How do we measure the influence of a blog?
It seems that links and traffic aren’t enough, but what is? Recently, I discovered PubSub weights its links, which may be part of the solution.
But even so, as Shel Israel mentions in his post about avenues of blog influence, a blogger deep in the long tail might be read by a more well-read blogger, who might amplify his or her ideas, making them influential indeed.
Shel suggests that mapping this flow of information might be a good device to understand influence as a message is passed around the Internet.
As a personal example, when I first started blogging last November, I think ten or fifteen people a day read my posts, on a good day. Then Shel Israel linked to me about my idea of PR as Ombudsman and a few days later Scott Baradell included my Pay to Play post in his Pick of the Orchard feature. I think Shel became aware of my blog through comments I made on his site. Proving decisively, at least for me, the value of comments.
The readership for Communication Overtones grew steadily from there, with more bloggers linking in. Even today, 67 percent of my traffic comes from referrals, but in the early days it was as much as 80 percent some months.
I conclude from those numbers that the influence flows both up and downstream.
Would love to hear how others think about this topic.