Who’s who

Who’s who

: Cameron Marlow explores a new way to measure authority in weblogs.

Technorati and the Ecosystem measure total weblog links. Cameron measures just permalinks — that is, links to posts but not blogroll links.

While some webloggers hold top positions in both ranks, the list diverges considerably as the position increases. While Blogrolls tend to support the weblog elders (scripting.com, evhead.com, etc.), permalinks suggest a different set of authors as influencers (joi.ito.com, buzzmachine.com, etc.)….

This raises new light to the age-old weblog power law debate. While the blogroll rankings (reflected by Shirky’s original analysis) suggest a model of preferential attachment, many of those weblogs listed in the top permalink ranks are much younger. If the weblog social structure is mitigated by a law of the “rich getting richer,” we would expect older weblogs to have more influence, and hence more links to their entries.

Cameron’s Blogdex has tracked 30,000 blogs since 2001. These results would change greatly with more data (Technorati tracks 2.5 million) and over a shorter timeframe (the longer timeframe would measure authority as consistent quotability/linkability while the shorter timeframe would measure current buzz). In a short time frame with lots of data, I’ll bet that you’d find many more blogs breaking through to the top, making this more of a democratic or “fair” medium than has been presumed thus far. I also would be curious to see this tracked against volume of posting: That is, I’ll bet that if you post a lot, you disproportionately increase the odds of getting links to you because people are in the habit of coming back to you more often.