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December 23, 2006


Flemming Madsen

It is indeed a very interesting (actually strange is a better word) comment.
One can only wonder what he is referring to.

One explanation of course is that he misunderstood something. Read the article too quickly or whatever.

I for one didn’t think it was stupid. I found the data interesting.

But doesn’t your model rest on the assumption that all those who subscribe are of equal influence? That a subscription to your blog from a teenager on myspace carries the same weight as a subscription from a journalist at NY Times or the most recognised thinker in your field?

It seems to me that the model doesn’t cater for indirect influence. Nor does it take into account how many feeds the subscriber subscribes to. How much share of the subscriber’s attention you have, so to speak. Surely you will be influencing someone who subscribes to a few feeds more than someone who subscribes to hundreds.

Never the less I can’t wait to hear what sparked that strange comment. Nor can I wait to hear what you find out regarding the model.

Matthew Hurst


I totally agree with you regarding the difference between the ability to influence an individual who reads say 1 blog versus an individual who reads 100. The issue there is the need for a model of competing attention. It reminds me of something the creator of the playstation said when asking what the competition was: cell phones and girlfriends.

In some sense, the blog-blog graph is an easier place to experiment with this type of model. For example, if blog A has links from blog X and blog Y, but blog X only ever links to A and blog Y links to A and 99 others, one could argue that A has more influence over X than Y. To get right in to the technicalities, one would also have to assign some weight to this graph: I may read 10 blogs, but I might in some sense pay more attention to the posts on one than another.

At any rate, I feel that the time is ripe to look beyond the naive link count account of the blogosphere.

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