October 15, 2009

Villager's Black Blog Rankings is Casualty of Technorati Upgrades

It saddens me to announce that the Villager's Black Blog Rankings (BBR) is officially closing down. The recent changes announced by Technorati make it impossible for me to continue with this volunteer ranking effort. I think that the changes Technorati made are good and needed. However, they have eliminated my ability to continue researching the talented blogs owned and operated by people of African descent.

BBR was based on Technorati Authority numbers. Technorati changed the process used to determine this metric. Technorati's intention is to measure the influence and attention received on an ongoing basis ... as such they stopped counting static blogroll links, and these links have now aged out of the authority calculations.

Due to the vast number of blogging platforms and custom installations out there (and some bloggers who felt they were using too much of their data), Technorati Authority now rely more heavily on RSS and Atom feeds than in the past. Bloggers can control how much of their content they wish to syndicate via feeds. Many blogs only provide partial feeds ... Technorati is not always able to get link data from them. Thus, links from these blogs may no longer contribute to your authority.

Finally, it is important that bloggers ensure that Technorati knows about your blog updates by using the new Ping Page, or learn about configuring your system to ping Technorati automatically on their Help Page. Many blogging services and platforms have a preconfigured option for pinging Technorati and other services.

If you find links to your blog that don't appear on Technorati, you may want to check that the other blog:
  • is claimed on Technorati
  • has a full-content feed
  • is pinging us with updates

Anyhow, it has been a joy learning about talented Black bloggers and reading insightful posts on wide variety of topics. I hope that we're able to continue to find ways to support one another.

For now ... it would be wonderful to hear from those of you that have followed the Black Blog Rankings over the past months. What are your final thoughts on the BBR?


RiPPa said...

This is sad Villager. I don't quite understand what changes they've made, but then I'm not that tech savvy. I loved the idea that there was someone specifically catering to the needs of Black bloggers in that regard as you did.

I wish there was a way that you can continue. But as tiresome as I'm sure the task at hand was for you, I understand and I applaud all of your efforts.

Through your work I was able to be introduced to some of the greatest writers in the blogosphere. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Liz Dwyer said...

Thanks so much for endeavoring to create a listing system for us. It's sad to see it go but it's appreciated that you did it for the amount of time you did.

I absolutely don't get Technorati's new system at all -- but I know the old system wasn't working so maybe this will be better.

Unknown said...

RiPPa - I'm so far behind in so many areas ... that I need to start prioritizing. The move by Technorati just gave me a reason to phase the BBR out. They took away a feature ('Favorites') that made it relatively simple to find the score on the top 200 Black blogs. All of the rest I just did on an ad hoc basis after awhile. Anyhow, without that 'Favorites' tool ... it isn't possible for me to keep it going.

I think I may try to get more engaged with Black bloggers via AfroSpear.

Los Angelista - I don't understand everything about the new Technorati. However, I see that they got some angel funding this week ... so things must be going well for 'em!

Mitch said...

Intriguing. Until I read this post, I'd forgotten that I hadn't been there in awhile. What a rankings change! One of my blogs had been standing way above the other two, but now it's almost even with one of my blogs, which is actually my oldest blog. Part of me is happy, part of me misses seeing the blog that was high before fighting its way into the top echelons.

So, the fight starts anew; should be interesting to see how it all plays out.

Unknown said...

Mitch - Out of curiousity ... what do you consider to be the most important metrics for your blogs?

Mitch said...

Right now there are only two metrics I use to gauge how I might be doing. One is subscribers to my RSS feed. The other is my Alexa ranking. Since Alexa changed their algorithms so that the toolbar has no effect, I've used it as my tool for determining whether my prominence is moving upwards or not.

I also use Google Analytics and I check those stats as well, seeing what's popular so I can figure out what else I can write that will attract visitors.

Unknown said...

Mitch - Thank you. I do track my RSS readers .. at least those that subscribe using Feedburner. However, I've not looked into either Alexa and Google Analytics. I'll need to check both of those blog metrics. Thank you again...

Monica Roberts said...

Darn it...Just when I was on a mjor push to get permanently ensconsed in the BBR Top 25.

Thanks for putting the BBR's together in the first place...

Renee said...

I just wanted to say thank you for all of the time and effort that you put into the BBR. This was one of the main ways that I tracked my blogs progress. Watching WM climb the ranks gave me the drive to keep going. I will miss this feature but don't think that I am going to stop bothering you about your sick 24 addiction :)

Unknown said...

Monica - Keep doin' what you're doin' ... and seek out other blog metrics that you can use to track your progress.

Renee - Asante sana! I need to find another way to stay connected with Black bloggers in the coming weeks and months...

TechnoEric said...

Don't give up on us yet, Villager! We still have all the Favorites data and should be rolling out some new favorites-based features in a little while. We're having some growing pains, unfortunately, but things are coming together.

Also, with the new system, you actually don't need to ping any more.

Unknown said...

TechnoEric - First, may I say that I'm pleased, surprised and humbled that you would visit my blog.

Second, I will make commitment to rejuvenate the Black Black Rankings when (if?) the Favorites feature is back up and running on Technorati.

Third, I notice that you have a number of automated rankings for a variety of categories. Is it possible that I can work with Techno-folks to create an automated category for Black-owned and Black-operated blogs?

My email address is blogs@elecvillage.com if this is easier to discuss offline.