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PubSub LinkRank

I came across PubSub’s LinkRank
feature for the first time today. It’s an interesting new measurement… Here is the
official blurb, comparing it to Google PageRank:

“Unlike Google’s PageRank system, LinkRanks are not iterative. Rather, we base
LinkRanks on a simple formula that only looks at local links – links which are within one
or two steps of any target site. Also, it’s important to note that we only look at links
which are in weblog entries – we don’t read any of the other links on the page, like the
side bars or blogrolls.”

It’s also different to Google because unlike PageRank, which is a mark out of 10, PubSub’s LinkRank is a ranked list. Like a Billboard chart for blogs (reminiscent of a short story I wrote earlier this year). e.g. my current LinkRank is 2,188 (yesterday it was 2,314). Not bad, when you consider they
claim to track 6.7 million sources (3.6 million “active” sources). My recently closed
eBook Culture blog has a LinkRank of 888,335 – which perhaps explains its demise. The highest single blogger I found was Jason Kottke at 63 (Amazon.com was number 1).

PubSub’s creator, Bob Wyman, did some tracking of
Zeldman’s blog a couple of months ago. He calculated that Zeldman was hovering at the
600-650 mark at that time, noting that Zeldman’s LinkRank had decreased due to “a period of publishing less-then-enthralling content”. Bob’s conclusion:

“Watching your Linkrank can give you an idea of how well you are maintaining the
interest of your particular community of readers. In most cases, but not all, if people
find that what you are writing is interesting, they will link to you.”

Wherefore Art Thou, Technorati?

On a related but less positive note, I also found out today that Technorati has
not been indexing my outbound links. So for I-don’t-know-how-many months
nobody would have known I was linking to them, at least via Technorati. That’s
pretty annoying and hopefully it’ll be fixed soon.

Back to PubSub

PubSub also look like they’re doing something with Topic Mapping. They ask people link
to a specific URN, because:

“We want to see if we can construct a conversation thread around the topic by using a
common URN. For reference, the URN form is based on NewsML (more specifically the URN
namespace for NewsML resources), and PSI stands for “published subject indicator” (see
XML Topic Maps [topicsmaps.org] and Published Subjects [OASIS]). If this works, we want
to try to use this kind of URN to bring conversations together around various

That’s reminiscent of various topic mapping ideas people have come up with over the past few years, including my own Microcontent Wiki (remembered more for its entertainment value than any real-life potential!). So PubSub’s topic mapping idea is another thing to keep a watch on! p.s. no smart comments asking if I’m being paid to blog
about PubSub please 😉

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