UPDATE: I have discovered that I was a bit too quick with the results listed below. In the process where I manually (step 2) removed a cluster of non-blogs (NY Times, CNN, Time, Advertising Age and other large media properties) who are also often mentioned in a PR/Blog context I accidently also removed a handful of very influential blogs including (at least) Shell Holtz, Bulldog Reporter, Hyku and Todd Andrlik. I was simply not careful enough when I cut out the big media (or non-blog) cluster.
I have therefore decided to redo the analysis from scratch, so a new version should be posted in 2 weeks or so.
In my previous post
on this topic I promised to measure the influence of blogs discussing “PR” and “blogs” using citation analysis.
The list appears below but first a few comments on how it was done and how to read it.
How it was done:
1. Using a topical crawl of the Internet, blog posts that discussed the topic of “PR” and “Blogs” in the same article were collected along with blog posts that were sufficiently referenced in this context. (Meaning: If you discuss the topic of “PR” and “Blogs” or being discussed in that context, then you are a candidate).
2. Some blogs, that appeared to be very closely related, were consolidated and some blogs/websites were manually removed because they were not deemed relevant to the context.
3. The posts were analysed for references/citations between them. The citations were extracted and turned into a massive system of simultaneous equations that were solved to provide influence.
4. The influence was normalised to a scale between 1 and 100.
(Many more details can be found in the articles referenced in the Part I of this post).
As influence is a relative measure you read the table like this:
Micropersuasion has (roughly) twice the influence of B.L. Ochman when the topic is “PR and Blogs”; or Top Rank Blog has (roughly) half the influence of Constantin Basturea.
The influence is topical so it is only a good measure when the topic is PR and Blogs. If the topic was, say “PR, Blogs and Measurement” the number (and indeed the ranking) could be expected to be different.
A few comments to the list:
Micropersuasion is clearly in a league of its own. No question about that.
However, Edelman have a large network of employees who run good blogs and while I don’t think they have a deliberate strategy of over-referencing each other, no one can blame the network members for being more familiar with the other Edelman blogs and therefore referencing them a bit more than they might otherwise had done.
You may, if you inspect the list, find bloggers whose position you disagree with. You may think this analysis overrates or underrates them.
If you feel a blog is rated higher on this list than you would expect, it is likely because you are assessing their popularity rather than their influence.
A blog you feel is rated to high is often rated higher because it is read (and referenced) by other bloggers who have above average influence. You could say that such “over-influential” blogs “punch above their (popularity) weight”. Blogs like Into PR, The Blog Herald and Marketing Vox are examples of blogs that are somewhat more influential than their popularity should lead everyone to anticipate.