UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Archive for May 31st, 2007

Blogging And Learning From One’s Peers

Posted by Brian Kelly on 31 May 2007

One of the aims of this blog was to explore best practices for setting up and sustaining blogs within the educational and cultural heritage sectors and to share experiences across these sectors.

Of course I myself learn from observing successful blogs published by others, especially my peers with whom I have shared interests and audiences.

As this blog has now been live for six months I though it would be useful to compare the status of the blog, based on data provided by Technorati, with the eFoundations blog, provided (initially) by my former colleagues Andy Powell and Pete Johnson, who now work for the Eduserv Foundation; Scott Wilson, a well-established educational who works the JISC-CETIS service and, to make comparisons with a blog provided by a commercial company, the Panlibus blog, which is written by staff at the UK-based library vendor, Talis, with regular contributions from Paul Miller, another former colleague who used to work at UKOLN.

And, in addition to the Technorati rankings, I also thought it might be useful to summarise the data provided by another service – the How Much is Your Blog Worth? Web site (which I’ve mentioned in a previous post).

At the time of writing (22nd May 2007) the Technorati rankings and estimated value to the blogs (final column) were as follows:

Blog Authority Rank Date Created Check Estimated Value
UK Web Focus blog 81 57,542 1 Nov 2006 Check $46,856
eFoundations blog 78 59,754 11 Sep 2006 Check $44,034
Scott Wilson’s blog 64 59,754 17 Jan 2005 Check $44,034
Panlibus blog 91 50,089 16 Aug 2004 Check $56,454

The Blotter application (described previously) is being used to display rolling graph of the current data taken from Technorati (although it should be noted that, (a) probably due to changes to the data provided on the Technorati Web site, this display is not as rich as it was originally and (b) the data for the UK Web Focus blog gives a better indication of the medium term trends as this blog was registered with Blotter before the others):

UK Web Focus blog (and current Technorati statistics):

Scott Wilson’s blog (and current Technorati statistics):

eFoundations blog: (and current Technorati statistics):

Panlibus blog, Talis (and current Technorati statistics):

The initial conclusion that one can make from this data is that in order to have a high-ranking blog, you should set it up before your peers (your competitors?) and you should post to it regularly.

However the factors which influence the sustainability of such ratings are not readily apparent. Should one seek to post frequently (daily perhaps) or will less frequent postings (which can allow more time to be spend in preparing the post) be a better alternative? Will the ratings drop if postings cease for a period (e.g. holidays)? And what factors can help in enhancing the rating of a blog?

I hope this data will help to inform these issues – and I also hope that the blogs I’ve mentioned all succeed in maintaining and enhancing their current ratings and that any best practices we discover from analysing this data will be useful to others within the educational and cultural heritage sectors.

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