Blogstreet measures the “success” of a blog by the number of other blogs with permanent link to it, called a “blogroll.”
This is really quite unfair.
There are other mechanisms that could be used. Total audience, easily obtained through site logs, could be used. But that is also unfair. Blogs run by major media organizations would dominate such rankings, and those are far from the most influential. Even blogrolling sounds good.
There’s another metric, that is the number of total links to a blog there are from other blogs. In particular these would include links to stories on other blogs. So-and-so said something Really Cool, with a link to it.
But even that is a trifle unfair. You may have one really good story, that a lot of blogs link to, and you may quickly fade out.
The best metric would combine all these — blogrolls, links and audience. The aim is to uncover influence.
Anyone care to put something together?
While blogroll analysis may not be the most ideal metric, it is definitely the best available at this point of time and that is what we have used. We do recognise its limitations – it is more of a Popularity index.
One of the things we’ve been working on over the past few days is on weighing the links that link to a blog. For example, a link from Scripting.com or Instapundit would be much more important than a link from say Emergic. So, just adding up the links may not be enough. Giving a weightage to the links is also important. We have done this and are calling this “Blog Importance Quotient” (BIQ). You should be able to see the results from this soon, and then decide for yourself.
Down the line, a question we have been asking ourselves is what do we want BlogStreet to become. Our answer: “a place to find experts” (expert bloggers, that is). My belief is that there will be two types of blogs: those by experts which will have high influence and reading (high in terms of traffic may be only a few hundred pageviews, but its the quality of traffic that matters here), and the others who have primarily their own small network of friends and family among the traffic.
The key in the blogging world is to establish via the blog a “sphere of influence”, where one’s opinion matters and is respected. These are the blogs (and people) one needs to find. And that is what BlogStreet shoud be able to enable. I should be able to type WiFi or Microcredit or Java, and it should point me to the bloggers who are “experts” in these areas.
From there, the rest of what BlogStreet offers will take over – showing me other interesting blogs (via the neighbourhood analysis and blogback). It is the first part that is missing and what we hope to work on in the coming weeks.
So, in essence, we want to make BlogStreet a window to the microcommunities that have begun to form around bloggers. For example, yeserday, I visited Dave Hyatt’s blog for the first time (floowing a link from Kevin Werbach’s blog), and found a wonderful discussion on browsers and news readers. I was amazed by the sheer number of comments that people had left behind. Dave has managed to pull in a community of techies interested in web browsers. This is because Dave is a “hub” – one who knows browsers better than most others. So, the next time, I am looking for ideas on browsers, his is the blog I should be visiting first. And that should happen as easily as typing “browsers” in BlogStreet.