On importance and authoritativeness

I've waiting for an excuse to point to the Fat Cyclist (I'm not being offensive - that's the blog's name).

Anyway, the excuse for blogging about Fat Cyclist today is that the blog's author has now realised that he is in fact more important and authoritative than he previously knew...

"Well, it's about time I get a little respect.

I am, according to Technorati.com — a very accurate index of blogs — the #1 most authoritative blogger on bikes in the entire world.

And to think that until now, I just thought I was some dorky, middle-aged, overweight guy who wrote nonsense to himself.

Now I know better. Now I know I am Important. I capitalized and italicized "Important" on purpose, because I'm not just authoritative, I’m the most authoritative. I am, indeed, Authoritative with a capital "A."

To recap: I am Important and Authoritative."

(the rest of the post is v.funny, worth a read).

So, serious point now....

How does he know he is 'Authoritative'?

He found out via Technorati's Blog Finder. If you enter a search term into Blog Finder you are returned a ranked list of blogs that have listed themselves against the matching tag, in order of Authority. The Authority algorithm is based on the number of incoming links and number of sites. For example, if there are 100 sites and 100 links pointing to blog A and 50 sites with 100 links pointing to blog B, then A will be deemed more 'Authoritative' than B. This algorithm is the Technorati Ranking.

The downside is that the rank works across all the tags that the participating bloggers have self-listed, so there is no distinction made in terms of 'Authority' between one tag / topic and another.

Example: 'Herramientas para Blogs' is the most Authoritative for 'Microsoft'. It trumps Robert Scoble - twice in fact, as Robert's old blog is listed too. (By the way, Marcelino and Fat Cyclist - in case you're reading - hola!- I want to make clear that I am not suggesting that you don't deserve the Technorati 'Authoritativeness' that you have - I'm just illustrating a point here, gracias).

Marcelino's blog is hugely popular - at time of writing, he has a whopping 12,463 inbound links from some 4,219 sites. Wow. The same blog also ranks #1 for Radio based on the same ranking / algorithm. The problem is that if Marcelino randomly decided to he could tag his blog with 'Fish' and still be ranked the most 'Authoritative' on the subject of aquatic vertebrates, even if he had never previously blogged about a fish (unless one of those blogs ranked higher than Marcelino overall decides to tag their blog 'Fish' too, in which case they would be the most 'Authoritative' about fish - Marcelino is ranked 26).

I like Blog Finder, I find it useful (even better if it provided an OPML of the list of blogs) but it will become harder and harder to tell who *really* is an Authority on a topic verses a blog that is very popular and has simply decided to tag themselves 'foo'.

Tags: Tags, Blogging, Technorati