Bob Wyman has posted a follow up to my post on PubSub's 1000. I've now figured out the analysis I want to do on the data, but will have to hold off as I am about to go on vacation. Putting that aside, I've been thinking about the middle ranks. As Bob points out, the middle ranks fluctuate in terms of linkRank. I hypothesize that there is some subset of all sites for which a given site has a stable linkRank. This set is effectively the community that the ranked site is a member of. In other words, by having linkRank run agnostically over all sites, the upper, stable sites act whimsically on the linkRank of the lower sites, making them appear unstable when in fact from the community point of view they have a very stable rank.
Think of it this way. If you are a middle rank blogger with a solid community blogging on a specific topic, your in links will be relatively stable - coming from peers in the community. And then one day you blog about something that catches the eye of an A-list blogger. This causes your link rank to fluctuate wildly until the popular topic that you posted on goes beyond the attention span of the blogosphere. There are two important ideas here:
- We need blogospheres plural, not a single blogosphere - these may be fuzzy, mercurial things, but they make a lot more sense than this top heavy being which we might term blogosphere 0.0.
- We need to think about influential ideas and influential blogs/bloggers as two separate elements of any model backing ranking of any sort.