In the process of analyzing recent links to Global Voices, I got a chance to play with some of the new tools my friends at Blogpulse are offering. I’m impressed. Really, really impressed. I started working with Blogpulse a couple of years ago, when they offered me access to their API for my GAP project – at the time, they looked like a less flashy, less consumer-savvy version of Technorati. Over the past couple of years, they’ve developed a reputation for reliability and stability, which isn’t an easy thing to do while maintaining a database of 15 million blogs and countless links. But until very recently, there hasn’t been much that’s been too exciting for the average consumer on Blogpulse.
(Okay, that’s not entirely fair. Conversation Tracker is very cool, though a little complicated for the average user. For instance, here’s the conversation that took place around my post “Bono and Brad Pitt Need Your Help” – it does a nice job of allowing you to track second and third-order references to a conversation you helped start.)
I’m guessing that Blogpulse is about to become a lot more popular. Blogpulse Profiles adds a number of features that are completely new to the world of blogs. Most blog fans are used to tracking the top 100 blogs on Technorati, and seeing where their (registered) blog ranks in comparison – Blogpulse lets you check the rank of an arbitrary blog (say, mine.) With Technorati, the rank is determined by the number of links over the totality of the blog; Blogpulse recalculates rank on a much shorter term basis, which lets them present a graph of how one’s rank changes over the course of a month. (I was evidently much more influential early last month, when I was talking about Live8, than I am now.) It’s great fun to check out the rank of blogs I admire – a general observation is that the well-trafficked blogs seem to change in rank a lot less often than those of us on the outskirts of the A-list.
Other cool stuff: the “posts” tab lists recent posts on a blog… but also lists terms that appear more often in a particular blog than in the web as a whole. Evidently I use the word “evidently” a lot… “Citations” adds to the technorati “cosmos” of a post, featuring links from high-influence blogs… which lets me see just how much more influential my friends like David, Loïc and Sabbah are than me. “Sources” lists outgoing links, which can be useful, and “Neighborhood” matches one’s blog up with other blogs that have links or terms in common. I’m unsurprised to see Jewels in the Jungle as one of the blogs in my neighborhood, as it’s a blog I hugely admire, but the others are new to me. More to explore.
Anyway, if you’re interested in who’s looking at your blog, or a blog you’re a fan of, Blogpulse’s new tools are certainly worth a close look. I’m pretty blown away by them and get more impressed the more closely I look at them.