How influential are you (3)

If you’ve been reading this blog before, you know this question fascinates me. How does a company/brand find it’s key influencers on the web today. Is there an automated way find out? What elements do you need to measure to find out about ‘influence’? What’s the algorithm? How can you know without reading all of them yourself? Etc…. I’ve had the chance to look at a few well known tools up close, but none of them provided me with what I was looking for.

Today, we see a new tool arise for Belgium (Flanders really) that should expand over time to bigger parts of Europe. Since my interest mainly lies in Europe and multi-language research is very different from what happens in the US, these European efforts interest me even more. So welcome Metatale (Dutch). Just as many more bloggers in Belgium I knew Bart (and a few others) were cooking something new. When it looked like this was going to incorporate part of the idea I wrote about in “Sphere of influence” this really got me interested.

That said, Metatale still has a long way to go I think. It still seems to be built around blogs more than people (explaining why Clo has 2 different influence rankings for the same blog on Metatale’s top 100). And it also doesn’t look at the sphere of influence (at least it doesn’t just yet) nor the second degree of incoming links (as I wrote about here). When I read what the key factors are to calculate influence I see ‘frequency of posting’ amongst them, something I mentioned before is not a valid factor for me. I just don’t agree that posting more makes you a bigger influencer, and Pascal is a good example for that if you ask me. I’m also not sure if ‘outgoing links’ as a measurement makes sense either. Bart pointed out in the comments that: “Just to set one thing straight: the MetaTale ranking does NOT take into account the frequency of posting. Nor the raw number of outgoing links. These two things are patterns we see occuring with top influencers – they are an effect, not a cause.” which makes more sense indeed.

I’ll keep on following the project though, because of the people involved. I know this is just a start and much more can probably be expected. I’m just not sold to what I see today. And no, I don’t hold the answer either. I don’t know yet how to measure real influence for which reason I support anyone who tries to find out.

More discussions about this (in Dutch) here and here.

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