The A-List and the Long Tail

Dave Sifry, CEO of Technorati, has posted the fourth and fifth posts in his State of the Blogosphere series. Part four deals with spam blogs, fake blogs, comment/trackback spam and how Technorati is tackling the problem. Basically the solution is a combination of new technologies, link conventions (e.g. no follow tags) and manpower. Interestingly Technorati along with Amazon, AOL, Ask Jeeves, Drupal, Google, MSN, Six Apart, Technorati, Tucows, and WordPress are teaming up to hold a Web 2.0 Spam Squashing Summit next month. In the comments, Robert Scoble and Scott Rafer indicate Microsoft/MSN and Feedster’s enthusiasm to get involved.

For PR pros though, Dave’s fifth post is a must-read since it shows the authority of blogs compared to the mainstream media. This authority is based on the number of inbound links to the sites – and therefore assumed importance/attention being given to the content. In the graph below, MSM is represented in blue with blogs in red.

Slide0009

I think this is fairly self-explanatory. In my sphere of tech PR, it’s interesting to note the influence of Engadget and Gizmodo. Obviously people like linking to gadget-related content. Note also the success of Wired News in providing linkable, timely content – the only monthly tech magazine to make the list.

There seems to be some sites missing. I don’t see Slashdot on here, which is unexpected. Dave also highlights the absence of the Wall Street Journal with the following explanation:

An interesting statistic to note is the current placement of subscription sites like WSJ.com (the Wall Street Journal). While the WSJ has begun to offer some content outside of its subscriber-only site, the policy is clearly costing them some influence and attention in the blogosphere, as bloggers find it difficult to link to articles in the subscriber-only sections.

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  • giggling

    Presumably the authority of blogs extends to this outpouring of pent-up blog emotion?
    http://spin_bunny.typepad.com/spin_bunny/2005/08/gonging_gonging.html#comments

  • Well it does in so much as it provides a vehicle for people to share opinions. But the problem lies in ascribing authority to an opinion which even the writer feels they can’t put their name to.
    Hard to have a constructive conversation with someone who wants their opinion to be heard but lacks the confidence to sign their name to it. One of the disadvantages of blog conversations, I think, and with anonymous blogs in general. And sadly, why comment spam and comment moderation are now so prevalent.