QUANTIFYING THE BLOGOSPHERE

Oscar Jr. runs some numbers based on site traffic and links and finds there to be a strong positive correlation between the two. To his analysis I add the following qualification: We must make a distinction between permanent links (i.e., blogrolling of the site itself) and vanishing links (a mention of a specific post that disappears into the archives after a few days).

My thesis is that permanent links are generally much more valuable than post links–with the notable exception of Instalanches. (Glenn’s blogroll is gigantic and unorganized–not that I wouldn’t like to be included–whereas his mentions of a site generate a ton of traffic, albeit for only two days or so.)

This will almost certainly explain a lot of the variation Oscar sees. For example, almost everyone links to InstaPundit and, during the war at least, Command Post. They visit those sites a lot but they don’t link that often to specific posts they read there.

FILED UNDER: Blogosphere
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Oscar Jr. says:

    Thanks for your comments and the kind link. It would have been nice to distinguish between blogroll links and post links, but none of the data sources easily allow such distinctions. I suppose I could have done so using Technorati’s data, but it would have been even more laborious.

    I would like to test your thesis, though. My own experience, for what it’s worth, has been the opposite: most of my admittedly few visits have been via the occasional IMAOlanche, Hrakalanche, Michelelanche; etc. But that may not be indicative.

    Note, also, that the data indicate that InstaPundit and Command Post are relatively underlinked given their number of daily visitors.

  2. CGHill says:

    So far, the only method I’ve seen for reliably boosting traffic is “Free Beer!” And at the moment, beer isn’t even downloadable, though I hear they’re working on a faxable pizza.