Stinson Tops Ecosystem

Earlier today, I was looking at the venerable TTLB Ecosystem while doing research and discovered that Matt Stinson’s blog had ascended to the very top of the link rankings.

Stinson Tops Ecosystem

I was surprised, indeed, given that the blog had been essentially defunct for more than a year and clicked through to see what Stinson was up to that might have garnered so much linkage and yet stayed off my radar screen. I was greeted with a placeholder site and a message saying, “Notice: This domain name expired on 07/11/07 and is pending renewal or deletion.”

I contacted Matt via Facebook to inquire about this and he informed me that he had indeed let the domain lapse, owing to a combination of his general disgust with the nature of the American political debate and the vagaries of blogging while teaching in China.

He has now posted this on his Facebook blog/

The funny thing is — that blog was deleted by me in June and nothing exists at the domain.

I guess this is the Internet equivalent of being more famous in death than in life! I’ve just emailed the TTLB Ecosystem owner to get my blog purged from the database, but in the meantime I’ve saved a screenshot for posterity.

Gotta love it.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Cernig says:

    The TTLB ecosystem has been broken for so long that I’ve stopped paying attention to it. In particular, it’s too easy to game. Technorati’s authority & ranking ratings work better as a measurement of blogging oomph, IMHO.

    Regards, C

  2. James Joyner says:

    Same here. I was looking for a list of comparable blogs but the Ecosytem isn’t good even for that anymore. “NZ” has largely moved on to other efforts and the Ecosystem is increasingly a relic of another time.

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    The last major update which took place something like 18 months ago may have reduced the gaming of the Ecosystem but it also made it incomprehensible. I haven’t looked at it in months.

  4. Triumph says:

    Any system that rates the Daily Kos and Huffington Post so high must be suspect. Nobody reads those sites but liberals. Thus, they should be discounted.

  5. Any system that rates the Daily Kos and Huffington Post so high must be suspect. Nobody reads those sites but liberals. Thus, they should be discounted.

    I must be a liberal then, for I sometimes visit the Huff Puff. Either that or I’m a glutton for punishment.



  6. Matthew Stinson says:

    I’m guessing there’s some kind of SQL foul-up involved in me being atop the list. If you try to see what blogs link to me it gives an error. The whole thing gave me a laugh, though.

    I agree with what the rest of you say about Technorati, but even that system has problems. In China’s case, because of the funky CMS used by many Chinese BSPs, many blogs do not properly record incoming links, resulting in some Chinese blogs, such as actress Xu Jinglei’s — which is, to be fair, more PR front than blog — being undercounted on Technorati. I think Boingboing mentioned this a few weeks ago but I’m a bit too lazy to Google.

    Clearly, establishing an effective and transparent global system of blog rankings is something we ought to ask our 2008 candidates about. Ahem.

  7. Matthew Stinson says:

    A footnote on the above: Chinese didn’t notice the undercounting issue on their blogs for a long time since Technorati has been blocked in China for most of the last 4 years.

  8. MSS says:

    I’ll admit it was fun in the beginning to watch my evolution from insignificant microbe to marauding marsupial. But I always thought there was something fishy–a flippery fish, no doubt–about the counting mechanism. I do not know if it is still the case, but at one time I discovered it was counting auto-links. Now, I auto-link a lot, not to “game” the system and get links counted, but as an aid to readers to find my own previous related posts. As do many bloggers. If those are counted as “inbound” that’s even worse than trackback abuse, I should think.

    The TTLB concept–if not its execution–may have some use for the very general blogs, but with the increasing segmentation by niche topics, who cares? I mean, really, does anyone who might stop by my place to read about fruit-growing and electoral systems care that Fruits & Votes is tied with a little bit pregnant, a blog about “madcap misadventures in infertility, pregnancy, and parenthood”? Presumably not.

  9. MSS says:

    Matthew, nice to “see” you again.

    I notice that there is also an SQL error when I check for my links. Not sure how it can count links when it does not know what they are.

    Laughable, indeed.

  10. Matthew Stinson says:

    And I’m gone … my blog has been delisted, but now another ghost blog,, has taken its place. Wacky.