April 21st, 2006

Technorati Top 100 Is Changing Radically

by

Have you checked out the Technorati Top 100 (by unique links) lately? It’s starting to change in very interesting ways.

First, Dave Winer is gone. That’s right — Scripting News is no longer a top 100 blog.

So what knocked him off? Personal blogs by young Asian women, most of them on MSN Spaces:

#18 http://spaces.msn.com/babygal89eunice
#19 http://spaces.msn.com/ringmanchoi
(Both beat Dooced, which is #20, and Scobleizer, which is #21)
#30 http://spaces.msn.com/lin28379801400

Then there are these Japanese blogs (beyond my language skills to assess):

#26 http://k-tai.impress.co.jp/
#29 http://atnewz.jp/

I won’t embarass myself by mis-identifying the lanuages, but again most of these appear to be personal MySpace-like blogs — and look at the rankings!

#8 http://spaces.msn.com/closetoyou0
(Instapundit is #9 and Michelle Malkin is #11)
#15 http://myhurt.blog11.fc2.com/
#34 http://shiraishi.seesaa.net/

There are many implications to this phenomenon, all of them fascinating and deeply disruptive to U.S. West Cost-centric view of the blogosphere:

- Blogging is a global phenomenon – duh! (I can’t even read a lot of the blogs that link to Publishing 2.0)
- MSN Spaces is kicking MySpace’s butt in Asia
- The cross-linking power of these personal blogs makes those of us writing on “professional” topics look like we’re sitting in a very small room
- The technology blogs that dominated the early geekosphere my soon be crowded out of the Technorati Top 100
- The provincial U.S. view of 2.0 does little to help us understand the globalization of 2.0

While we’re on the subject of Technorati’s Top 100, remember when the geekosphere went ga-ga over Technorati’s favorites featues? What a dud! If you look at the Top 100 list based on most favorited blogs, you’ll see it’s based on TINY numbers of favorites users — so few that Publishing 2.0 is STILL on that top 100 despite being on only 28 favorites lists.

And of course Technorati’s core functions like keeping track of numbers of links and delivering search results without timing out continue to SUCK.

Technorati has become a fascinating site, but not for any of the reasons its creators intended.

UPDATE:

Chris Edwards did some sleuthing and discovered evidence that these sites are gaming the system — more evidence that the folks at Technorati are in over their heads (from comments below):

On further inspection, it looks as though the MSN blogs that are linking are personal blogs created by real people rather than spam bots. But the links pushing the target sites up the rankings in Technorati are fakes.

Every single entry on the first page of link-love for »-(¯`v´¯)-» xEuNiCex »-(¯`v´¯)-» at Technorati starts off like this:

Updated spaces falan’s space noshiespace KoRSaN HaCK™ chob’s space facundo’s space Mo Till The Cat arrr… Art N!tru »-(¯`v´¯)-» xE… breana’s space More… [IMG]

That’s 20 identical blog posts, apparently. You’ll (not) be surprised to find out that the text doesn’t exist on any of the sites I checked that supposedly generated all those entries. I’d say it’s a gaping hole in the way that Technorati checks pings (if, indeed, it checks at all).

UPDATE #2:

Chris has more analysis of this phenomenon over at Hacking Cough.

  • This was a bug that cropped up at the end of last week. We fixed it and now things are back to normal. Sorry about the problem.

    Dave

  • Remember what Amazon.com's bestseller list was like in 1996. I dug it up:

    1. Creating Killer Web Sites: The Art of Third-Generation Site Design; David Siegel

    2. Executive Orders; Tom Clancy

    3. The Dilbert Principle: A Cubicle's Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions; Scott Adams

    4. Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk; Peter L. Bernstein

    5. The English Patient; Michael Ondaatje

    6. Idoru; William Gibson

    7. Airframe; Michael Crichton

    8. Creating Great Web Graphics; Laurie McCanna

    9. Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins of the Internet; Matthew Lyon, Katie Hafner

    10. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information; Edward R. Tufte

    I believe Programming Perl was the bestselling Amazon book in 1995 (their first year of operation), but I might be wrong.

  • Karl

    Is it a bad thing that the Technorati 100 is evolving?

    It Technorati used the number of 'friends' some folks have on MySpace as an indicator of influence - well most independent bloggers would be left in the dust. Probably ALL of the well known ones.

    There are huge networks out there and just because they exist within the realms of MySpace, Xanga, and Livejournal shouldn't discount them.

  • I wrote another explanation on the flaw of link stats (http://www.yugatech.com/blog/?... about 3 months ago involving blogs in subdomains and sub-directories. Looks like the unique sites count has some bug.

  • For those of you interested in checking out what's happening in the Web 2.0 world outside US. Check this: http://www.thenextweb.org

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