|Saturday, August 6, 2005|
'Lab Tests' or Ethnographic Field Research ?
Here's a blogpost by Gretchen Anderson called Making use of user research, on the role of ethnographic field research as part of user research, drawing insights from observations of software users. Some excerpts ...
The portion that resonated most with me - we have been following just this practice on a couple of ethnographic studies recently.
[thanks James at Column Two for the link.]
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Blog Ranking and Popularity
while Vikram does an analysis of a few Indian blogs using Google PageRanks as a measure to define popularity.
It was nice to learn that my blog has a PageRank of 7 - I remember when I started blogging, I used to watch it. But haven't for months. These posts evoked questions in my mind on what is 'popularity'. Rajesh Jain and I have a Google PageRank of 7 - and we don't really attract the volumes of comments that so many other Indian blogs do and yet have higher ranks than those that do. Neither am I linked to by as many Indian blogs but some of the 'popular' blogs in the world link to posts I write, or my blog - would that not skew this measure of popularity? Where is the 'wisdom of crowds' :)?
I also revisited Blogstreet - while my blog is ranked 513 in the world rankings, Blogstreet India has me much lower at 45 than many Indian blogs with lower Google PageRanks than mine. Then there is Technorati and Bloglines subscriptions and Alexa and TTLB and Popdex and Daypop. Robin Good has a neat list of measuring of indicators and tools that measure popularity, authority and credibility.
It is all a little confusing. I enjoy using some of these to benchmark and track my own blogging patterns and readership. And for a few blogs that I really enjoy. For instance, I have no interest in what my ranking on Technorati is, but I do visit it daily to see who is linking to me and how they might have progressed a thought. Yet, I'm not so happy when these get transformed into lists, ratings and rankings. Are you merely well-known, or well-read?
How would you define and measure popularity in the blogworld? Can there be a robust quantitative measure? Does the blog software you use matter? Are links and comments and page visits and clicks good measures? How is stickiness measured?
I'd rather look at more qualitative measures (disclaimer : I am a practitioner of qualitative research) like relevance, integrity and credibility when you engage readers in your areas of interest, empathy generated, stretch in teasing boundaries, intimacy with your audience. A combination of respect and amicability. There was a good discussion about some of these issues at the opening session at BlogHer.
Wow. Mary Hodder has done some very solid thinking on a new open source algorithm that balances the weighted value of social gestures against large data sets in a post called Link Love Lost or How Social Gestures within Topic Groups are More Interesting Than Link Counts
More Dimensions :
danah boyd adds another dimension by examining patterns in the network structure of blogs and linking behaviour. From her post, the biases of links :
And Stowe Boyd says :
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Copyright 2009 Dina Mehta