do we need it now more than ever?

In the last post we all kind of mused over resurrecting the Z-List.

One of the major problems of the original setup was that it was great at roping in new members, but after you were in… then what?

I would imagine the newer version would not only *continue* to spolight lesser-known folks, but it would also appeal as a network for what its members were doing; A place for Lee’s BlogBuddies database, perhaps teaming up with Cooties’ Pepy’s Project to find people closer to you, Solonor’s Baseball League, Michele’s Voices project, Robyn’s Boobiethon

With all the geeky know-how of Blue Wolf, The Mighty T, PHPete, and Liz, the artistic ability of Hilary, Kendra, Stacy, Deb, Sarah, Maria, Bran, and Pegasong (to name a few), the writing ability of people like Crazy Tracy, Dr. D., Michele, Kira, Kim, Mad Bull, Suzette, etc… The possibilities were endless.

(… of course, an occasional cameo by the matriarch who started it all.)


If you simply ignore how all the personality conflicts and behind-the-scenes drama turned the place to shit, it really was magical.

It made stars out of a lot of people, and it was probably the only bond many of us ever had. A club where all of us rejects finally had a sense of community.

Zee Lister
It would have to be a group thing. There can’t be a leader. No one person can undertake this and make it fly successfully. Personally, I have way too many enemies to get this ball rolling (not to mention, I’m a moody prick). With all the political shit flying around, the same can be said for quite a few people.

… of course maybe you just *can’t* go back.
I dropped Patrick a line, and he ordered z-list.org (which, for some reason didn’t go through.) I have yet to hear back from Cooties (whose spirit was really the heart and soul of this thing), turns out he’s on hiatus until (next?) September.

Don’t mind me. If you knew me well enough you’d know I come up with a million ideas and projects on a regular basis, and 9 times out of 10 they die in the planning stages (Like “The Secret Project”, for example…).

I’m not even sure why I’m bringing this one out on the table.
I just feel something’s missing…

I think we can ALL be so much more.

Eric Brooks

Musician, Programmer, Graphic Designer, Evil Clown - A thorn in the Internet's side since 1997 with no intention of stopping any time soon.

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15 thoughts on “Did we outgrow the Z-List?

  1. my opinion: it was magical when it was a disorganization, when it was just put up a button don’t even link it to anything just be the z (it was very zen). as soon as it turned into a club with a clubhouse and … you know, club members, the magic was gone. everything’s a great idea till you get people involved, people always mess stuff up, whining and bickering and fighting and then having the makeup sex … oh wait. that’s something else.

    i loved the concept of having a button with no link, anarchy, man, the magic was in the anarchy. anarchy!anarchy! c’mon, everybody all together, anarchy! ana… oh wait. nevermind.

  2. As soon as it became really a club it became clique-y, no matter how hard people tried. It became hard to have everone play nice. There was bickering, people got hurt, it became about promoting some people’s agendas. I’m with the lizard. It was more fun before it got heavily organized. When it was a button that didn’t link anywhere.

    Linkmeister did a lot of work for which he was very quiet and didn’t get much publicity – not his style. He was a true Z lister. Just saying.

  3. I wasn’t familiar with it, so I chacked it out. Looked like a good idea to me, maybe it’ll come back.

  4. Just for the record, I never wanted to be part of it, never asked to join, but my name was put up there anyhow. I never had anything to do with it and I won’t this time around either.

  5. I wasn’t around for it, either, but it looks like it was fun.

    Again, I don’t know how you have a “club” without it getting all club-like. I am DYING for a single place to go where I can get caught up on everyone’s important issues all at once. It would be really cool if there was a central repository for special projects and calls for help…a Blogger Network Central…but not one that would get tied up with politics, spats and crap. Utopia!

    Have you got it set up, yet? What’s taking you so long?

  6. We didn’t outgrow Z-list, it outgrew us.

    We never expected it to become so popular, and once people wanted to take part we had no idea what to do with them – and so it was abandoned by everyone.

    Besides, since the embryonic days of Z-list many of the people who first took part are barely on speaking terms with one another; if that’s ‘outgrowing’ then I’m Britney Spears’ left breast.

  7. Yeah, lots of people were hurt. Some for foolish reasons, some because some people decided to be rude. BlogCon came out of the Z list. BatChat is a remnant of the regular Z List chats – Lee’s Thursday Chats was where the early folk would meet and talk. That started with just Hoopty, Lee, and myself.

    I note you’re not mentioning Hoopty.

  8. And not to become a pest but:

    “It made stars out of a lot of people”

    That was exactly the kind of thinking that killed it off. Hoopty really wanted popularity and hits. Cooties had a different vision, took a lot of heat from various quarters, and wasn’t given much appreciation for the huge amount of work he did either. Not that he was in it for the appreciation – that sounds too much like being in it for the hits. It’s just that some people made it a place for themsevles to be noticed – and others were more interested in noticing other people, other writers, other projects – instead of self promotion. That linklist column on the left of the blog – I know Linky wasn’t the only one who worked on it, but he did frequently and it took time. And he didn’t use it as self promotion.

  9. Again, I don’t know how you have a “club” without it getting all club-like.
    Well, it’s like Liz said… “anarchy”. It was the “club with no rules”. It was so unlike anything in the blog world. The one thing I hate about blogs are its basic selfishness… this (originally) was anything but. But yeah… then it got fucked up because it became organized and then people (yuck) were in it.

    Linkmeister did a lot of work for which he was very quiet and didn’t get much publicity – not his style. He was a true Z lister. Just saying.
    Oh yeah… there was Linky busting his butt keeping up with all the signups in the forum…. another fond memory was Blue Wolf dominating the “Ask a geek” section (anyone remember that?)… there were a LOT of unsung heroes selflessly helping others. I think it’s because “Z-List” had a unique meaning to each person, and a lot of them reached out to make it the way they envisioned.

    It’s a piece of web history that everyone involved should be damn proud of.

    I note you’re not mentioning Hoopty.
    well, since he basically cut me out of any documented history there… I’m just returning the favor.

    I didn’t want to open that can of worms, back then I tried to keep my mouth shut and be a good little soldier, even when I was cut out of the picture and not even mentioned as a part of starting it (even though Tina even mentions it in the next damn post.), or that I didn’t have posting priviledges…

    I can re-write history too. :0)

    … it was when it degraded into the “Hoopty fan club” that was the final straw for me.

  10. I can see from all the comments that we all have rather bittersweet memories.

    Maybe it should stay in the past.

    A little of us still carries that Z-List spirit, as Mike still promotes the lesser known on the Pepys Project, Blue Wolf & Red Eagle are still helping us “technically challenged”, Links still harvesting items, and Batgrl still supplying the hospitality… for example…

    Maybe we don’t need a clubhouse after all. It was always a “state of mind”. :0)

    Z-Listers forever!
    *signing off*

  11. Z-Listers forever!

    amen =e=

    I have a very fond place for Z-List, I wasn’t part of the start up but enjoyed what time I spent there…I would like to see the original concept return…(meaning; not the ‘fan club’ part) but perhaps, it’s just me…*shrugs*

  12. theorizing and planning and coding and futzing with projects is always way more fun than the projects themselves. ’cause of that ‘people’ thingy, that always messes stuff up. you can’t write a mysql query that causes people to return the data you want them to. but i’m going to keep working on that anyway.

    um. nevermind. i didn’t say that. i was never here.

  13. You know, I tried to get in on the Z Listers once… I even flew the icon, submitted my name to be added to the side bar, and it was never added. I said to myself, either that was on purpose or it was a mistake, but whichever it was, I took it as a sign. I still kept the Z-List graphic up, because I liked the idea and I liked the graphic, but I basically forgot about them.

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