Measuring Bloggers' Reach and Influence
Mary Hodder over the weekend wrote a proposal for coming up with a sophisticated metric that would measure bloggers' reach and influence. As a mere observer of the raging debate about the inadequacy of today's lists, this sounds pretty compelling to me.
Hodder frankly states that people want a better way to understand impact because they want to commercialize blogs. (Whether it's a blogger making money off his or her own blog, or an advertisers marketing on a blog, or a company trying to understand which bloggers have an impact on their brand.)
Her post also explains why the existing lists and rankings, such as the Technorati Top 100 and the Feedster Top 100, don't really get at the kind of information marketers and commercially bloggers really need.
Of course, commercialization is only one reason that bloggers want to measure their community. It's not the the only reason at all. Bloggers, she writes, want to understand their community, the depths of these connections, and how they change over time, and what the smaller spheres of influence look like.
It's basically a shout out to come up with a metric that might take into account inbound links, comments to a post, direct mentions without a link, subscribers, and the time people spend reading a post.