Top analyst blogs
Within the analyst world the past year has been a dichotomy in the land of blogging. Whereas we have seen a surge in the number of analysts that have taken to this medium, it is contrasted with a decrease from the recognised ‘leaders’ in the frequency of which they post.
This new ranking system has fundamentally evolved since the last version to take into account the seismic shifts in the way people communicate online. The key changes relate to inbound links such as from Twitter as well as well as a combined Yahoo / Google (3-month date limited) approach.
Whenever these lists are published, there are several points that always get raised which I will address now…
- This blog is not from an analyst. The argument as to whom is an analyst or a consultant is becoming largely moot. In my opinion if someone is independent and directly influences technology procurement then they are an analyst. I know this will cause a huge amount of disagreement but as an outsider looking in this is the way I see the market. This is not to say that some analysts have different strengths over others, it is more a case that I think as an AR pro, I need to monitor the lot of you.
- The blog is written by multiple authors. Some blogs have several analysts writing them whereas others do not. The merits of a single blog author is something that I personally favour as this allows me to understand the tone of blog without having to understand the many personalities that are associated with it. Regardless, for this table, my view has not been to argue this but merely to present the data.
- It is irrelevant showing all the blogs as I am only interested in a specific topic – bingo, that is exactly right. My suggestion to all AR pros is to identify which of your analysts are on this and only look at those. This list compiled from the newly updated analyst blog directory on Tekrati does not see to micro-segment but merely to list all blogs regardless of their speciality.
- Hey – you have forgotten to include this blog. Please let me know the name and if I will include it as an edit.
- Isn’t this just like TweetLevel but for blogs? Yep, this algorithm is part of a larger project to fully understand influence and engagement on the web. This methodology is part of BlogLevel.
- Will you be producing a league table for those on Twitter? Yes, next week.
Without further ado, congrats to everyone who is included and especially those who have managed to make the top 50 – this is an outstanding achievement. Of course, a huge pat on the back to ex-Forrester and now Altimeter analyst, Jeremiah Owyang for showing everyone how to combine blogs and twitter to tremendous affect.
Edit: Since this blog was originally posted several blogs have now been added (including Denis Howlett – #2, Michael Krigsman – #6, Esteban Kolsky – #42 and Michael Gartenberg – #61). A special congrats to Denis for jumping in at second place.
I have taken the feedback I have received from the previous research and modified the methodology.
Scores are now calculated as follows:
Google PageRank – Google PageRank is a link analysis algorithm that interprets web links and assigns a numerical weighting (0 to 10) to each page. High-quality pages receive a higher PageRank. The ranking uses the actual PageRank of the blogs homepage as part of its algorithm.
Yahoo Inbound Links [date unlimited] – Yahoo counts the total number of inbound links that go directly to a blog. Each number was assigned to a range which was then used as part of the algorithm.
Google Inbound Links [3 months date limited] – Google allows people to search the number of inbound links to a specific blog but limit this to a predefined date period. Similar to how Technorati only looks at six months of data, this method was used in combination with the Yahoo Inbound Link count to assess which blogs were considered to be important due to the number of links that came to them, but also currently relevant as measured by the limitations on the timescale. Each number was assigned to a range which was then used as part of the algorithm.
Google Reader Subscribers – Google reader lists the total number of subscribers to a blog. I believe this is a more realistic number to that which Bloglines provides. Mihai Parparita confirms that “these numbers include subscribers across all Google services”. To account for people using other readers (e.g. Newsgator) it has been suggested that this number is multiplied by 3. Subscriber ranges were determined (i.e. more than 20, more than 30, etc.) and each range was assigned a number that was used as part of the algorithm.
Frequency of Posts – Updating relevant and interesting content frequently onto a blog will naturally cause more people to find this blog important. This score is established via Google Reader to understand the precise number of posts per week that the blogger makes. Frequency numbers were determined and assigned to a range that was used as part of the algorithm.
Date Last Blog Post Published – Working in combination with ‘Frequency of Posts’, this score mitigates against blogs that were once popular but haven’t been updated for a long time. The number of days since the last blog post was calculated and assigned to a range which was used as part of the algorithm.
Comments – A simple way to judge how valuable a blog is to other people is through the number of comments (where this is enabled) that visitors make. In a similar way to linking and subscribing this user requested service shows a significant value. The number of comments made over the last five posts were calculated and assigned to a range which was used as part of the algorithm.
Twitter Inbound Links – There are various online tools available to count the number of links inbound to a blog from Twitter. Backtype was used to count the number of these occurrences over the past five blog posts. The number of times this happened was calculated and assigned a range which was used as part of the algorithm.
Weighting – Each specific variable listed above was given a standard score out of 10. Using a weighting scale I varied the importance of the each metric to establish a blogs total score.
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