Blogging Productivity & Criticizing Goals

Ben instigated a community writing project on productivity, and Dawud thoughtfully decided to encourage me to get involved, after also giving some great tips on how to be productive and stay focused.

Blogging Productivity

I Am Not As Productive As I Want To Be

This is painfully true, in some ways I am like a tumbleweed blown about by wind in multiple directions, and by what is typical in this day and age on the internet, information overload.
This can be especially worrying when your main source of income is from your internet activities, and you have bills to pay, and have to keep food on the table.

Defining Purpose

Unlike a tumbleweed, I always have an overall strategic goal I wish to reach. Whilst some aspects of this blog evolve over time, in reference to the content, I have defined a specific audience I wish to reach and various topics I wish to discuss, and maybe influence.
Alister Cameron heavily quoted Robert Allen, expressing the difference between goal setting, and having passion and purpose for what you do.

I might lack on the goal setting on a daily basis but I have a passion for what I do, and an overall driving purpose to my endeavours.

Any amount of daily goals you set will rarely outweigh the value in working on something you are passionate about. Reaching daily goals has the effect of a small bomb blast in a quarry, whereas passion is like the act of the sea on a cliff, or the way the rain can erode a mountain.

Criticizing Goals & Passion

Amit Agarwal has been criticising Technorati Favorite exchanges. Hundreds of people set a collective goal and are pursuing it with a passion. That isn’t a small bomb blast, it is a surge of the masses, and A-list bloggers had better get used to it.
He is factually incorrect in his statements, because exchanging Technorati favorites doesn’t affect Google Juice in any way.
If popular bloggers get displaced from the “top favorites list” by people actually utilizing the tools that Technorati spent a lot of time developing, then that is the correct thing to happen.

If Amit was actually using Technorati Favorites for any specific purpose, maybe his arguements would carry some weight, but whilst he encourages people to add him to their favorites, he has only added 8 favorites of his own.

Amit on Technorati Favorites

I was exchanging Technorati favorites with my readers for almost 6 months before this “Technorati Exchange Train” gathered steam. Most of the blogs I favorited were being favorited for the very first time, or possibly the second time if they had already favorited themselves.

The Technorati meme is more Z-list than 2000 bloggers, and certainly any links I have created to people taking part have been deliberately one directional without a requirement to link back to me, and every single link was highly relevant.

Also, it is not like any of these ideas about exchanging Technorati Favorites are new. Whilst I was first doing it back in November of last year, SEOmoz was 2 months ahead of me.

Responding to Your Readers Needs

Most A-Listers only respond to their readers when a reader links to them, and pays them lots of compliments.
Even though I disagree with Jason Calacanis on many things, one thing I do respect him for is having the balls to admit how he chooses who he links to. It would be going to far to give me any credit for why he now has some disclosure on his sidebar, but most likely he will at least read this. Vanity Google Alerts are great ;)

But how do you respond to your readers needs when they don’t link to you?

I am just small fry, less than 1000 targeted subscribers, but already my feed reader, at least for me, has outgrown it’s usefulness.
When I only had 100 subscribers, I actually had most of my readers in my Feed Reader, and read every single post they made, plus a load of other feeds, including lots of A-Listers.

Through using various blogging social network tools, such as MyBlogLog, Bumpzee, and BlogCatalog I grew my readership. It was important to have content that related to my reader’s needs, so my Feed Reader continued to groan.

Feed Readers Are Not Productive

Unless you restrict your reading habits to a really small segment of the blogging population, or you are a blogging machine like Robert Scoble, a feed reader is only going to give you a small window of what is happening in the blogosphere.

One option is to leverage people like Robert Scoble who share content with Google Reader, but shared content with Google Reader also has it’s pitfalls.

Another alternative is to use meme trackers such as Techmeme or Megite.

The problem is that Techmeme is really only about the top ranking Tech blogs, although they do have sister sites for things like celebrities and politics, and even Megite only has a certain width to their standard coverage.

Custom Meme Trackers

For me the best alternative to information overload are various custom solutions that will allow me to maximise the width of my reading, whilst still being able to focus in a specific topics of interest.

I had hoped that I would be able to do something with MyBlogLog, and I hopefully will in the future, allowing me to not only browse the blogs of my readers, but also the blogs that they find most interesting.

Whilst I am writing this post, I am importing over 800 feeds into Blogrovr that I exported from my Technorati Favorites. Some of those will no doubt be duplicates from what I exported from Google Reader. It is actually causing a few technical problems, but I will be writing about that soon.

I do need to clean my OPML from my Technorati favorites a little, but for me it is actually quite a targeted list of blogs who are either my own readers, or the people who read my reader’s blogs, and are interested in blog promotion.

If you explore Technorati, there are lots of powerful things you can do with favorites. Import OPML, search your favorites, tag your favorites, grab a widget to display your favorites, or if you prefer, an RSS feed of your favorite’s most recent posts.
You can also export your OPML to use with other services. You can even grab an OPML file for a specific tag.
Whilst I recently discussed some of the things that Google Blog Search does better than Technorati, I think it is fair to say that if you want to search a specific group of blogs, Technorati offers a better search solution than building a Google Custom Search Engine, or using a community search solution using Google CSE such as Lijit. That isn’t a failing of Lijit in any way, but of how Google handle supplemental results. 95% of blogs wouldn’t appear in the results.

Megite offer a custom meme tracker, so one of my intentions once I have my Technorati favorites cleaned up is to create a custom Megite Meme based on my favorites. I already use a custom Megite meme for things relating to SEO and Marketing.

I am intrigued by PersonalBee because they have just been acquired by Technorati. How that will be integrated with Technorati and especially Technorati favorites will be fascinating, and might provide the Digg style interface Amit is looking for. It might certainly provide more relevance, which the Technorati link authority currently used in my opinion doesn’t. If you are only interested in what A-listers, blog networks and theme developers write, Technorati’s main search is just your ticket.

I also wrote about Myfeedz a couple of months ago. It didn’t really offer what I was looking for, but for someone after a really casual reading experience it might be the answer.

Bumpzee is providing a great service for custom blog tracking, although ranking is based on votes, and they also recently introduced ranking based on traffic – the most popular content for the day. Whilst I could add 100s of sites to my No Nofollow | Dofollow community, I really want people to take the initiative and sign up themselves.

My Bumpzee community is really for people who want to go beyond memes as a way of interacting with their neighbours, and start interacting with related sites that also happen to share link love.

I should also point out, and I will most likely be writing about this tomorrow, that the most powerful way to interact with a blog that supports dofollow is to link to them with a trackback, not in a meme, but in reaction to interesting related content. All this running around commenting to get a link and patting each other on the back is just silly, and isn’t very productive. Whilst the masses now adopting the “I Follow” movement and the “D-list”might not think I know WTF I am talking about, it took a good 6 months to achieve critical mass.

Comments On Other People’s Blogs Aren’t Productive

One of the things I have grown to realise is that spreading answers to problems out on 100s of blogs might have been necessary to encourage the adoption of dofollow, but it wasn’t very productive. It might have helped build critical mass, but cornerstone content that others can point to is far more useful.
In recent weeks I have actually deleted by Google alerts for terms like “Dofollow”, “Nofollow”, and “no nofollow”.

When I created my list of dofollow & nofollow plugins, I had already been evangelising using dofollow plugins for more than 3 months on this blog, and I had been using them personally for 2 years. There had been some small “storms in the teacup” over those 2 years, but no concentrated effort had made a dent in the use of nofollow on comments, even up until February of this year.
I had converted many of my readers, but there were frequent questions about nofollow on other platforms, or alternative methods of disabling nofollow. I had responded to hundreds of comments and questions relating to the use of dofollow, but that content has very little longevity.

Just an example of longterm commitment, No-Nofollow.com was registered November 3rd 2006
It wasn’t developed, because I was waiting for critical mass, and for certain plugin solutions to become available.

There are constantly questions about how using dofollow affects SEO, and they are real concerns.
Easy answer though from Adam Lasnik:-

On a related note, though, and echoing Matt’s earlier sentiments… we hope and expect that more and more sites — including Wikipedia — will adopt a less-absolute approach to no-follow… expiring no-follows, not applying no-follows to trusted contributors, and so on.

I have covered various ways to improve your internal linking structure for months. I will save linking to it all for a followup post.

The Wheel Has Fallen Off the Dofollow Movement

If you have a car trundling along it can pick up speed gradually and become a mass that is very hard to stop. If a wheel falls off it will keep on racing ahead until it loses momentum and stops, because it is no longer connected to the body that gave it energy in the first place.

The car body grinds to a halt, and maybe if there is a spare wheel, and not too much damage will get going again.

For me, personally, the wheel has fallen off the dofollow movement. The reason being there is no longer an easy trail of information people can follow to the one most important ingredient, information.

I have seen people claiming that adopting dofollow and gaining lots of comments will improve their SEO. People are running around like headless chickens commenting on each others blogs for a temporary boost in traffic and comments, working their way down long lists, and writing the exact same comment on each blog. Sure they might be having some fun doing it, but the links and most of the comments are not providing valuable information.

The links being left are invariably to the root domain, and not to related content. If people were using trackbacks linking between related content, they would be able to pick and choose their anchor text.

I Am A Link Whore

Well that is what my friend Paul thinks, and I always respect his opinion.

The big question lies in how many people were actually using Technorati favorites for any real purpose prior to the current Technorati Favorites chain.
From what I have read, top bloggers have stated that they have never seen much traffic specifically from the Technorati Favorites page. It would be hard to judge, because there is suddenly a lot more attention being drawn to Technorati Favorites.

Lets have a look at how other people are using Technorati Favorites

  • David Sifry – Founder of Technorati – 76 Favorites
  • A good 3rd of his favorites are actually search queries, not even blogs at all, and most of the remainder are technology and marketing blogs, mainly A-listers.
    It looks like David is using the service as a Feed Reader rather than a favorite being a vote for a particular blog.

  • Robert Scoble – Tech Blogger – 11 Favorites
  • One of Robert’s favorites is his old URL on WordPress.com, so it looks like he keeps things updated. Robert is a heavy user of Technorati, thus I think this is a significant indication.

  • Dave Winer – The Father of RSS and OPML- No Favorites
  • Maybe Dave just loves all blogs, and playing with raw OPML rather than on Technorati

  • Steve Rubel – Marketing Strategist – 28 Favorites
  • Michael Arrington – Techcrunch Web 2.0 Supremo – No Favorites
  • Jason CalacanisLinkbaiter – Lover of dogs, and successful media mogul both online and offline – No Favorites
  • Actually I am not sure whether that is actually Jason’s profile, there seems to be something broken, because although that profile has claimed calacanis.com, calacanis.com is not listed under the profile. The same profile is still listed as claiming Engadget.

  • Seth Godin – Marketing Consultant and Author – No Favorites
  • Michelle Malkin – Political Blogger – 21 Favorites
  • Arianna Huffington – Political Blogger – 37 Blogs
  • Richard MacManus – Technology Blogger – 1 Favorite
  • This is interesting because Alex Iskold and Emre Sokullu have both written about Technorati recently, and in particular about search and Technorati decline, and Alex even suggested people fave RWW in the post.
    Alex knows all about Technorati Favorites with the 3 he currently has, 2 of them blogs he writes on, and the other is his own Technorati favorites creating an interesting, never-ending loop.
    Emre however has Alex pipped, having 4 Technorati Favorites, 2 being blogs he writes for, plus Techcrunch and GigaOm

I could carry on with this list all night, and I will find very few top bloggers that are actually using the full features of Technorati to improve their blog search results.

I Am Using Technorati Favorites

It seems to me that Technorati Favorites are not being used by the majority of top bloggers, so they could have very little complaint about how anyone else decides to use them.

Technorati Favorites help my productivity, and is an easy way for people to say “Hey I am Here, Listen To Me Too”.

The amount of people I have been favoriting recently has been escalating, through use of Technorati’s OPML import feature.

Features like that are there to be used. I encourage other people to use them as well.

Obviously there is a problem with detecting when other people favorite me, and providing reciprocation that I offer willingly, because I want to see what other people are talking about.
Fortunately Engtech has come up with a solution, which uses Technorati’s API

Here is a nice quote to finish off from Engtech, in response to some negativity to the favorites exchange.

@Ilya: The thing is, the Technorati Favorites doesn’t have any meaning to start with.

The top 100 favorites is a completely arbitrary ranking that Technorati should get rid of. Before these favorite exchanges came a long *very few* people used it or had even heard of it.

Creating Passionate Users, easily one of the best blogs anyone could have read only managed to hit around 190 favorites even with including a link to “add this to Technorati favorites” prominently on every page of their blog for over a year.

All that advertisement for Technorati with what to show for it?

I like how you can use it for creating a custom blog search engine, but other than that or using it as a poor man’s RSS the feature doesn’t *do* or *mean* anything.

If it wasn’t for the attention from the favorite exchange then people *still* wouldn’t be using it.

Lets see what the value is when PersonalBee gets integrated, or people do some cool things with OPML.

I can see nothing wrong with using powerful tools provided by Technorati to help with my online productivity, and especially allowing me to monitor what my readers are talking about, so I can respond to their needs.

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Comments

  1. says

    Nice one! I really can’t believe they criticize something that was there and they have never put it to good use. And now that the list of 100 favorite is changing they are up in arms.

  2. says

    I’ve been learning a lot here. I got instructions from removing nofollow from my blogger template. Then I joined both the Favorites Exchange and the DoFollow List. They have given my month-old blog lots of links and favorite-votes.

    I didn’t know I was doing the dofollow commenting wrong, though, until I read this post. I immediately revised the dofollow tips/a> I’ve been sharing in my blog, and shall promptly revise my way of doing things, too. I hope I understood it right this time.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. says

    I’ve been learning a lot here. I got instructions from removing nofollow from my blogger template. Then I joined both the Favorites Exchange and the DoFollow List. They have given my month-old blog lots of links and favorite-votes.

    I didn’t know I was doing the dofollow commenting wrong, though, until I read this post. I immediately revised the dofollow tips I’ve been sharing in my blog, and shall promptly revise my way of doing things, too. I hope I understood it right this time.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. says

    I removed the nofollow tag some time ago, but I did not notice a significant increase in comments volume. My mistake: I should have promoted that across all pages, not in a single post which is now forgotten.

    As of Technorati favorites, I use it. I found it easier to use than other feed readers, so I stayed with it. It is true that I don’t have many favorite blogs, so it’s easy to track them anyway.

  5. says

    Hi Andy!

    Great article! Just one thing, Amit was actually right (sort of) about the Google Juice! Technorati Favorites itself doesn’t provide any Google juice to the meme participants, but I believe he meant that the meme itself provided the juice.

    Many of the participants involved linked back to Dosh Dosh’s original post. Granted all the outbound links from Dosh Dosh’s post are “nofollow”, but some of those involved have linked to others who wrote about the meme and in turn received backlinks from trackbacks and pings.

    Finally, you are providing a large number of the participants with a bit of Google Juice from your post which updates automatically.

    I know I’m nitpicking, but in at least one way, Amit was correct!

    • says

      Paul,

      Are you referring to trackbacks on Dosh Dosh or are you referring to links? All the links in my post are NOT nofollowed. They do pass Google juice to everyone who has linked to me.

      If you’ve read my post, you would know that I did not institute any rule that bloggers participating in my experiment should practice interlinking. Nor did I encourage that.

      The idea was based on a reciprocal relationship between me and the readers of my blog. It wasn’t even really a meme.

      The massive interlinking you’ve seen was initiated by the bloggers involved on their own accord and I believe it was rather generous of them to do so.

      • says

        Hi Maki,

        I meant to say comments and not post. Your comments are marked “external nofollow”. Your post and trackbacks are nofollow free.

        Sorry for the confusion!

        I looked at the source for your comments section and spotted the nofollows. I didn’t scroll up through the code to check the trackbacks.

        However, the fact that you do no implement “nofollow” supports my point that Amit was correct, because 152 people are getting a little bit of Google Juice from you due to their trackbacks.

        That’s all! I didn’t mean to imply that you had “nofollowed” all the links on your blog! :)

        Maki, at no point did I say or claim that you instituted any rule about interlinking or make any reference to such. By interlinking I assume you mean exchanging of blog links.

        I simply stated that:

        Many of the participants involved linked back to Dosh Dosh’s original post.

        However, upon reading your post again, and we are talking about this post, you do state the following under How do I Participate in Dosh Dosh’s Technorati Favorites Exchange Experiment?

        2. Link to this blog post with your Post on Technorati Favorites

        This is only for those bloggers who are interested in holding Technorati exchanges on their blog as well. These are the steps you need to take:

        * Create a post on your blog announcing that you are exchanging Technorati favorites. Prominently include a link to this post to indicate that there is a similar exchange going on at Dosh Dosh.

        You can use any link text you want. I do however prefer that you make a new post on this topic instead of putting the link in a old post that is already deep in your archives.
        * Get a Link Back. Once I’ve noticed the link via trackback or Technorati, I’ll include a link to your post on Technorati favorites in this post itself so readers here can visit your blog to participate if they want to. I will also try to periodically highlight this post so it never gets lost in the archives

        You also state:

        The only reason why I am asking for a link to this post here is because I want this to be an interactive experiment

        It would seem to me that you made linking back to you a big part of your post for your experiment.

        To say you didn’t encourage linking, is, well, misguided!

        Don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against that. You deserve all the link credit you can get for getting people involved, trying something different and promoting yourself.

        By the way, I’m now subscribed to your blog and look forward to seeing your future posts. Keep up the good work! :)

        Paul

        • says

          Thanks for the explanation, Paul.

          Some clarification here: By ‘interlinking’, I am referring links between blogs participating in the experiment. Not referring to links between myself and the blogger who is participating in the exchange.

          As you’ve probably noticed, many bloggers have started linking to other bloggers participating in the exchange, probably motivated by my practice in the post itself. This accounts for the increase in backlinks for most blogs participating in the exchange.

          I did suggest that blogs could link to me to get a link back, but what I meant to say in my original comment is that if other bloggers want to participate in the exchange, they are not required to link to one another.

          Thanks for subscribing to Dosh Dosh :)

        • says

          Cool! Now that we’re clear on what you meant by interlinking, you’re right that you didn’t set any rules for that :)

          As for subscribing! It’s a pleasure ;)

          Keep up the good work! :)

    • says

      But that is true of all memes, whether it is like the one this post is part of, even though I didn’t pick out 5 victims to carry it forward.

      Amit was being specific about Technorati Favorites, and being on the Technorati Favorite Top 100 list doesn’t give Google Juice, because Google have now said extremely clearly that they don’t follow the links or count them as credit.
      Yahoo have also confirmed that they don’t give credit for the links, even though they follow and index.

      The links I gave freely, some people come visiting because they see the link, others come visting because they see a favorite. The link will most likely retain some value similar to links from trackbacks on my most popular blog posts.
      I have a fairl anount of internal linking on each single page, so I can handle some fairly heavy external linking once in a while, though note those links aren’t from a single page only, but also from duplicate content pages. I might have to stick a “more” tag on the page when it hits my archives.

      • says

        Yep, that is true of all memes, but we’re focusing on this one.

        I know you give your links freely, and that’s cool, I was just pointing out how people involved in the meme were picking up Google juice from various sources.

        And yes, Amit was talking abut exchanging Technorati favorites, but I don’t think I’m wrong in thinking he also meant links and trackbacks for the meme as he compares it to the 2000 Bloggers project.

        There is no comparison between the 2000 Bloggers project and Technorati favorites so I would say it’s a fair assumption that Amit was in fact referring to Google Juice generated from meme links and trackbacks.

        Sadly, only Amit knows for sure exactly what her meant, so we’ll just have to hope he drops along here and adds a comment or two ;)

  6. says

    You wrote:

    If popular bloggers get displaced from the “top favorites list” by people actually utilizing the tools that Technorati spent a lot of time developing, then that is the correct thing to happen.

    Isn’t the point of favorites to display who’s popular! Isn’t the adding as favorites supposed to be a democratic thing, with people adding favorites because they are just that: “favorites”.

    They’re popular bloggers are they’re because they are people favorites. It doesn’t matter how much gaming of the system you do, the popular bloggers will still be the popular ones.

    All you’ve succeeded in doing is breaking a legitimate voting system which actually had the ability to let relatively unknown bloggers climb the ranks.

    The popular bloggers are supposed to be at the top. Thats why they’re the favorites.

    Hundreds of people set a collective goal and are pursuing it with a passion. That isn’t a small bomb blast, it is a surge of the masses, and A-list bloggers had better get used to it.

    Nope, hundreds of people just showed en mass how jealous they are that they’re not on the A-list, and decided to break Technorati Favorites because of it. In the process making it exponentially more difficult for the relatively unknown blogger to break onto that particular list (Favorites top 100).

    • says

      If they are that popular, and want to retain their ranking all they have to do is make one post and they will retain any lost position on the list overnight.

      But then most of them don’t see any point or use to Technorati Favorites, so they probably won’t bother.

      It certainly doesn’t bring in anywhere near as much traffic as a front page Digg, even over a year.

      Lots of the top blogs, especially the Tech bloggers gain a little bit of unfair advantage by being in default RSS packages offered by various RSS readers.
      There is a good reason why many of these services get a lot of promotion.

      • says

        One post will NOT make them regain their link! Only votes from readers who haven’t already voted can do that!

        Unless, of course, you’re suggesting the bloggers in quest beg for votes from their readers! ;)

        I can’t shake the feeling with some of your comments today that you feel that just because some top bloggers don’t use the service means that they’re not entitled to be on the list.

        Is use a requirement of popularity? Is my vote for Scoble or Mike Arrington of any less value because THEY don’t use the service?

        Yes lots of top blogs do get seemingly unfair advantages. But, they deserve it! They made themselves popular. They had to get themselves to a point of critical mass where they were known enough and considered popular enough to be considered for inclusion.

        Yes, I know that leads to seemingly unfair advantage because they get lots of free promotion without working for it. However, they did the grunt work in the first place to deserve inclusion.

        If your blog gets popular enough you’ll be included in those lists to..

        And lets be honest, the blogosphere is vicious and fickle. If the tops blogs lets things slide and don’t keep working, it won’t be long before they are replaced and someone else will be getting the inclusion…

        • says

          You might be missing my train of thought on this.

          If a lot of that readership and popularity is built upon default blogrolls selected by the creators of RSS readers, it seems fair for a bunch of D-listers to have their own default imports into various services.

          It is their choice whether to use it or not, just like I could go to an open OPML resource and pick up Robert’s OPML and import it into whichever service I want (though I think his public one is out of date currently)

          Top Favorites isn’t the same as Most Popular.

          The list was never most popular, just who could be bothered to promote it.

          The are tons of celebrity bloggers for instance who don’t figure on the list.

          What happens if a blogger really cares about being at the top of a list?
          http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/categories/32

          Rosie.com now has close to 5000 votes, and that required all those people to actually register and vote, giving some quite personal details.

          Most Obnoxious? Perez Hilton only has 709 votes

          If Perez Hilton wanted to be in the Technorati Top 10 Favorites, I am sure it would take a few days at most.

          The Top 100 Favorites in Technorati is purely a gauge of who has promoted it most, not popularity.

          Instead of CPM we could use TFPM – how many Technorati Favorites per 1000 people asked to favorite you.

          In some ways I have optimised my TFPM by “paying it forward” – rather than just offering to reciprocate, I have added the favorite up front.

          In internet marketing one of the primary ways of selling something, either an item or an idea, is to give a benefit for the person to take such action, maybe a purchase, or just subscribing.

          So far I haven’t been offering any kind of incentive for subscriptions, it is fairly normal practice, but difficult to do with RSS in any real form.

          Then of course there are other ways to add an incentive to building up your favorites.
          http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2007/04/a-free-nintendo-wii-for-one-lucky-marketing-pilgrim-fan.html

        • says

          I do get where you’re coming from Andy. 100%! I’m just trying to look at other points. Being a bit of a picky git (or devils advocate) if you will!

          I could disagree that the:

          The Top 100 Favorites in Technorati is purely a gauge of who has promoted it most, not popularity.

          Yes, those on the list DID do promotoion to get their readers to add them as favorites, but their readers still added them willingly. They had knowledge of what blog they were adding.

          They added the blog individually!

          Yes there are ways and means to promote and entice your readers to vote for your blog (on any system or list), but at the end of the day they still depend on the will of the individual potential voter.

          I do think that offering prizes to entice your readers to vote your site up lists similar to technorati favorites is wrong. It is creating “false positives”, but I suppose the only saving grace that approach has, is that the majority percentage of voters will probably be readers already and will actually be subscribers to the blog in question. Before you say it, yes there will be exceptions. Yes I could start a new blog, under a fake name and BUY it’s way to apparent “popularity” on the lists. Doesn’t make it right though!

          The whole marketing pilgrim thing is a bit of a waste. He’d be better off offering the Wii for folks who actually create quality links back to his site. The traffic generated by Technorati favorites is tiny in comparison to other avenues. Not to mention the additional Google Juice (although he’s doing quite well with his PR7 at the moment ;) )

          Alas, folks will always try it, and any list will always be skewed by results introduced in that manner.

          Anyway, back to TFE, which we are talking about.

          With the Technorati favorites exchange, I would wager that the majority of the bloggers involved did not vet the OPML files and simply added them. Do you really believe they checked it, for quality, whether or not they’ve even heard of the blogs in question, or even to root out any potential splogs?

          I seriously doubt it.

          It’s all in the name! A favorite is an expression of popularity. Just a different kind to inbound links. Inbound links represent a mixture of quality and content of work, as well as an bility to link bait and publish with interesting stories which create traffic. You know what I mean in that respect.

          A favorite, is just that, a favorite. It’s a measure of an individual users affection of affinity for a certain blog. It’s unrelated to quantity, quality of posts or incoming traffic. It’s an endorsement based on how the user relates to the blog or blogger in qusetion.

          For example, I have a number of blogs in my favorites that I would guess post as little as once every 2 weeks or sometimes once a month.

          They’ll never be “popular” in the way you’re supposing. But they’re my favorite because I like the author or the authors style of writing. I have an affinity with those blogs for my own reasons.

          I really do think we could discuss this one forever. I’m sure that for whatever point we make, there are 10 people with 10 different takes on it.

          One last thing, and perhaps the most important to me..

          After the TFE meme started my blog jumped from 12 favorites to 64. I believe it was because I was on somebodies OPML list.

          I don’t know how many of those votes I have are valid. That annoys me.

          TFE has robbed me of the knowledge of whether those people actually read my blog.

          TFE has robbed me of knowing if any of those endorsements are real.

          I might have only had 12 favorites to begin with but they were 12 REAL ones and I was damn proud of them.

          I have 64 now and they mean bugger all!

          Also, anybody looking to judge the quality of my blog before subscribing is now being serious misled if they use the number of Technorati favorites I have (yes I know they could use incoming links but thats a different metric, it’s not an endorsement).

  7. says

    Hmmmm, interesting to see you question two strategies I’ve been using extensively lately: the feed reader and commenting on other folks’ blogs.

    As for the feed reader, you make me think that perhaps setting up searches through blogs for certain subjects (on Technorati and Google Blog Search) might work too – I’m wondering if there’s an automated way to do that (Pipes?).

    Sorry to hear the NoNoFollow movement is slowing down, maybe I’ll revisit that subject with a solid blog post and add another small voice in the blogosphere…!

  8. says

    that post is too long. Anyway, it is so funny to think that most people have more people favorited some people’s blogs compared to the owner of technorati.

    I think he should join that game too. :D

    ooops.. he doesnt need that (my bad) he owns one of the most visited site in the internet.

  9. says

    It is fascinating to read about how one man can start such a big snowball as the dofollow movement has become, congratulations on that.

    You mentioned Technorati favourites. Personally I only use them for those favourite chains you mention. If I really wanted to favourite some blogs then I’d either use a proper feed reader and collect my favourite blogs for example in some Google application or in Bloglines. Or I’d simply have bookmarked them in my browser.

  10. says

    Wow thanks for a very thorough post! Do you really think that the Do Follow movenent is over though? I’m fairly new to blogging and it seems to me like it’s the biggest thing that people talk about! Maybe the percentage of blogs I read is just to small to see the overall picture.

    • says

      Court, when people get fed up chasing memes leaving comments just to get a link, they will go onto the next meme.
      The social interaction and interlinking possible within a small group of similar topic blogs using dofollow is in many ways more powerful than the sitewide linking normally performed by blog networks.

      I have seem people excited about having a list of 150 blogs that use Dofollow.
      All you have to do is search in Google to find 1000s, but that doesn’t necessarily help you find blogs that are in the same niche.

  11. says

    I guess it is more an evolution of Web 2.0. Users and bloggers are thinking of interaction. And this is part of it.

    For example, you could leverage more on MyBlogLog communities and contacts but the lack of API would hinder the growth. As it is, the function are limited and pretty basic.

    Thanks Andy for being the first few who have fave me. You are the man..

  12. says

    “The Technorati meme is more Z-list than 2000 bloggers, and certainly any links I have created to people taking part have been deliberately one directional without a requirement to link back to me, and every single link was highly relevant.”

    Your article is good, but I take exception to this quote above. The 2000 Bloggers Project has taken on a life of its own at http://www.2kbloggers.com and part of that life is that there is no link exchange requirement. There never was.
    Moreover, the project is more diverse and democratic than the Z list or the Technorati Favorite Link Train in that the 2k Bloggers doesn’t work like a pyramid scheme.

    • says

      I delayed a little bit in responding due to the One Day of Blog Silence. I suppose that now for half the World population it is now May, so I am allowing myself to respond to a few comments.

      Elaine if you read my post on 2KBloggers you will see that I was actually quite supportive.

      There are various aspects to the Technorati Favorites that certainly A-listers aren’t addressing.

      I am sure you get more use out of Technorati favorites with 2000 favorites, than Darren Rowse with just 22, half of them being his own blogs or those of close friends in B5.

      There is a slight pyramid nature to all memes. Certainly those on the 2KBloggers lists early on gained the most traffic from it, and possibly most links, because their faces were on the list first.

      The originator of a meme almost always benefits from it far more than anyone else participating. You could look upon that critically, or it could be looked upon as just smart marketing to create an idea that goes viral.

      Maki’s implementation of Technorati Favorites was initially just a 2 way exchange.
      Gary King turned it into a meme train, which is certainly more pyramid like, but those further down the chain do have the opportunity to backtrack a little, so they have equal opportunity, but it involves a lot more work.
      My method specifically required a lot less effort, for maybe a lesser effect, although my OPML file is currently a lot smaller than some OPML files people have used, I need to do an update, but want to avoid “pollution” with too many A-listers. It also doesn’t directly affect linking, though people have added me to various lists, of their own choice.

  13. says

    I agree with you about being a link whore. It is one of the most addictive things for a blogger like a drug. I always have to get my fix.

  14. says

    I completely agree with the whole passion thing. You have to have passion for what you are doing or blogging about. Doing so will produce better results than just setting goals. If you haven’t read the book “Good to Great” you have to pick it up.

    I also appreciate your commenting policy. Take care.

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