Blogging Influence

On the last day in July just before an August hiatus, I put up a posting called “Blogging, Health and Journalism” where I provided thoughts on different classifications of bloggers in the context of healthcare.  And while I think there are different types of bloggers that provide some consideration when trying to assess the environment for solid outreach, another factor when doing so involves assessing the influence of bloggers.  That, I said, is a matter for another posting – and this is the posting.

But not THE posting.  By that I mean that what is offered here is not THE definitive way to assess blogger influence, but it is a means that I have found handy, though not labor-free.

Who is going to pass along your message?  Assessing blogging influence is elusive.  Traffic is one means of course, but traffic alone does not tell the whole story and if a blog is a subdomain of a much larger domain then it can be a head-scratcher.  There are some tools that help you understand your own influence as a blogger and to analyze your own traffic, but assessing someone else’s can be a challenge.

Here is what I have been doing.  Nearly any blogger worthy of interest also has a Twitter feed.  The Twitter feed allows the blogger to cover more subject matter than can be done in writing individual postings, but it also serves as a driver of traffic back to the blog.  Therefore, I conduct an analysis of the Twitter feeds of bloggers as a surrogate to assess their influence as a blogger.

Exact science?  No.  Have I found it useful?  Yes.

And here is the next part.  A lot of people will not like this, but here goes.  I get the Twitter handles of bloggers in a particular field – say a disease specific area like diabetes.  I run their twitter feeds through KLOUT, not for the KLOUT score, though I will look at that, but to see who the blogger influences and who they are influenced by.

I then put this information into a table and what usually takes shape is a snapshot of who influences who.  It may be very diverse, and therefore, not terribly useful.  But I have done it where there are a few blogger twitter handles that repeatedly show up as influencers in the space.  When that happens, I know that these are the bloggers who, if successful outreach is made, are the ones who will be able to best reach others.  These are my influential bloggers because, of course, they will tweet their own blog postings, which then can reverberate throughout the Twittersphere.

As I said, a little labor intensive, but it truly can help define an environment.

Got your own method?  Feel free to share.

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