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« September 2008 | Main | Archives | November 2008 »

The Dark Art of Ranking Blogs


People are inherently competitive. Whether it be in their career, sport or a friendly game of Pictionary on a Saturday afternoon people like to win or at least beat other people. The same can be said for bloggers which is a subset of the population who want to get their voice heard and thus want attention. The recent spate of blog rankings has got the whole community excited about being in the top XXX of something.

However when you start to rank people by their blogs you run into a few problems. How do you rank something as complex as a blog? What metrics do you use, when the majority of real data is hidden to the outside user? It's easy to compare sports stars as you rank them based on their performance on the field. If you started adding in income generated, fans and other vague data it'd become a lot more complicated just like it is with blogs. Many assumptions need to be made.

There are a few global and localised blog ranking systems around with some drilled down to specific industries.

We have the omnipresent Technorati influence. For all blogs of shapes and sizes.
Ad Age's Power 150: Global advertising blogs
Australia's Top 50 Marketing Blogs: Aussie blogs
Blogponds top 100 Blogs: Aussie blogs in general
Scamp's Top Ad blogs: with a UK subset
Top Blogs for Women: Australia again
There's even a top scrapbooking blog list.

There's also special editorials posting the top blogs here and there including Time's Top 25 blogs

Imagine if they ranked the Billboard Top Albums based on more than just sales? It'd become a nightmare and open to tactics used to generate higher rankings.

Right now to rank blogs we have a my rid of metrics such as Technorati inbound links, Technorati inbound blog, Google Page Rank, Bloglines readership, Feedburner readership, Alexa ranking, Yahoo! links.

There's also companies with their "patent pending" technology to rank blogs like Collective Intellect. There's also a wealth of other easy to track buzz on social media.

One thing missing from a lot of these rankings is participation and loyalty of readers. Bannerblog has a very vocal audience who like to share their opinion on banners, and regularly get 15+ comments per post. (not so much in the news) Other blogs find it hard to garner more than 3 comments per post. (like this section) This type of participation I think is an important part of the strength of a blog. I run other blogs (Sleevage, WTFcostumes) that get more traffic but the audience is very transient. Mostly based of search engine traffic. There is a 30%-50% increase in the number of new visitors. Bannerblog sits at a 45% new visitor rate most months. No one really searches for "VW Banner" on Google. But they search for "CD Covers" all the time.

Let's hope Google can come in an create a one blog ranking system to rule them all. They have the Blog Search now which specifically filters results from blogs only. Here's a nice breakdown of Google 's "Patent pending" blog ranking algorithm.

The only Top 100 list I usually agree with is FHM's Top 100 sexiest women.

October 9, 2008

Adobe CS4 is coming

It's almost here. Flash 10 loaded with all the eyecandy features that you never asked for but now you see are pretty awesome. 3D transform, IK (bones) and a motion editor will make stuff much easier to animate and work with. See full feature list here.

Flash versions always seem to go in cycles.

Flash 6 - 7 was all functionality and no eyecandy.
Flash 7 - 8 was pretty much all eyecandy
Flash 8 - 9 was just for AS3 which is not exactly eyecandy but made flash run fast.

Now the release of Flash CS4 (or flash 10) is here and it's loaded with eyecandy!

make sure to register for the free events happening around Australia too. Click the promo image below for more info and to RSVP.


Bring on Flash 10 banners I say!

October 6, 2008

McCain in '08

Get the economy back on track, get yourself a McCain '08 T-Shirt.



I made these using Spread Shirt, and put together the site using Big Cartel, as a little side experiment in e-commerce. This is after being inspired by all the election hysteria, and the massive social networking success that is McCainSpace.

Big Cartel is definitely worth checking out if you're after a non-lame, CSS customizable shopping cart.

Crystal Head (Skull) Vodka


Oh look Dan Aykroyd is promoting his new line of Crystal Head Vodka. He must be trying to capitalise on the release of Indy 4 on DVD on Oct 14. Or is it for Ghostbusters 3 a franchise Dan has much more vested interest in.

Dan did have a bit part in Temple of Doom so it's not too much of a stretch to see that he'd be pimping a fake product to promote a movie. What is weird is that Dan actually has his own winery, aptly named Dan Aykroyd Wines and from various reports like on Notcot the Crystal Skull Vodka is actually real. That said it might be PR gifts which would make more sense and would explain why Notcot did such a big post about it. Check out the products website. No where to buy page though which seems like a waste if it was real.

Update: Jean from NOTCOT replied to say no PR gift and you can buy it here. It's sold out though.

Either way it's brought to light that Dan Aykroyd is still alive and kicking (even if Bill Murray is taking the spotlight), there's talks of Ghostbusters 3 brewing and that until now I never realised "Aykroyd" sounds rude.

Oh and if you think Dan is faking it when it comes to the Paranormal check him out talimg about how the "Men in Black" cancelled his show about UFO's. (This is not a SNL sketch)

It's hard to take what ever he says seriously as his usual delivery is so deadpan.

October 5, 2008

Muppet Virals

These look to be official Muppet videos. Will there be a Muppet film coming soon? They are all over Youtube as well. Each character has just one video with limited cross linking. I look forward to seeing if they continue with this or if it's leading up to some bigger Muppet related announcement. Considering the amount of cash Alvin and the Chipmunks made recently Disney would be stupid not to pump out a new Muppets movie.

Ode To Joy from Beaker on Vimeo.

Habanera from The Swedish Chef on Vimeo.

These videos are not only fun but right on the Muppet brand. It's extending the Mahnahmahnah! song which went mental when I was in highscool. It was on the Triple J Hottest 100 or something.

There are quite a few Muppet Videos done by fans. Plenty of gansta rap videos and movie mashups as seen below.

My fav Muppets were Beaker and the Swedish Chef.

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