The new Sony Bravia paint-ad was well received by the blogsphere last week.
The graph below shows the number of blog posts on Sony Bravia in the last 60 days along with the accumulated sentiment (NPI).
Not only did the buzz on one day increase twenty-fold over the previous average, but the sentiment graph jumped as well.
It’s going to be interesting to see how long the effect lasts.
Edelman, a PR company, and Technorati, a blog-search-engine, has released a list of "the most influential bloggers".
According to Edelman’s own release
the methodology has been to count the number of links each blog receives from other bloggers.
If that is a correct description of their methodology it can be deduced that their analysis rests on two central conjectures that are both wrong.
1st wrong conjecture: Influence is defined using one factor only: The number of endorsements (links) an actor receives.
2nd wrong conjecture: Influence is independent of issue.
In a social context influence (often in the literature referred to as “prestige”) is normally defined using at least two factors: The number of endorsements an actor receives and the prestige of each actor awarding the endorsement. Lately (in the last 30 or so years) a third factor is usually also included: The number of actors each actor is awarding his or her prestige to (linking to) (i.e. how thin they spread their total endorsement).
Popularity, on the other hand, is usually defined using one factor: The number of endorsements an actor receives.
The Edelman/Technorati study doesn't attribute different weights to the links/endorsements by different bloggers. One could say that they regard a link from any two bloggers as contributing equally to the influence of the blogger linked to.
This (1st wrong conjecture) is intuitively wrong as well as logically flawed.
Intuitively wrong because what they are saying is that it would give a blogger equal influence to receive the endorsement of the most credible and well respected blogger in the world as an endorsement made by someone who hasn't got a clue and that nobody has ever heard of. Intuitively it doesn't make sense.
The conjecture is also logically flawed. The very foundation for their methodology is that all bloggers are equally influential (as all links count equally). And what do they produce: A ranked list of bloggers stating that some are more influential than others. But hey - what do you actually mean guys: Should a link from the number 1 on your list count the same as a link from the last guy on the same list? It does when you start counting but it doesn't when you're done. Clearly there was a change of mind (and logic) somewhere along the way..
As for the 2nd wrong conjecture it is even more illogical than the first. (This is the one that says that influence is universal).
Are you really saying that, if say David Beckham is influential on football he is also influential on the developments in British politics and on say, wine?
Influence is issue-based because the endorsements/links are related to the issue discussed. If not, bloggers would link to the same blogs in any context and this is obviously absurd.
Reading that influence is independent of issue reminds me of the time (Feb 17th, 2006) I was researching a story on bird flu and searched Technorati to see who they regarded as the most authoritative blog on this issue. The result: Engadget – a blog on gadgets.
The whole thing leaves me with a number of questions I don't seem to be able to answer:
Why don't they just call it "popularity"? Then they would be totally right. They could have said "We have made a list of those bloggers who are most popular with other bloggers". That could have been a respectable piece of research and an interesting list. as those who are popular usually also have some influence (although you don't need to be popular to have influence).
Why do they call it "influence" when it's clearly not?
Thanks to Antony Mayfield
for pointing me to this.
The last 30 days has seen both Gordon Brown and David Cameron take centre stage at their respective party conferences.
Both have gotten fair attention in the blogsphere, but they have not fared equally well.
The figure below shows both the number of blog posts made on each day during the last 30 days that references any of the two. Notice the spike in number of posts about Gordon Brown during the Labour conference and a similar increase in posts on David Cameron during the current Tory conference.
The figure also shows the sentiment of the blog posts where they are referenced. The trend of the sentiment graph (in the legend referred as NPI) is negative if there are more negative posts than positive posts and vice versa.
Notice how Brown’s sentiment graph dives during the party conference whereas Cameron’s does not.