Blogging ecosystems

I was never a very big fan of N.Z. Bear’s Blogosphere ecosystem, despite the category names, probably because the minimal overlap with my own ecosystem meant that I only made a brief appearance as a Insignificant Microbe. Even without cute categories, I much prefer fellow Phil’s blogging ecosystem, since starting from and has led it into parts of the web where I know and am known.

Ask Bjørn Hansen’s Organica, with a list of 9686 weblogs at the moment, and a crawler visiting around 800 sites per hour, has the potential to be really interesting, but at the moment it appears to be in need of some industrial strength url munging, to combine things like (a weblog with zero inbound links), (a non-weblog with nine inbound links), (a non-weblog with twenty inbound links) and (ten non-weblogs with one or two inbound links each). Not an easy task, as I can attest from trying to figure out how to collapse multiple urls in my referrals script: and foo may or may not be the same thing, a query string might refer to a post, or a separate blog, or just be there to color someone’s visited link.

BlogStreet combines a top blogs list with a nice neighbo(u)rhood explorer that seems to do a better job of identifying a neighborhood than many I’ve seen. Most of the things in my neighborhood that I don’t read I agree that I should read, but for one reason or another I don’t want to. However, their list of blogs could use a bit of pruning: while I agree that the SoundWaves (blue) : Manila™ Theme is a pretty Manila™ theme, I wouldn’t call it the number 46 weblog in existence.

So, what are these, and what are they good for? Well, truth be told, I’m not quite sure. The two ecosystems are basically popularity contests, and sort of the inverse of Blogdex and Daypop: rather than looking at the newest links in posts, they are looking at the more permanent links in blogrolls. Organica seems to be more of an alternative to Blogdex’s all-time list, but with the option to only look at links to (things it thinks of as) weblogs, bringing it into the ecosystem/popularity sphere. BlogStreet is a neighborhood explorer, pointing out things that are also liked by the people who like a particular blog, but with the top 500 list that brought me around to including it with the others.


Comment by Ask Bjoern Hansen #
2002-08-25 18:11:15

The url munging and a better html parser (to enable more functionality) is high on my list.

I thought I would have time this weekend, but it didn’t turn out that way. In the meantime the system just keeps collecting more ”basis data”, so it’s not all bad.

Some weeks ago when I built what’s there now, I also played with algorithms and sql queries to extract blogdex type data and a system for tracking ”early spotters” (who is always early on the bandwagon for the popular links).

Hopefully I’ll get time soon. :-)

Comment by N.Z. Bear #
2002-09-03 07:17:11

Phil –

I always thought of my ecosystem (and Phillip’s much more robust successor) as an amusement; perhaps slightly useful in seeing what folks were linking to most, but not much more than that. (I also would occasionally deliberately surf the bottom of my list, to see who the really new bloggers were).

A project that might interest you more is a new one where I’m actually collaborating with Phillip Pearson, as well as Dean Peters and a number of other smart folks. We’re working on the Weblog MetaData Initative, which is a project aimed at finding common ways to express metadata about weblogs.

The idea is, if we succeed, we can not only make applications like our Ecosystems easier to build and more robust, but can do much more significant things like provide truly intelligent search capabilities across blogs.

Take a look; we’d welcome your (and anybody’s) input…


Comment by Ask Bjoern Hansen #
2002-12-14 02:09:41

I did the url munging a while ago now.

It was quite simple really,

sub static_rewrite {
$_ = shift;

my $u = URI::URL->new($_);
return ”DELETE” if $u->host eq ””;

$u->host(””) if $u->host eq ”” and $u->path =~ m/.html$/;
if ($u->host eq ””) {
$_ = $u->canonical;

does it so far. And then another similar function that is looking stuff up in the database to avoid duplicates of and etc.

I have a billion other of the standard blogdex, blogstreet, technorati etc things 3/4s done; but what I really want to do is to provide the data in a downloadable format and/or make an API for working with the dataset. That would be fun.

– ask

Comment by Kris #
2004-05-19 15:43:35

i need some ideas for my science project on ecosystems and i dont know how to do my project because i have to use producer (3), primary consumer(3), secondary consumer(3), tertiary consumer(3), carnivore(2), herbivore(2), omnivore(3), decomposer(2), scavenger(2), and 3 abiotic factors for my project and i really dont know what to do or use

Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2004-05-19 20:38:27