From the early days of blogging there has always been talk about the upper level of writers who were often referred to as the A-List of blogging. This was all derived from the Technorati leader board that listed the top 100 blogs in the world. Over the past couple of years though this list has grown to mean less and less.
Part of the reason was that increasingly we were seeing mainstream media showing up on the list as they began to embrace the social media world and blogging. As with Techmeme the individual blogs began to fade from these Authority Indexes being replaced with the likes of The New York Times blogs and even faux corporate blogs that didn’t do much more that post press releases.
However their effect on the concept of the Authority Index is nothing compared, in my opinion, to the effect that services like Twitter, FriendFeed and Facebook ultimately have had on it. You see the idea behind the Authority Index is that it was the measure of the number of links to any blog from other blogs within a 60 day period. With the burgeoning popularity of things like Twitter we find that links are being spread further afield from blogs.
As this trend increases – which it will – the value of links in blog posts as a way to measure another blog’s value decreases. Rather than people posting interesting links on their blogs they are posting them instead to Twitter or FriendFeed. As Brian Solis points out
As the social Web and new services continue the migration and permeation into everything we do online, attention is not scalable. Many refer to this dilemma as attention scarcity or continuous partial attention (CPA) – an increasingly thinning state of focus. It’s affecting how and what we consume, when, and more importantly, how we react, participate and share. That something is forever vying for our attention and relentlessly pushing us to do more with less driven by the omnipresent fear of potentially missing what’s next.
We are learning to publish and react to content in “Twitter time” and I’d argue that many of us are spending less time blogging, commenting directly on blogs, or writing blogs in response to blog sources because of our active participation in micro communities.
All this change therefore begs the question – is the idea of an Authority Index now something of the past or can it be modernized to take into account these micro communities?
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