There is a pretty big rumour going around just now about the acquisition of Technorati by an unknown big player in the search space. I find this really interesting - not because of what may or may not happen, or what certain people think may or may not happen, but because it provides an ideal case study in how rumours propagate through the blogosphere. I intend to track this pretty closely and write up on how things progress and how we can track the story. But this post is just going to give some preliminary information.
[Part 2 is available here.]
The rumour was started by B. L. Ochman on her blog/website/white paper shop front on August the 11th at 12:38. As of now she has 23 comments (by August the 12th, 9:23 pm). As of 7 am on Saturday the 13th of August, BlogPulse is showing 53 posts on the topic (IceRocket 5, Technorati 59, Bloglines 69, PubSub 335, BlogDigger 33 - thanks to TalkDigger for making this easy!) None of us are yet doing anything interesting or sensible with comments, but many of those amplifying the signal (e.g. Steve Rubel) also show a healthy number of trackbacks and comments.
The trend for the permalink to the original rumour looks, not surprisingly, like this:
What follows from this is, of course, that B. L. Ochman's rank also gets a spike:
That last jump is approximately 60 places.
As for the conversation around the rumour, BlogPulse's conversation tracker shows the following output:
It is interesting to see, in this view of the data, how the rumour (often indicated with a question mark) sometimes transforms into a more assertive statement. In addition, one can see from the titles where people think this is going to go.
Please note that I have voided linking to the original post as I don't want to participate in the object conversation about the rumour - I'm more interested in the meta conversation about what happens to the rumour. Of course, I do have an opinion...