There’s this new service, Wikio, that is trying to rank various blogs. It’s very pretty, but I have to say that ranking is entirely the wrong approach — it simply perpetuates a falsely hierarchical view of the web and acts as a positive feedback system to reinforce popularity; blogs are promoted as popular because they are popular, making them more popular. It’s nerds with computers realizing that gosh, traffic and links are easy to measure, so let’s provide a pigeonholing service that sorts by the simplest, most basic tool we can invent.
This one at least tries to add a qualitative estimate of content by grouping the blogs into categories, like “science” and “sports” and “health”, but too often these are arbitrary and irrelevant, and rife with omissions. The blog listed just below mine is a car blog, for instance; Sandwalk is left out, and Wilkins is included. None of these are bad blogs, but I think it does no one a service to be jumbled up and stacked according to a number that is a sloppy proxy for the quality of the content.
You know what I’ve come to like? Tag clouds. At a glance, you can tell quickly what subjects have come to the fore on a blog that uses them, and you can spot blogs that might address subjects of interest. As for whether it is a good blog on those subjects, I determine that by actually reading a few entries.