Meet Joe Blogs

I subscribe to the Sydney Morning Herald‘s Technology weekly. Sometimes I don’t know why I bother with Main Stream Media. Their fact checking is so dubious – see below.

Mentioned this week but datelined 31 May and archived 30 May is Meet Joe Blogs with the teaser

The “blogosphere” is exploding, with millions of blogs screaming for attention. Next asked some of Australia’s most influential bloggers what it takes to stand out from the loudmouthed crowd.

Fine lets meet who the Fairfax press thinks are Australia’s most influential bloggers. They interview Simon Wright founder of Whirlpool.net.au the Australian broadband choice community. Now whirlpool is a mighty fine community, but it is anything but a blog. Online communities are a valuable part of the internet, go check out Somersoft Property Investors Forum where I was once a moderator.

Blogs are “web logs”, generally with one voice (or so) conducting a conversation with a specific readership. How did the SMH confuse the voice of a lone blogger with a few hundred/thousand posts with the anarchy of Whirlpool and its 84,929 members; 321,861 threads and 5,132,127 posts? Who did the fact checking on this uncredited puff piece?

Ah but there was a link to I am blogger, hear me roar by Hugh J. Martin with Rob O’Neill. At least this one had writers willing to take ownership.

Here at least is a case for identifying four Australian bloggers as “influential”. Martin and O’Neill set the scene at the opening and explain some of technorati’s usefulness as a blog seach engine. The sixth paragraph is useful

It is important to distinguish between traffic – visits to a blog’s pages – and hyperlinks. By tracking links and not page views, Technorati is tracking the level of motivation required to create the hyperlink. If lots of bloggers cite, or link to, a blog or an individual post, they are casting a vote in favour of its relevance or importance. It’s a crude measure but it does allow a basic ranking of blogs according to the number of links they attract. It also allows readers to get a feel for the authority or wider popularity of a blog.

But three paragraphs later

Tim Dunlop is an Australian academic and writer living in Washington, DC. His academic work dealt with the role of intellectuals and citizens in public debate and that led to his interest in blogging. He first published his blog, The Road to Surfdom, in May 2002 and quickly became Australia’s most widely read left-leaning blog.

Huh? Australia’s most widely read left-leaning blog? They just explained how link popularity is a valid proxy for influence, but it doesn’t automatically equate to most widely read. So now technorati links explain your public popularity? What about RSS readers and aggregators? I know many readers never come to my site but read via RSS. Very Bad Logic SMH.