Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Blogging or just Web content?

As I've been saying for a while now, a blog has nothing to do with the software it runs on but how you choose to use it. Care of James Governor, Abhijit Nadgouda explains why WordPress is actually a good generic Web Content Management System (WCMS):

"WordPress provides good infrastructure of web publishing and gives you tools to build an interactive web site... I will continue to recommend WordPress for many simple web sites, it really makes sense."

Some of the comment provide some examples of WordPress sites that look, well, not like blogs at all.

Now, this brings me to something that has been bothering me - Jonny Bentwood has released a league table of the top 50 English-language technology analyst blogs. This is based on a ranking system that draws on Google PageRank, Bloglines Subscribers, Technorati Ranking and his own ranking of that values "frequent, relevant, creative and high-quality content with a good number of comments."

The last part is good at least, but in practice if we look at the number 1 ranked blog, Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, then so far in June there are just 4 posts with only 2 comments (the content itself is focused on a book they are writing so hardly great analysis either). Compare this with Stowe Boyd's blog, which comes in at second place, where we find about 32 posts in June to date and numerous comments. So, what defines a truly popular blog - is it page rank or the conversation around it? And on that point, if you have a "blog" that doesn't allow comments should it really be labelled as a blog? Personally, I don't believe in one-sided conversations. What do you think?

3 comments:

  1. Interesting post James.

    The reason why I added my own subjective score to the ranking table is to reward analysts for making frequent, high quality content that engages with other people.

    You will note that even though Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff are top, there 'Technobabble' score (i.e. my subjective ranking) scores them lower than anyone else in the top 10.

    Even though, their score was level with Steve Boyd, the fact that they have a stronger subsciber base pushed them into the top spot.

    In my view a truly influential blog is one that many people read and link to. Charlene et al win on both counts - maybe when I republish this next quarter Steve will come out on top.

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  2. James - I agree that a blog that doesn't allow comments ain't no real blog. Likewise a blog without an RSS feed.

    I think as people experiment with the form we will see different uses of blogs take on reasonably stable identities - e.g. project mgt diary, personal journal, KM tool, comms tool. In 5 years we probably won't be talking about blogs (just as we don't really talk about generic internet sites anymore).

    And this is good for blogging software providers as it does mean the uses their tools are put to willl proliferate. However they will probably get wiped out in the corporate space as soon as Microsoft gets its act together (Forrester research indicates that most CIOs want to buy this stuff as a suite, probably from an existing vendor).

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  3. >So, what defines a truly >popular blog - is it page >rank or the conversation >around it?

    I think the latter, but then I'm biased, as my page rank is , er, modest ;-)

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