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Archive for March, 2008

What is a blog reaction these days?

March 16, 2008 3 comments

Traditionally, if there is a chance for setting tradition in the fast moving Internet world, a blog reaction is a counter post on someone blog. This is what that Technorati count as inbound links to calculate blogs’ Authority (and Rank) and Google to calculate PageRank (this is based on my very limited understanding of their algorithm).

Yet, today there are more ways to link and react to blog post:

  • Links to blog posts proliferates in services such as Twitter, and Jaiku by others than the blogger who wrote them. Btw, This is a great way to find great reads in real-time. I would argue that it is better to change the general question “what are you doing now?” to “what are your reading, viewing, or listening on the web now?”.  In this way you will see more interesting reactions to blog posts than something like “I’m now drinking my morning coffee”.
  • Facebook wall and other social networks that allow you to share content.
  • Social bookmarking tools like reddit and delicious.
  • Digg is some form of blog reaction
  • Blog comment
  • Instant Messages, and Skype
  • To take it to the extreme – someone mentioned a blog post during audio and video recording (beside regular recording there are more ways to get recording done using tools and services like Utterz, ooVoo, QIK).

In each one of the cases above I refer to reaction initiated by someone else than the one who wrote the blogs.

Google will find most of these textual instances but I don’t know if they factor that in their PageRank calculation.

Why do I think that this is important?

First, I think that 140 characters, less the URL string length (use TinyURL.com for squeezing more of your words), is a good enough blog reaction in most cases.

What that I see is that not the blog reactions (very few of them in my case) is what that drives traffic to my web site but most of the services on the list above. Do you see that too?

Is it possible (theoretically) to have none inbound links yet still great traffic?

Does Twitter twits goes under Google’s and Technorati’s radar?

Do you think that it is even more critical in the case of video blogging?

Wouldn’t advertisers need/interested/like to know that?

Your thoughts….

Twitter_top

Blog rank monitoring – one month later…

March 14, 2008 3 comments

These are the results for the blogs from the origin list that I started monitoring since 2/12/2008. I only report here on blogs moving up in rank. Take in consideration that during that time Technorati checks for the freshness of the incoming links (blog reaction) and modify the rank (mostly down). I think that the ones that went up in rank during this time are doing excellent. Good work brother bloggers!

One highlight is PR Meets Marketing. This blog managed during this time to cross up tiers from tier3 to tier2 (the rank is less than 100,000).

The bolded blogs are doing amazingly.

Name Old Rank Current Rank Last Update Delta Rank 
Design*Sponge 298 179 3/13/2008 39.9%
A design and usability blog: Signal vs. Noise (by 37signals) 489 348 3/13/2008 28.8%
Paid Content 445 429 3/13/2008 3.6%
The Jason Calacanis Weblog 810 552 3/12/2008 31.9%
Logic+Emotion 1889 1792 3/13/2008 5.1%
Web Analytics Blog – Occam’s Razor by Avinash Kaushik 2412 2190 3/11/2008 9.2%
Mahalo Daily 7652 4317 2/29/2008 43.6%
Personal Branding Blog – Dan Schawbel 15871 15717 3/12/2008 1.0%
Veronica Belmont 16708 15796 3/5/2008 5.5%
Community Guy – Jake McKee 20500 18227 3/13/2008 11.1%
Social Media Explorer 27786 20394 3/13/2008 26.6%
Wikinomics 25970 21958 3/13/2008 15.4%
CubeMe 32707 29505 3/12/2008 9.8%
The Business and Politics of New Media (And the Podcast) 35986 31906 3/11/2008 11.3%
Technobabble 2.0 47149 39904 3/12/2008 15.4%
MegFowler 55948 43404 3/9/2008 22.4%
Dossy’s Blog 68166 45180 3/12/2008 33.7%
Online Video Watch 65568 51019 3/13/2008 22.2%
Micah Baldwin on Succeeding Through Failing 92012 69101 3/11/2008 24.9%
Freemania 84045 74992 3/13/2008 10.8%
** PR Meets Marketing ** 121630 98047 3/12/2008 19.4%
The Cheap Revolution 106742 103170 2/27/2008 3.3%
Social Honeycomb 154301 126758 3/13/2008 17.9%
THINK IT Services 166367 150747 3/3/2008 9.4%
Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation 377609 273240 3/6/2008 27.6%
Doug Haslam 1072771 360865 3/8/2008 66.4%
Mediaphyter 962510 395824 3/12/2008 58.9%
Purplecar 550426 437475 3/10/2008 20.5%
Adventures in social software media sustainability and life 2910025 1391575 3/6/2008 52.2%

I’m still not where I want this project to be but it is fun to see the numbers over time (at least for me).

Anyway I hope to grow the list in the following month and to get more step automated.

Feel free to use this data to show how good you are. I noticed a reference to my results in Mahalo Daily Press Coverage, it was not the origin title but a summary of the results – cool!

Bloggers clustering

March 12, 2008 Leave a comment

There are different ways to organize blogs. The most common one is by category. Technorati offer this in here, so does Blogged and a list of others in here. They use directories for categories and subcategories to organize blogs in an hierarchical way.

The reason for organizing blogs into directories by the topic they cover is to be able to find them this way. The most typical user story is to look for blogger that writes about a a specific topic.

Google on the other hand don’t use directories and let you find blogs using a word or phrase. The advance option in Google Blog Search let you filter the results by URL, Author, Date and Language.

Technorati’s Advanced search also let you search by word, phrase and tags. It also let you find links to a given URL (nice).

I found it hard to find blogs no matter if I use the directory or the text search methods. In both ways I get too big of a results list. The current option to filter (by Author, Date and Language or Tag) is not helping much either.

I would like to suggest few more ways to find blogs and bloggers. Once the topic/category is selected the next step is to filter the results by one or more of the following options:

  • Post measures
    • # of post reactions
    • # of time dugged, saved in social bookmarking tools
    • # of comments
    • Duration of the discussion (comments)
  • Blog Measures
    • Technorati rank and authority
    • Google page rank
    • Traffic
    • Feed subscribers
  • Blogger
    • # of followers in Twitter
    • # of contact, friends in certain Social Network – Wikipedia has an exhaustive list here
    • Related to – e.g. in someone’s network (1st, 2nd and 3rd degree)
    • Reaction from certain blogs- e.g. blogger got reaction from TechCrunch
    • Group, Association
    • Awards
    • Offline activities
    • Geographic
    • Preferred media: text, audio, video
    • Personality type
      • Psychological – there is a small startup in Sweden that is making great progress clustering bloggers by their psychological profile using AI and Jungian functions i.e. looking at some of the MBTI-types (Sensing/Intuition and Thinking/feeling) and Keirsey Temperaments. If you like to learn more go to: Prfekt. The results are amazing and I just wish I could read the entire article (it is written in Swedish). I got some explanation from Mattias Östmar.
      • Perceived as: leader, imaginative, inspiring, expert, fun, funny and etc…
    • Patterns
      • On the rise – the blog’s measures are on an up trend
      • Switching media – going from text to video (this is a marketing opportunity)
      • Switching social network – attrition
      • Spike in activity – “hot potato” – e.g. How to save money running a startup (17 really good tips) (156 comments) and Michael Arrington response here (as of now 217 comments).

Most of this information could be gathered automatically and some could only be added interactively but having it in the The Blogsphere system of record could help to support finding a refined list of bloggers and blogs than it is possible today using directories or text search.

Why to find blogs and bloggers that falls in one cluster or another is a good question. I think that it is valuable just for the reason that there are so many of them.  In my opinion there is a business need for it too. I will be happy to hear if you think so too or not. What is your experience finding blogs and bloggers?

The Blogsphere system of record – not another blog search engine (or why Google got it wrong)

It is not enough to support finding blogs that contains a submitted word or a phrase. It is not enough even to find tagged blogs. This is just one use case out of many to support the blogging world.

If you want to support the blogger you need to look at the entire picture. Google, building Blog Search, continued to index blogs content the same way it did for web sites, not so useful and you’ll see why in a minute, but Technorati on the other hand got it right from the start.

                     Counter

Let me start by defining the term “System of Records”: the wikipedia’s definition for the system of record is correct but maybe too abstract.  The key element is that the system of records contains both the raw data (the content) plus the metadata that help to support different business use.

The difference between Technorati and Google is that Google has the raw data and some indexes. Technorati has the content and the rich metadata!

Why is this metadata so important? To answer this question we need to understand what bloggers are doing.

So what bloggers are doing?

Most bloggers are driven by clear objective(s) and look for supporting services to accomplished them. They like to be seeing, i.e. to find readers, to be able to interact with their readers. They like to co-operate with other bloggers or to react to other blog post. Bloggers like to share content with others. Bloggers love comments, traffic and communities.

If you agree with me here then you’ll agree that it is not enough to show you a list of blog post that contains the word “system of records”.

So what do we have today supporting the blogsphere:

  • Blog authoring tools like WordPress, Blogger, Typepad and more that help us write, present, organize, tag, bookmark content and to make the connections between the blogger and its community (different gadget and plug ins(like the one for Facebook and Yahoo’s MyBlogLog).
  • Social networks and bookmarking that help to socialize new posts  – I won’t even bother listing the numerous options in this category.
  • Readers and news aggregators to scale reading new posts
  • Blog search engines and directories
  • Technorati and StumbleUpon that does few more things

The few more things that Technorati does:

  • Make the connection between the blog and the blogger’s profile – allow bloggers to claim a blog
  • Show reactions to the blog posts - blog authority
  • Show what is hot (what’s percolating in the blog world now)
  • Show the top 100 blogs
  • Rank blogs relative to other blogs
  • Categorize blogs (directory)
  • Show what is popular and uprising
  • Finding new content and keeping the existing information current – spider, pinging

To provide these capabilities Technorati has to collect, build, update and store a lot of information beyond the actual blogs content. I would claim that Technorati holds toady the best blogsphere system of record. And I would add that they organize the data in such a way that Technorati are now capable of supporting new business use cases.

One example I can think of is adding a function where the focus is changed from the blog post to the bloggers providing bloggers segmentation tool. One combination is finding bloggers from a certain category (technology, video stream), rank (mid to top), and preferred media (audio, video).

I plan to write another post to discuss bloggers clustering in more details with the intention to show what additional meta data can be added to the blogsphere system of record. Hopefully with new data new business use cases can be supported. 

Full discloser: I don’t work or invested in Technorati I just appreciate people that appreciate data and treat it the right way:)

Blog Rank Monitoring – week III highlights

March 1, 2008 1 comment

This is the 3rd week monitoring selected blogs for the prototype and here are the scoops for this week .

It seems like Technorati was doing a major scan and refresh this week and many blogs went down in rank – some more than others.

Few highlights

Steady on the up trend:
Design*Sponge – rank now is 220
Purplecar – A Taxi Service for Words. – rank now is 461534
Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation – rank now is 273240

Recovering:
confused of Calcutta – rank is now 11395

Ouch:
Not sure how to read this yet but the API call reading Seth Godin’s Blog rank came back today with the value of 228. This is drastic fall from last week were his blog rank was as high as 18. Searching Technorati site for: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/, Seth’s blog url, did not return the blog summary page but only the blog reactions list so I could not confirm this!?

 **Update: I did manage to confirm Seth Bodin blog new rank (March 2nd, 2008) and it is 219 – still in the top 500 but not in the top 100 anymore. I’m sure what it means.

As for the project progress I now have an automated way for blogs discovery and am working on the next piece of the puzzle the categorization. I’m also thinking through multiple ways of storing the data. From my experience choosing the right persistence method and metadata schema are crucial decisions so I’m not ready yet to make such commitments:)

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