Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ecosystem thoughts

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?)


  1. You do know who the person is in charge of that community, right? :P (I haven't looked at it in a year.)

    Hehe. I was debating how I would say it - oldest blogger in terms of years blogged, or - as I noticed when I was looking at everyone's profiles - good old [no pun intended] age.

    I believe Technorati is pretty much links as well, but it phases out old links so it's more "current".

    Personally, if I was forced to pick, I'd rather have traffic than links (though I'd rather have good discussion than either), primarily because that generally leads to good discussion. I don't write much that is particularly link-worthy, but on the rare occasion I do, I've found that the links will follow anyway.

    But to be truly honest, I don't pay too much attention to that stuff at this point. I think that the primary service of things like TTLB are to allow other J-bloggers to see what's out there, what's going on, etc. Between Haveil Havalim, the JIBs, and those bloggers who point out a lot of what's out there, you get a better idea than you do from TTLB. This is partly because all of those are a bit more wide-ranging than TTLB, which doesn't really track the blogs not on it - and you can't force everyone to be on it. More importantly, it requires the administrator to manually add each blog. There's simply too many (thankfully) to do so... but maybe I'll start adding blogs again, anyway.

  2. sarcasm>Who's in charge of the community?
    Why I never would have guessed!/sarcasm>

    There are some useful things that can be found out by Technorati, TTLB and sitemeter.

    Technorati is how I found out about the Kiryat Moshe blog. In the past TTLB has introduced me to new blogs too.

    But like you, I'd prefer to have more readers. That's something that doesn't seem to be in the cards though.

  3. SiteMeter I definitely agree. Technorati I agree as well, though not as much. TTLB is the least of the three, though.

    In the past TTLB helped me find new blogs; nowadays, HH and the JIBs help me find more.

  4. It is a combination of things. The ecosystem is one of those things that can make you happy or make you tear your hair out.