Monday, February 19, 2007

The Power of a Link: Long Tail Still!

You might remember that I was making some rather light-hearted comments awhile back about how unpopular this blog was by discussing its technorati ranking. Humour aside, I think that these technorati rankings demonstrate some interesting points about the 'long tail' of blogs. For example, I got a link 'in' today from Tim Wright (there you go Tim - there's a link back for you!) and now I find myself at Rank: 1,268,382 (that is 5 links from 3 blogs). This is a rise of about 500,000 places on my ranking of yesterday on the basis of receiving just one extra link from one other technorati blogger. This result suggests that the curve is very flat indeed this far to the right of the y-axis and that it is very nearly at 'zero links' for a huge number of blogs. This, in turn, is interesting because some half-million bloggers or so have gone to the effort of setting up a blog and gone to the further effort of claiming this blog through technorati but they still have less than 5 links. Why do they do this?

I claimed in my self-mocking post that I was writing the worse blog in the world (though I knew for a fact that this was not true because another one of my blogs is much worse with a ranking of 2,704,224 - no blogs link here yet!). In truth, what I think it means is that there is a huge amount material available in the public domain that is of interest to a tiny but engaged readership. Taken collectively, this 'long tail' represents something of a success story ( let's say 2 million blogs with two links each = 4 million links) though this guess-timate means that it makes only a tiny part of the overall blogosphere. However, I believe that the ratio of 'hit' blogs links to long-tail links will change over time because these 'long tail' blogs serve the kind of readership that would not have been well served by print technology or indeed traditional websites.

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