Rave 2.0-The DJMag Top 100: Who Cares?

Every year, starting around the end of June, my Facebook page gets assaulted by endless requests for me to go vote for someone in the DJMag Top 100 poll. Week after week, the assault continues as DJ Diggywiggle and Joe Bedroom Blaster tangle for my ever-so-important vote in the world’s most prestigious DJ ranking. While watching adults beg for my bandwidth is always entertaining, it makes me consider what the Top 100 really is. In this day and age, I really don’t know why we even bother. The poll used to actually be prestigious before the days of social media.

Enter crotchety old man mode…..

Back when the poll started in 1997, there was no Twitter. No Facebook. No Last.FM. No Myspace. Not even Friendster! Yeah, there were ways to cheat the system back then, but it was far more difficult. While I applaud DJmag for being very diligent at fraud prevention, they can’t keep DJs from buying Facebook likes and Twitter followers. Here’s a hint…. Take a look at page analytics…. If something doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t.

Back to now….

I’d gradually lost faith in the DJmag poll over the years as Armin van Buuren continued to be voted #1. No disrespect to Armin. He’s a fabulous DJ, but not what I’d consider number one. When David Guetta took the #1 spot in 2011, I was 100% done with the poll. What was once the playground of Carl Cox, Sasha, John Digweed & Paul Van Dyk was now reduced to being a laughable popularity contest. Want proof? Go look at the midrange numbers of the poll. No clue who those people are? I have no idea either.

That’s the deal. It’s nothing more than a popularity contest. It’s a step above right now, except it might slightly be more accurate. After the ballot stuffing scandals around the poll from several years back, it’s amazing to me that people still take it seriously. Then again, in an industry where marketing is so important, PR people are looking for anything they can to latch onto for generating already soaring booking fees.

What’s even worse to me is people who really should be ranked in the Top 100 are bypassed by those simply willing to spend more time at the computer generating Facebook likes or Twitter followers. Most voting in the poll really don’t care about who’s actually good and who’s not, or who even considers themselves a DJ and who doesn’t. For example, and I’m not piling on, but Skrillex is in the Top 10. Sonny himself will tell you he’s not a DJ. David Guetta mixes slightly better than a broken Cuisenart blender, and he’s in the Top 10. Want to vote for producers? Start a Top 100 producers poll.

People put way too much stock into this once a year lovefest known as the DJMag Top 100. Folks, before investing your time in it next year, consider the real value. Is it worth it? Probably not.  Personally, I wish DJMag would do away with the poll alltogether, but as long as uneducated muppets continue to accept it as gospel, then I assume they’ll continue. Have fun with your David Guetta. I’m off to listen to some Laurent Garnier.