Lists Are Dead. Long Live the Blog Tree.


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Many content marketers are like slow-handed magicians: even a reasonably keen eye can discern their tricks. CEO demanding to see more tweets? Cobble together an obvious list of Twitter tips. CMO clamoring for more inbound links? Have an intern create list of “must-read” bloggers. In other words, their need becomes your content.

But the world is catching on. People are beginning to distinguish self-serving techniques designed induce a behavior (link, tweet, comment) favorable to the publisher from meaningful content created to entertain, inform or inspire. Content marketing is becoming a meritocracy, which is why Eloqua is thrilled to have produced the most award-winning content in our industry.

When it comes to cataloging top blogs, lists are dead. Cause of death: “Content Rules” (quickly becoming the bible of content marketing), by Ann Handley and CC Chapman. Handley and Chapman urge marketers to surprise their audience and “re-imagine” their content. Ain’t nothing surprising or imaginative about having an intern drop URLs in a (corporate branded) spreadsheet.

It is in the spirit of this “rule” that Eloqua and JESS3 collaborated to develop “The Blog Tree” – the world’s first visual depiction of the interrelationship among marketing blogs. It’s both a blog list and an infographic. It’s both practical and playful. It’s both something to use and something to muse.

And here it is (click to enlarge):

“Like” us on Facebook and tag yourself on the limb you feel you belong. The same goes for bloggers who disagree with their placement on The Blog Tree. If your “leaf” should be moved, “Like” us and tag yourself where you feel you belong. We’ll take a hard look at the tagged image when we revisit – err, re-imagine – the visual.

The Blog Tree takes a holistic look at the marketing blogosphere. All bloggers are interconnected in some way. We refer to one another, we inspire one another, and we often draw from the same wells of information as one another. We are all connected, and our connection is living. Growing. Morphing. Adapting. Writing is alive, and so too is The Blog Tree.

If you are listed on The Blog Tree, congratulations. It means you nourish – and draw nourishment from – the world’s best content. This is only version 1.0. It’s not meant to be a definitive list of bloggers.

In the meantime, enjoy The Blog Tree, and here’s hoping we’ve seen the last of the lists that inspired it.

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Republished with author's permission from original post.

Joe Chernov
Joe is responsible for identifying, sourcing and distributing Eloqua's market-facing content over all relevant social channels. He also oversees public relations, analyst relations and social media. Joe doubles as @eloqua on Twitter. He co-chairs the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's member ethics panel and speaks at conferences and universities about social media and marketing ethics.


  1. University of San Francisco offers an Internet marketing training course and CC Chapman is one of the instructors which is where I first saw him speak. I couldn’t agree more with him and Ann. By being creative with your content and ‘surprising’ your audience they’ll remember you for that.

    This infographic is a great example of a creative use!

  2. Hi Joe,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am headlong into “Content Rules” now and really loving it. CC and Ann have a knack for “simplifying without over-simplifying.” Truly an art, isn’t it? Glad you enjoy the infographic. Love to hear more of your thoughts for v2!

    Joe Chernov


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