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Monday 21 April 2003

Blogshares and (b)linking..

Michael over at Britcoal read my entry on Blogshares and it got him questioning the value of links as a measure of worth for a blog. (I'd link it but his archives aren't working - see April 17). Crucially he asks the question "really - is blogging about linking?".

The original blogs were indeed about links. Most definitions of Weblog still refer to the inclusion of links and the name itself of course derives from Web-Log, a log of your activities on the web.

Back in the late 90s most weblogs were a series of links discovered by the author, usually with some kind of commentary on its value and/or accuracy. The explosion of popularity of blogs has, predictably, diversified them in nature and style. However, the prime value of the internet, other than its accessibility by all, is its interlinked nature.

He's right that a weblog's outgoing links should not be a measure of it value, and that is not what I was advocating, or what Blogshares creates. Indeed, a plethora of outgoing links decreases the value of each link. The number of incoming links though is not a bad measure.

Blogs should not be merely a collection of links, they should have content. There are blogs out there that are, or have become, little more than a collection of links. I'm sure you've read them. Once. And, having read them, have no more use for them. You will have harvested any useful links and won't be back. Neither will you blogroll them. The sites I blogroll have content that I visit regularly. They also contain content that I think people who read this site may like. If you create a blog with content then people will want to read it. They may also want to recommend that other people will read it.

The number of links and the importance of the sites the links come from have become the most popular method of gauging the importance of a website. It's practiced by Google, Daypop, Popdex, Blogdex, alltheweb and many more.

So, maybe, if Blogshares achieves the rationalisation of blog links that I suggested it might, a blog's blogshare value might become the indicator of content that Michael is looking for.

FYI: Rebecca Blood has a very good history of weblogs.

April 21, 2003 10:14 AM | Weblogging

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