For the longest time bloggers so inclined could rate their success by their ranking on Technorati but as of today that may all change as Techmeme the news aggregator has released the Techmeme Leaderboard which lists the top 100 news sources within any 30 day period.
Stepping into the void left by Technorati’s recent stagnation and other weird so-called improvements the Techmeme Leaderboard hopes to provide an alternative way to measure your blog’s success. However well intentioned the new service maybe it has made it even harder for the run of the mill blog to be considered as being successful.
The biggest drawback I see is the one pointed out by Robert Scoble:
I was just looking at the TechMeme Top 100 List and noticed that it has very few bloggers on it — I can only see about 12 real blogs on that list. Blogging being defined as “single voice of a person.” Most of the things on the list are now done by teams of journalists — that isn’t blogging anymore in my book.
Besides trying to rise above the din of the big boy bloggers the rest of us are now going to be competing against mainstream media outlets like BBC and CNN. While I think that stating that this is signal that blogging is dying as Robert suggests is more than slightly overblown I do believe that those of us trying to market ourselves as a successful blog has become much more difficult.
Dave Winer may be willing to think of the Leaderboard as a better success metric than Technorati rankings I think it only really solidifies the current A-List bloggers position as the kings of the hill more than it opens up a way for those of us still climbing the hill.
This is because of two major points. The first is as I mentioned above and that is the fact that all the Leaderboard has done is open the field to already popular headline and news makers to include both blogs and mainstream media type news outlets.
The second is that Techmeme is skewed to blogs that are already big headline makers. As pointed out by Jason at webomatica:
From what I understand, Techmeme spiders a selective list of technology blogs. I’m not exactly sure how a blog gets included in that list, but it seems to be as simple as being linked a few times from a blog that’s already in the list (at least that’s how Webomatica got in there). In addition, said list seems to regenerate every few days or so.
Techmeme’s front page lists several headlines with links to blogs that link to that headline article, beneath. The blogs that appear in the “discussion” area beneath the headline are ones in the aforementioned list.
Now for an article to appear as a Techmeme headline itself, it seems enough blogs on said list have to link to your article. I’m guessing the critical number is three (this is also based on past experience).
So there are two barriers to entry to getting an article of yours listed as a headline on Techmeme: first, you have to get your blog on the internal Techmeme list, second, you have to get other blogs on said list to link to a particular article you’ve written.
While the response to this new ranking engine ranges from Stan Schroeder’s “.. will it replace Technorati. I doubt it“ to Mathew Ingram suggesting “… this is a pretty big kick in the goolies for Technorati“ I can only see it as yet another brick wall that career bloggers will find themselves banging their heads against; and a higher and harder one that Technorati’s.
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