His methodology is summarised as:
- Using a topical crawl of the Internet, blog posts that discussed the topic of “PR” and “Blogs” in the same article were collected along with blog posts that were sufficiently referenced in this context. (Meaning: If you discuss the topic of “PR” and “Blogs” or being discussed in that context, then you are a candidate).
- Some blogs, that appeared to be very closely related, were consolidated and some blogs/websites were manually removed because they were not deemed relevant to the context.
- The posts were analysed for references/citations between them. The citations were extracted and turned into a massive system of simultaneous equations that were solved to provide influence.
- The influence was normalised to a scale between 1 and 100.
The resulting list looks like this (I’m hosting it here for comparison purposes and so I don’t pinch any of Flemming’s bandwidth – I recommend you read his posting in full for the details):
Can you see me? Yes, I’m second bottom. As Flemming says, different searches might yield different results, so I guess you could say I’m not exclusively PR and blogging because I’m also copywriting. Or perhaps I’m just not very influential!
A comparison of the blogs common to Onalytica’s study and my PowerPR index shows this (both studies contained about the same number of blogs so these positions are comparable):
|2||22||Strategic Public Relations|
|3||19||PR meets the WWW (Constantin Basturea)|
|4||10||Pop! PR Jots|
|14||7||On Message Wagner Comms|
|15||2||Online Marketing Blog|
|17||46||KDPaine’s PR Measurement Blog|
|29||3||Center for Media and Democracy (PR Watch)|
|32||24||Tech PR Gems|
|45||34||Common Sense PR|
|50||20||A PR Guy’s Musings (Stuart Bruce)|
|64||49||Alan Weinkrantz PR Web Log|
|69||42||Piaras Kelly PR – Irish Public Relations|
|71||48||Heather Yaxley – Greenbanana PR|
There are some agreements – Micropersuasion will always be pretty much in a league of its own, and there are occasional near-parities such as Communication Overtones and Dummyspit, but mainly Flemming’s study shows a very different picture. PR.Differently, IndiaPRBlog, Murphy’s Law and A PR Guy’s Musings (Stuart Bruce) all shift rank by at least 30 places.
It’s a telling comparison between simple home-brewed methodologies looking purely at publicly available metrics (ie mine), and a rigorous approach using established analytical techniques.
Of course, a lot of this boils down to the initial list. Flemming has some on his which I do not, and vice versa. However I’m surprised that a shel of my former self, Strumpette, Todd Andrlik and the world’s leading aren’t included because my perception was that they were heavyweights. Todd owns the Power150 which is competing to become a standard and whereas Neville Hobson is rated, his close associate Shel Holtz is not. And I can only assume it was modesty on Flemming’s behalf not to include Onalytica’s own blog in the study.
So what happens now? Has Flemming settled the debate? Or does it merely contribute to the ever-increasing number of measurement tools being developed? I think it’s very interesting to see how proprietary number-crunching systems throw up unexpected results. Having talked with Flemming and seen the system in action, I have confidence in the Onalytica study.
However, by its very nature it is proprietary, and therefore it still doesn’t ‘standardise’ on measurement. We don’t all have server farms or software that can solve huge numbers of simultaneous equations. So unless we all approach Onalytica with certain unspecified sums of money, we’re still largely working with what’s publicly available.
Personally, it also raises the question as to whether there’s much point continuing the PowerPR list. In the light of the Power150’s ascendancy to the firmament and pretty much proof positive that true influence has little to do with popularity, I struggle to think of a reason why my pitiful attempt at devising a ranking scheme should survive. It provided great linkbait, but that honestly wasn’t the reason I did it.
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