When I was at Internet Librarian 2009, one of the fascinating presentations was about evaluating websites and blogs.
In a nutshell, here's what you do.
First, create a list of all the blogs you're going to analyze. Which, in itself, is HUGE, right? One would have to look at all the different directories, click through blog rolls and links, etc.
Second, create the list of factors you're going to evaluate.
Third, evaluate each blog based on those factors.
Fourth, crunch the numbers.
Fifth, presto! You have a scientific study of the "best" blogs.
I'll add a sixth: now call yourself a consultant and sell this expertise to people like publishers. The presenters noted that their clients subscribe to this type of service and get quarterly updates. I'm not quite sure what the price would be; enough to pay you for what is a lot of time, especially at the beginning. But quarterly updates should also include new blogs; remove dead blogs; and always keep on eye on those factors. What gets added, removed, change in importance.
I'm enough of a nerd (or is it a geek?) that this type of thing fascinates me. I especially love how it shows there is no quick and easy answer to the question, "how do you judge a blog?" Rather, it takes a look at both quantitative and qualitative factors. Also, it removes the potential for bias based on friendships.
So it got me thinking. What should be on the list of factors to evaluate book blogs? These are in no particular order; but I imagine, done correctly, some factors should carry more weight than others.
Statistics, including unique visits, returning visitors, length of visit.
Comments, including quantity, quality, reason.
Subscribers via RSS.
Subscribers via email.
Age of blog.
Amount of posts per week.
Links into blog.
Links out of blog.
Content of blog posts (what is being blogged about, as well as quality)
Quality of blog posts (multiple points here: accuracy, originality, grammar, spelling).
Authority (who is the blogger, as well as recognition of blog).
What else would you add to the list? Or leave off? And what gets more "weight" than something else? To me, content is very important, so the content would somehow carry more weight than something like age of the blog.
I have only had one cup of coffee, so I know I'm omitting some important factors.
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
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