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blog-internet.jpgHow to make sense of “this monstrous conversation” that the blogosphere has become? asks Jennifer LeClaire in a Technology News article that quotes me and David Sifry.
There are problems with blog stats. Lots of bloggers use SiteMeter, which is a fine and inexpensive tool. But it doesn’t register every page of the blog unless you do a special setup. And you have to set up Urchin, etc. not to register every robot crawl of images.
Adrants’ Steve Hall told me yesterday that he believes Technorati and others are “measuring the wrong thing.” What they should measure, he says, is how much original content is on a blog.
A large percentage of blogs just aggregate other bloggers’ content, or provide links to articles of interest. But the meat in the blogosphere is the original thought — and there’s very little of that going around.
If the blogosphere is to continue to grow, and to have impact as a communications medium, more bloggers have to do the work to create more original content.
UPDATE: Steve Hall emailed: Actually I was coming at it from a more technical angle. While I don’t know all the techy stuff, services like Technorati and PubSub measure the proliferation of links versus traffic and or readership. these services measure how many sites link to you and rank their importance based on how many inbound links they have. That’s entirely unrelated to how many people are actually consuming the content.
So it’s not so much that they are measuring the wrong thing because that’s a matter of perspective. There’s nothing wrong with measuring links. It is indicative of a blog popularity but it’s not directly measuring how many people are consuming the content and that’s not what they are or should be trying to do either. There’s plenty of other metrics packages out there doing that already.
Being in the Technorati Top 100 does not mean a blog is read by more people than one not in the Top 100. It just means it has more sites linking to it. It all depends of what you are trying to measure. For an ad-supported site, a marketer will care less about the link-fest aspect of Technorati-like measurement and more about Urchin/Google Analytics-like readership measurement.
It wasn’t so much about the aggregation aspects although that is part of it as well.

Related What’s Next posts:
Edelman/Technorati Blogger Survey: Same Old, Same Old About New Media
Technorati’s Rankings Don’t Mean Beans