Another blog-tracking tool...
July 30, 2001 7:31 AM   Subscribe

Another blog-tracking tool... Although I am braced for mefi attack for posting this one ("non-story - there are other web log trackers" etc, etc), I'm interested to hear what me-fier's think about the ultimate viability of such a product. Is a comprehensive weblog crawler a viable product? Would google-like algorithms work? What would this mean for said "memes" and their proliferation on the net? Further, is there a potential for a "commodification of the meme?" Would the corporates, in the style of viral marketing gimmicks ("I Kiss you!"), use such a "meme tracker" to identify and exploit net culture "hot spots?"
posted by preguicoso (23 comments total)
Double pleasure. Wasn't much commentary in the last post though.
posted by timothompson at 7:47 AM on July 30, 2001

I think it's a very interesting idea, but this is a double-post, preguicoso.
posted by briank at 7:48 AM on July 30, 2001

(Well, sort of a double-post. The Wired story is pretty slim, although it does quote Matt.)
posted by briank at 7:49 AM on July 30, 2001

Matt Haughey, administrator of Metafilter, a popular community weblog, said Blogdex might fill in where Metalog left off.

"You'd go to Metalog to see what the popular memes were," Haughey said. "It not only served as a way to get the hot news, but you could get different viewpoints on the same issue if you dug up who was talking about the popular memes. Hopefully, Blogdex will start showing who is actually talking about what."

"There are tens of thousands of weblogs now, and it would be great if there were a centralized service that helped people wade through them," he added. "I'd like to see centralized searching, something to keep track of notable new weblogs and the popular links within them. Perhaps Blogdex will serve as just one part in a suite of useful Web apps."
posted by timothompson at 7:57 AM on July 30, 2001

It would be neat if blogs had optional categories for links, then a meta-blog thingie could show you the links for the categories that you are interested in.
posted by Johannahh at 8:52 AM on July 30, 2001

I don't understand the hysteria associated with Blogdex. It really is just redux. There seems to be nothing here that is particularly new or indeed interesting. And in fact the thing that everyone praises about it is that is has the possibility to do all the things that various other sites (beebo and blogger search) haven't been able to maintain - and in the latter case Blogdex can't even do it yet. I remain unconvinced...
posted by barbelith at 10:00 AM on July 30, 2001

Blogdex strikes me as similar to what Tom and Ian have been doing with Web Intersections for a while now. Of course, those guys only scrape a few weblogs, and maybe I'm missing a deeper utility planned for Blogdex.
posted by bradlands at 10:17 AM on July 30, 2001

Tom, I told the author it was essentially a blogdex ripoff, and not much better than it (and that I wasn't ecstatic about its launch), so he used my quotes about how beebo was useful.

About the only thing it does better than beebo right now is that there is 9000+ weblogs used as a source, instead of only 90-100 that beebo used to use. The rest is all potential and wishful thinking.

I wish there were a central weblog search engine that allowed for searching recent posts (and posts only, not scraping entire pages), that's what I was trying to suggest in my second quote. I thought Dave Winer might be pissed off that wasn't mentioned as the central super weblog service, but I think only does the favorites thing well currently.

Dave seems to have listened and taken it to heart today.
posted by mathowie at 10:17 AM on July 30, 2001

You want to know what's funny about blogdex. For the last three days one of the top ten links has been about some form of intentional self-defilement. Chopping off feet, selling naming rights to babies, selling humans.
posted by rschram at 10:29 AM on July 30, 2001

Dave seems to have listened and taken it to heart today.

Matt, I only see a reference to the article, nothing else. Is there something I'm missing here?
posted by kchristidis at 11:59 AM on July 30, 2001

Matt, I only see a reference to the article, nothing else. Is there something I'm missing here?

first line:

"This morning I'm thinking about new web services for the weblog community."
posted by mathowie at 12:18 PM on July 30, 2001

anyone who ever says 'non-story' on any link on this site is just pissed because they didn't submit the link themselves.
posted by jcterminal at 2:18 PM on July 30, 2001

No, they're pissed because they saw the link, didn't think it was worth posting, and then along comes some punk who dares to have different judgment than them about what's worth posting.
posted by kindall at 2:44 PM on July 30, 2001

What is it about these "most popular" lists that make them so fascinating? I find them partly useful--what are the big news stories right now?--and partly informative--what is everyone else interested in? Quite often it's difficult to explain the popularity of some item. Sometimes this is due to a misleading thumbnail--what appears to be a naked babe in a bath, say, turns out to be a grandmother being sponged down in a nursing home--but often the popularity is intriguingly inexplicable. Yahoo's "most popular" page gets a bit of press, as does the NYT's. Are there any others?

NYT's emailers seem a pretty serious lot--the ten most-emailed stories at the moment including a story on the declining interest in urban police jobs, a story on bicycle head-injuries, two stories on the middle-east peace process, and one titled "Unmasking the Poor."

I do agree that the blogdex isn't anything new, but hey it's still worth doing. Although, from my experience with the metalog, I think something fishy's going on at the moment--the top link of the top ten has only 4 links, and the rest have 2?? The number of duplicate links is surprisingly small, but it's not /that/ small. (And if those really are the true figures, they're statistically--and intuitively--meaningless.)
posted by mstillwell at 5:53 PM on July 30, 2001

So at the MIT media lab they've got a project where people get to arse about reading weblogs and links from web logs all day. This is what counts for school work? Lucky buggers.
posted by Foaf at 9:02 PM on July 30, 2001

Does anybody know how this works? I am number 5 in the Blogdex ranks at the moment, and I have no clue why. I got more hits before lunch than I normally get in 4 days. Fun for me, but weird.
posted by thirteen at 11:42 AM on July 31, 2001

Now from my limited knowledge I cant understand how the economy could just suddenly stall like it has. I know it over-accelerated during the stock market frenzy, but instead of a cool off its almost a deep freeze.
posted by owillis at 12:08 PM on July 31, 2001

Um, ignore that. Pre-lunch psychosis...
posted by owillis at 1:30 PM on July 31, 2001

thirteen, lots of blogs have permanent sort-of links hanging out on the side of the page somewhere. Maybe it's not necessarily a whole bunch of people blogging you for a particular reason, but blogdex picking up folks who have you in a list of links. Just a thought. I'm not really sure how blogdex works, though.
posted by transient at 2:08 PM on July 31, 2001

Matt, there is a centralized blog searching tool: It has a few kinks, but its better than nothing...
posted by harrycaul at 2:39 PM on July 31, 2001

I am very much an M-lister, and as of right now I have 600 hits today. I am glued to my stats, it is very exciting for some dumb reason. There is nothing on my page that merits this kind of traffic.
posted by thirteen at 3:39 PM on July 31, 2001

I guess the irony of webloggers moaning about Blogdex as being "nothing new" is lost on everyone? Were you all saying this everytime a news story was published about weblogs over the past 3+ years? Every such story was as guilty of at least as much hyperbole as the Wired blogdex story but everyone seemed to think this was A Good Thing. The media will always present something as new and exciting if it's a bigger or more palatable version of something that exists and this is why Blogdex is getting coverage - x,000 tracked weblogs makes a *huge* difference compared to the little old world of Metalog and it has the media-friendly cachet of being a Media Lab project.
posted by fabius at 2:36 AM on August 1, 2001

I've just posted a substantial piece about the gradual extensions to blogdex functionality: You know - should anyone care...
posted by barbelith at 6:41 AM on August 5, 2001

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