Studying blogging as a social phenomenon.

I’ve mentioned before that I keep a referrer log of where people came to SEB from and what pages they’re looking at. It’s largely trivial information that gives me an idea of what I’ve said recently that has gotten the most attention. For example, a very simple entry I put up with a link to the infamous Camel Toe Song is probably the most active page on this site at the moment despite being one of the shortest entries I’ve ever made at exactly 2 sentences long. Go to Google and do a search for the words “Camel Toe Song” and you’ll see that the first three listings are for that tiny little entry I put up about it whereas the link to the site that created it is 9th in the list. Been that way for quite some time now and that’s interesting to know, but largely trivial.

Occasionally, though, you come across a referrer that leads back to something very interesting. Something like which is a site that is attempting to apply an emerging new field of study called “network science” to the social network known popularly as the blogosphere. I first became aware of them when their bot showed up in my referrer log. Seems the bot goes around looking at blogs with an eye toward collecting info on what the hot topics in the blogosphere happen to be at any given moment in time. Currently will show you what the current trends are on a scale of 4 hours, 24 hours, 7 days or the past 31 days. The current number 1 trend for the past 24 hours has been talk about the new Matrix movie. Click on the citations link and it’ll list off links to any blogs that have mentioned the movie recently.

You can also list off the current Top 100 most linked to sites (currently at 12857 inbound links) and break that down into weblogs, News Sites and Amazon Products.

Lastly you can also list off what Current Events bloggers are talking about. Right now they’re doing five keywords related to the war in Iraq.

All in all it’s an interesting twist on the usual blog aggregators that attempt to collect in one spot all manner of info from a wide-range of weblogs. It’s suggested in an interview with the creators of this project that might even be a good starting point for people new to the idea of blogging who want to find out what all the fuss is about. If nothing else, it has cool charts to look at.

2 thoughts on “Studying blogging as a social phenomenon.

  1. I found them by looking at referrals, too. Interesting stuff they’re delving into, and it’s kind of neat to realize I’m part of what they’re exploring.

  2. Thanks for the nice comments guys, I’m glad you like the site.  Let us know if you’ve got any suggestions – building a strong community is very important to us.

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