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May 04, 2006

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Natalie Glance

If you drill down into the Technorati search results, the overwhelming majority (at least in the first 100 results that I paged through) are links to Xu Jing Lei from MSN Space bloggers' "Custom lists". These custom lists are more or less the equivalent of Blogrolls from MSN Spaces. Thus, Xu Jing Lei is being propelled to the top of Technorati via blogroll links, not via active links from blog posts. In contrast, BlogPulse finds only 1534 links as of today, but they are all active links. BoingBoing has over 17,000 active links. Of course, neither blogroll links nor active links provide the definitive answer on influence, as has already been discussed in depth elsewhere.

Sam Flemming

Some points to consider in comparison is that BoingBoing publishes 20+ articles written by 5 contributors. Xu Jing Lei writes 5 or so articles a WEEK, so there is actually less content to link to. Yet, she still captures enough interest to get on so many bloggers' blog rolls and to attract hundreds of thousands of page views and thousands of comments per article (even a two sentence post comparing Beijing to Shanghai weather got close to 100,000 page views and 1900+ comments).

Understanding that Google page rank is also not the end all measure of influence, blogger ESWN does provide an interesting analysis here: http://www.zonaeuropa.com/200605.brief.htm, where Boing Boing has a page rank of 9 and Xu Jing Lei has a 5.

Whether she is No. 1 or 1,000 on the list is one issue. The bigger issue I think is the original one I raised in my first post and that is that Technorati was missing one of the biggest blog service providers in China, Sina. I am confident there are alot more they are missing due to lack of pinging by Chinese Blog Service Providers like Bokee, Blogbus, and Donews. The fact that bloggers like Massage Milk, Pan Shi Yi and Zheng Yuanjie, all bloggers just as famous as Xu Jing Lei, are not on the list confirms this in my mind. Books of Pan Shi Yi and Xu Jing Lei's blog posts are currently top 10 best sellers in Beijing.

Also, in China where 40% of all Internet users use message boards on a regular basis (14% for blogs), many more links are made inside feedless message board posts, not blogs, so there are alot more links out there that Technorati is not capturing. As big as blogs have become in China, I believe that message boards are an even bigger source of consumer generated media with greater influence than blogs which is one reason why Chinese message board search and content aggregrators like Daqi are in the top 20 most visited Chinese sites.

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