Thursday, February 24, 2005

Funny Money

by Tom Bozzo

You might think that blogger dinner is just a lot of food, drink, innuendo-laden karaoke, and simulblogging. (Actually, simulblogging was extremely limited this time, and Jeremy has yet to offer any after-the-fact blogging of the dinner.)

Well, quasi-serious discussions of the organization of the blogiverse happen, too. Links, as I like to say (though not at that link) — and, with millions of other blogs, undoubtedly I'm far from the only one — are the currency of the blogiverse. Among the cleverer tools of blog organization and self-organization, are services to track recent links and a blog "ecosystem" ordered by a measure of unique links.

The question arose as to how ecosystem status could be manipulated by a concerted linking effort. My guess is that direct manipulation of ecosystem status becomes difficult as one ascends the food chain, for while it only takes a few links to attain the next status level for me or certain of my blog pals, effecting minimal mammalian status would require maintaining dozens of links on a manipulator's blog homepage. That would not inconceivably interfere with the blog content — but then again, maybe not.

This raises another technical question. In quantifying the degree of centrality of the blogiverse's central nodes (a pet issue of mine), how should one deal with repeated links among friends?

We also talked about setting up alternative ecosystem(s). I don't recall any talk of ranking methods, but I'd think you could have fun with an aspirational ranking.

Addendum: Why we shouldn't do this sort of thing, at Crooked Timber.
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