The changing landscape of blogging

What? My Technorati Authority rating is down to 188? Wait? How? It was at 198 just hours ago? To make matters worse it was at 251 in June.

What happened? Where did all the links go?

Don’t worry…I have a theory…here me out.

First of all please do not think that I am all hung up on my ranking within the edublog community. No, I just find the whole thing fascinating. So here’s my thought.

Technorati Authority is based on the incoming links to your blog over the past 6 months. Meanings every day you drop a day and add a day to maintain your 6 months of incoming links. From that and some other data like who those links are coming from it figures out what your Authority is.

Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has.

So why over the past 6 months have I seen a falling tend in my authority ranking?

First…it’s not just me.

Using Scott McLeod’s Top 50 P-12 Edublogs posted in June 2008. I went back to see how other blogers authority rankings have been doing.

Cool Cat Teacher Blog: June 2008=550         Nov 2008=430

2 Cents Worth: June 2008=559          Nov. 2008=404

Stephen’s Web: June 2008=708     Nov. 2008=620

Weblogg-ed: June 2008=897      Nov. 2008=604

Dangerously Irrelevant: June 2008=413     Nov. 2008=310

What the heck happened? Why, across the board everyone has dropped in authority?

So I started thinking…what happened about 6 to 8 months ago that changed? What happened to bloggers and blogging? Why are there less people linking to blog posts and reflecting on them? Has the writing gotten worse? Or has something changed?

One word!

Like it or not Twitter has changed the way we communicate. Twitter has taken all those links that we use to put on our blogs and has shifted them to a different place, to a new conversation.

I’m just as gulity as the next twitterer. I use to blog about good posts that I found. Now I just write: Great post from @? you have to read this http://?????

As I bounced this theory off of Kim and Chrissy over the last couple days it made more sense. Kim recalls going to NECC in Atlanta (two years ago) where there were only a hand full of us twittering. (There’s a picture somewhere of me hacking a flatscreen to put twitter on a TV at the blogger’s cafe). That was about 24 months ago. I would say somewhere around 10 to 12 months ago the dam broke and twitter for educators hit mainstream. Somewhere around 8 to 10 months ago educators started to shift the conversation. Started using twitter as a place for links and personal conversations and blogs became the well thought out personal posts.

Start looking at blog posts. Very few anymore refer to something another blogger wrote. Most link to a blogger about something they did, a project they are working on together, but very few blog posts reflecting on what other bloggers wrote.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing, I just think the landscape of what blogging is, is changing.

Add to that the fact that bloggers are blogging less because they are twittering more we end up with less blog content to actually read and link to therefore once again driving down the links coming and leaving blogs.

So where does this all lead?

Teacher: “So should I start a blog, or get involved in Twitter?”

Answer: Both!