Nov 25 2007
Salient and Why Don’t You Blog have been carrying a very interesting discussion on blogging tools such as Technorati and Blogrolling that atheists use, and their potential lack of effectiveness lately. I have also commented on this with the idea that a change from Blogrolling to another blog rolling services that would not be as overwhelmed may be necessary.
As a result of this discussion Salient looked at some Technorati data to see if any trends were visible there:
“Despite the fact that Planet Atheism seems as busy as ever, the graph for “Blog posts mentioning atheism per day for the past 30 days” does appear to show a major decline.”
English posts that contain Atheism per day for the last 30 days.
First, the graph I pulled today from Technorati looks different than the data given to Salient Technorati yesterday. I blame this one on Technorati and the not-so-exact science of web statistics.
Also, I would love to see a comparison of this set of data to same period last year. Because technorati doesn’t give us data from last year, I decided to look at a 180 day period rather than just 30 days.
English posts that contain Atheism per day for the last 180 days.
So, the great news is that there was a huge spike in atheist-themed blog posts that Technorati identified during the mid Sept. and mid Oct. time-span, which dwarfed the periods before and after. So I agree with Salient that the current decline is probably related to the Holiday season, but it also seems to be a return to statistics more in line with the pre-spike periods. But when I look at usage of word ’science’ I’m seeing a drop in stats similar to ‘atheism’, whereas Salient is seeing an increase in the usage of science. So is Technorati making this data up on the fly?
How relevant is Technorati data? Here’s a review of the past 6-months of Technorati history:
- In May David Dalka reports an unusual loss in Authority.
- In Sept. Technorati experiences performance issues during preparation for data center migration.
- Beginning of Oct. Technorati announces new CEO. The search had been going on for 6 months.
- In Oct. Strumpette wrote about Technorati’s data integrity and asks for an in depended review after Techorati’s response admits to improper indexing.
- After Strumpette’s reaction BizHack publishes another post discussing with skepticism Technorati’s explanation of indexing, and publishes a list of blog posts discussing the Technorati issue.
- Beginning of Nov. Technorati users report losing content older than 6 months. The Technorati response was that they’re “in the midst of some economization,” and that “most people won’t notice.”
I’ll let my readers decide on their own how much credence to put on technorati data at this point in time. It may be that a few months from now, when they’re done with data center changes and “economizing” we’ll see an increase in quality. Until then we can follow the advice on the Technorati troubleshooting page, write to them and ask for changes (which apparently has happened a lot lately), and/or we can find a better service.
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