October 10, 2007

SocialRank blog aggregators

Referrer logs are an excellent source of information. Not only do they tell me who's talking about me and what's popular or useful from what I've written, they also tell can give me a heads up on new devopements in the blogosphere. A case in point is the dribble of links I've gotten over the last couple of weeks from a new site called The Library Shelf:

Are you a librarian? Each day, The Library Shelf identifies the top 15 librarian stories and blogs of the day.

We do this by monitoring the buzz of the Librarian blog community. So YOU decide what's important.

We use SocialRank software to monitor each of the best librarian sites and determine today's hottest articles and bloggers in the field.

This is done by analyzing how sites and users link, connect, and discuss each other's content. Add a touch of math and what we have is a powerful filter into the hottest stories of the day.

Now you can find better librarian stories, learn more, and get updated... much faster and easier than before

It seems like a pretty interesting service, one that SociaRank has replicated in a bunch of other blogging communities, mostly business, hobby, lifestyle or technology focused. Each day they highlight the top posts and the blogs that are the fastest growing, attention-wise. So far I've found The Library Shelf and a few other of the communities fairly interesting and useful in helping me keep up.

Here are some of the pros and cons:
  • Pro: It does increase my personal serendipity factor by highlighting posts from blogs that I don't follow
  • Pro: Related to the above, the threshold for "important post" seems pretty low right now so it is possible for it to surface stuff from beyond the most popular blogs
  • Pro: It's another measure of ranking/popularity

  • Con: It's not clear exactly what blogs they cover and right now it seems to be a fairly small number
  • Con: Using comments and links as the main measure of importance is a bit dubious without any human relevance checking.
  • Con: It doesn't cycle that quickly as many posts seem to linger on the list for days and days
  • Con: It's another measure of ranking/popularity

Some of the other communities I'll be following:

Check out these two posts for more communities on feminism, atheism, Microsoft, Oracle, Ruby on rails, toys, pop culture, parenting, Java, Apple, Flash, cats, Python, cars, Second Life and more.

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