There's some great discussion going on in the KidLit blogger realm (thanks Fuse#8 for the link) that can be applied to all of blogger-dom. Monica Edinger of Educating Alice puts forth the argument that widgets like "Are you an A-List Celebrity Blogger" and blogger activities like Poetry Friday and (I'm adding this one) Thursday Thirteen help to create an environment of "exclusion and inclusion that I deal with daily in my fourth grade classroom." We try to teach kids to not create cliques and depend on popularity, but all the while we're jockeying for web exposure and placement thus creating a "do as we say, not as we do" situation. The discussion of this argument and counterarguments carries through the comments (be sure to read them), and also onto MotherReader's Blog.
MotherReader, who recently wrote an article for Edge of the Forest about becoming a B-List Blogger, points out that even as we point out the unfairness of this inclusion/exclusion system we shouldn't raise people to believe that everyone will accept them automatically and sometimes we have to work for it. Friendships--online and off--like success don't come right away and require a lot of effort for the most part. Now whether that effort requires the child/blogger/person to change something intrinsic to themselves is another matter entirely.
I have my own thoughts on this phenomena and how it plays out through books, bloggers and life, but I need to go help buy a baby shower gift. I'll mull them over until I get back. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject, or see what you contribute at these other sites.