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Feedster 500 List Is Dead Wrong

Jason Dowdell
Expert Author
Published: 2005-08-26

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Okay so I took some time to review the first 100 blogs on the Feedster 500 [top 500 blogs in popularity as Feedster sees it]. Let me tell you, we've got a long way to go in blog search, ranking and categorization... this list is a great example of just that.

Do Not Ever Link To A Site Without Doing This First! - Part 2
Did Feedster Goof On Their Top 500 List?

Editor's Note: Does Feedster's Top 500 Blogs list hold water? Not according to Jason. Take a look at his stance and discuss at WebProWorld.

The Feedster 500 is apparently only tracking US blogs, which is ok I guess, as long as you're an American Blogger, but let's not quibble over the details. Instead let's just jump right in and pluck this chicken.

Here's how Feedster says they come up with their list of the 500 most popular blogs [taken directly from their own press release].

"The ranking is achieved by taking into account factors such as the number of inbound links over time; if the blog has been recently updated; and the elimination of obvious non-blogs that have appeared on other top-blog lists...

...Our first iteration of this list solves the staleness problems and not-a-blog problems that others have faced."

Uh, excuse me, no it doesn't? If non-blogs weren't even on the list then how in the heck can DeviantArt.com be no.2? I see no rss feeds, no blog like architecture, no posts. They do have a blog from their staff but that's not the url Feedster is using. DeviantArt has news and forums but I would hardly consider this site a blog. So scratch the number 2 site off the Feedster 500 list please.

Jason Calcanis, I highly recommend you hang on to that $50,000 because I'm just getting warmed up.

Coming in at no.. 6 is the NowPublic news site, not the NowPublic main url but rather the news portion of the site. While it looks and smells like a blog, it's backlink counts in the other blog engines and main search engines don't jive with it's top 10 placement on Feedster's list.

IceRocket: 0 links [117 to homepage]
Technorati: Server Overload - No results
Feedster: 2 links [28k plus to homepage]
BlogPulse: 4 [255 to homepage]

So it seems that even Feedster doesn't show a number of links that would justify yet another top 10 result, go figure.

Coming in at 11 we have Common Dreams, a news website that has RSS feeds. Should we consider that a blog? It's an alternative news site that doesn't accept advertising and is run by volunteers so that goes in favor of the free or personal-ish feel synonymous with blogs. The homepage is composed of titles and single sentence summaries of the articles, I use the word articles instead of posts because that's exactly what they are. So the jury is still out on whether or not this site is a blog but I vote no.

Coming in at 13 is Creative Commons. Again, they have a blog section of their site but Feedster is calling the CC site [whole site] a blog and that dog won't hunt. Is blogging what the CC is known for? Is that why you go to CC is to read their blog or is there a bit more to the Creative Commons site than a blog, you tell me.

Then at 14 we have MediaMatters, another alternative news site with RSS feeds. It is nothing like a blog in any other way.

Are you seeing a pattern here? Sites with RSS feeds and even some without are being considered blogs when they clearly aren't. Blog search has a long way to go but that's another story for another day.

Alright, this one is just ridiculous, Google Globe Trotting, a community site where users can uploads Google Maps pics of places they've been [or that are just interesting] and it's searchable. It's nothing like a blog except for the fact that it has an RSS feed, recurring theme? It comes in at no. 17 on the Feedster Flop.

Lest this post loses it's point I'll just spew a few more quick hits out here and let you make the call on whether or not these sites are actually blogs or deserve Top500 treatment.

21. Drudge Report
23. Hype Non Standard
26. IT Conversations
30. Smoking Gun
32. Something Awful
36. MSN Channel 9
40. Liquid Generator - main domain confused with blog url.
42. Drunken Hero
44. Knitty Blog - main domain confused with blog url.
47. Milk And Cookies Latest - main domain confused with blog url.
50. McSweeneys

I'll stop at 50 but I could do more. The point of all of this is that we're nowhere close to where we need to be with blog search. Why do you think Google hasn't released a beta of their blog search engine offering? Cause this stuff is frickin hard, that's why!!!!! I wrote a piece last July about the link value differences between websites and blogs and never posted my findings but maybe now's the time. I'll be following this up with more of the issues associated with blog search as it stands today. Jason Calcanis, please hold onto your $50k in free advertising for the time being, I haven't seen anything worth it yet.

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About the Author:
Jason Dowdell is a technology entrepreneur and operates the Marketing Shift blog.

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