There are many rankings and listings published for most industries and fields. There are also industry prizes, like the Academy Awards or the BAFTA film awards. With some you even have to pay to submit your application. I work in several fields and from time to time get listed as an influencer in some category. Too often these awards and rankings have no published criteria so they appear from the outside to be nothing more than a popularity contest.
If there are no criteria, then these lists or rankings are similar to vanity metrics. They feel good but tell you little.
I have only appeared on two listings that include selection criteria.
The Center for Management & Organization Effectiveness looked at the 50 most socially-shared learning & development blogs and “took each blog’s posts from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2013 and ran them through a tool that pulls the total social-shares for any web page”. These criteria are clear and the reader can then decide if they are valid.
I was also listed by Right Relevance as one of 50 influencers on the future of work. Here are their criteria.
‘topical influence’ or Tribes by measuring the quality of network connections within the context of a ‘topic’ and,
‘engagement influence’ or Flocks by measuring quality and quantity of engagements (RTs, mentions, replies), reach of tweets, connections etc. within the context of an event or trend.”
—Relevance as a Service
You don’t have to agree with the criteria, but at least they are visible.
Like good science, good research, and good management, any listings should show the underlying methodology. So please let us know what’s behind the curtain.