Since I'm listed with the cast of characters I figure that I ought to take up the invitation and guest post.
Have you paid attention to the TTLB Ecosystem community of the JBlogosphere lately? Oh, blast it's not working right now.
But it was yesterday. I guess what surprises me most is that the rankings go strictly by the number of incoming links. Traffic plays no role in the TTLB rankings. (Technorati uses some combination of the two.) But because incoming links are the sole metric, Soccer Dad comes in higher than a number of high profile J-blogs that get several multiples of traffic that I get.
The downside of this metric, though, is that incoming links don't change. So a popular blog that's currently hibernating will keep it's same ranking as if it the blogger were posting regularly. An active blog still has to garner those incoming links it wants to pass the one on hiatus.
The disparity between visits and Ecosystem ranking though, also shows that these popular J-Blogs have a higher percentage of non-blogging (and thus non-linking) readers and/or less prominence in the blogosphere generally. (This isn't meant as an insult, there is probably a tradeoff between general popularity and traffic if you're not one of the uber-blogs.)
The question is how to build a site that generates both traffic and incoming links. It's something that still eludes me, four years since I've started blogging. (That's what you meant when you wrote that I'm "older," doesn't it?)