Louis Gray had a rather interesting post today dissecting the numbers; which he does so well, of the Techmeme Leaderboard and how placement within the Leaderboard is as much about the actual news as it is about the players. As Louis notes the heavy hitters at the top of the Leaderboard have been there since almost day one and are unlikely to be unseated from that throne of popularity none to soon.
In the past I have written about the Techmeme Leaderboard from the point of view of it potentially making it harder for bloggers to climb the ladder of popularity because of the predominance of MSM controlled blogs and our own blogging powerhouses. Over time though when someone has emailed me about the Leaderboard and the few times I have looked at it myself my thoughts have begun to change about the value of something like the Leaderboard over something like Technorati.
I realize some have called for a Leaderboard that excludes things like Wall Street Journal or New York Times and at one time I might have agreed with that but I don’t any longer for one very simple reason. Professional bloggers have for the longest time been saying that they are on par with anything that the MSM can put out but before the Techmeme Leaderboard there was no real way to measure the success of professional blogging endeavors against the best that MSM could throw at us – but now we do and the last thing we should be doing is crying foul.
If anything we should relish in the fact that we can put the best of the blogging professionals up against the best of MSM and still come out on top in regards to reader popularity. Sure it is difficult for individual bloggers trying to make their way as professional among the big boys of both publishing medium but if you stop for a second and look at the Leaderboard as a whole we really aren’t doing that bad – in fact some are doing damn good.
Within the top 20 we have Philipp Lenssen’s Google Blogoscoped right along side paidContent.org and AppleInsider. Not bad placement for a single writer on a specialized blog. It gets even better as you go further down the list as you have Mathew Ingram and Louis Gray (#49 & #50) sitting just below the Times of London and doing better than the San Francisco Chronicle. Not to be out down my own blog WinExtra is doing none to shady at #65 which puts it just below Financial Times and PC World but above MacRumors and the Washington Post.
The take away from all this is that the Techmeme Leaderboard is a perfect measuring stick of popularity not just of blogs but more importantly overall publishing success in a field that now includes both new media and old mainstream media and rather than bitch and whine about the Leaderboard supposedly being taken over by MSM publications; which if you really look you can see this isn’t the case, we should be welcoming the challenge to prove that blogging is as good if not better than the tired old media in the most important area – readership.
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