Trends and Buzz

Technorati undercorrects, Sina to blame

After various sources pointed out that Technorati was seriously undercounting Chinese-language blogs (among other non-English pages), the blog indexing service quickly took action to make sure that China's most popular blog, written by celebrity Xu Jinglei, was included.

Xu Jinglei's blog now tops the list, outpacing even BoingBoing.

This is a serious undercount, says tech blogger Keso. Xu Jinglei's blog is hosted on Sina, whose system draws no connection between a blog's front page and the individual comment pages below it. Front pages are of the form http://blog.sina.com.cn/m/xujinglei, while pages are indexed as http://blog.sina.com.cn/u/46f37fb501000317. Keso says:

We say that the central concept of Web 2.0 is the centrality of the user. A blog is an individual's online identity; it's neither an independent domain name nor an independent URL. But when Sina's blog developers planned its system, they thought not of the users but rather of what was convenient for development. For example, I can search for all returning links to my blog, which includes not only my home page but any individual post as well. But for Sina blogs, you can only search for links to your blog's home page.

What I want to say is that even if Xu Jinglei's blog has claimed the top spot on the Technorati 100, compared with the leading advantages of Boing Boing, it in fact should be much, much higher than Technorati's figures. The vast majority of actual links have been swallowed by Sina's selfish blog system - these links all point to the non-existent blog blog.sina.com.cn/u, or to Sina's blog home page.

So Technorati's figure of 28,151 sites and 45,700 links to Xu's blog are to her front page alone.

Links and Sources
There are currently 4 Comments for Technorati undercorrects, Sina to blame.

Comments on Technorati undercorrects, Sina to blame

Er, you know, the celebrity blogs on Sina seem to me a bit un-bloglike to the degree that they are practically advertised ad nauseum on the Sina home page and the
Sina blog home page. (They remind me more of what will be possible when bustop billboards go completely digital and people like Xu can share their latest random bit of wisdom, or mundane observation about how wonderful their famous friends are, with the waiting masses on every street in every city of China.) I mean, I wonder how many hits Boingboing would get if Yahoo just advertised it 24 hours a day. Also, re: that Sina Blog ranking bar (which doesn't change)... er, what exactly is the point of that? They should call it a Rank-Support System. It is pointless. It's not a ranking index, it's a big billboard ad. Gee, I wonder if Xu is Number 1 and Hanhan Number 2 again today? Whoa, who would have guessed! ("This ranking sponsored by Chicken-or-Egg.com") I've got nothing against Xu's blog -- except that it's sort of vapid and reminds me of the Void toward whose gaping maw we are all plunging -- but Sina's massively and selectively advertised celebrity blogs are depressing in that they exhibit almost exactly the opposite of what made blogs cool in the first place. Also: if there was anyway to rank the quality of comments on any given blog (say, in terms of some kind of IQ analysis based on the content/vocabulary/sentence complexity of the comments), I wonder what kind of rankings would be possible.

By the way...

WHAT IS "TECHNORATI"? I've heard people talk about this mythical site, but because I've never actually been able to venture out side the Great Firewall, I'm not sure what it is. My browser tells me that Technorati is something to which it "can't establish a connection."

Awesome! So, there's a big debate among Chinese bloggers about the ranking of a celebrity blogger on some mythical site rumored to exist "beyond the wall" but which can't really be proved to exist because we can't access it?

Intriguing.
Perhaps Technorati could email its latest ranking results by carrier pigeon?


One of the biggest uses of Technorati is to provide information on which blogs are linking to which other blogs - the rankings really don't mean anything, I don't think, but many people use it to quickly find out (a) what other blogs are commenting on and (b) if anyone has commented on one of their own posts.

It's been available in Beijing up until a short time ago, so you must just be behind the curve there....

What did make blogs cool in the first place? Remember when no one would shut up about Kottke or one of the other blogebrities and what they had for lunch? Sure, Sina's front page is a huge billboard in some respects (and that's pretty much by design), and yes, there are lots of vapid blogs plunging into the maw, but I have just two words for you: LiveJournal. MySpace. There's nothing unique about the China situation, really, except for the current breathless reporting about it in the media.

Interesting that Technorati changed their ranking system, rather than Sina changing their messed-up URLs. I suppose it's part of the "current breathless" pandering to all things Chinese.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
laomo2010x80.jpg
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives