March 4, 2003

· Internet

In the space of 24 hours I have transformed myself from a “crunchy crustacean” to a large mammal. Now that’s evolution in action. I can only hope the process doesn’t work the other way just as easily. Like Daniel Drezner I worry that this blog ranking business is all a bit of an adolescent popularity contest. On the other hand, Drezner is a mere “flippery fish”, so of course his opinion matters not a whit.

Update: I don’t normally talk to the flappy bird crowd, but someone told me that Chris Bertram has claimed my large mammal status is some kind of fraud. Just the kind of thing you’d expect from someone as far down the food chain as him. Unfortunately he seems to have a point. A bunch of the inbound links to my site come from my old server. The odd thing is that (i) I didn’t submit the old server to the Ecosystem database, and only submitted blogs are counted, (ii) All the blog-related files on my old server are long deleted, and no such links really exist, and (iii) All that’s there now is a simple directive (a mod-rewrite line in the .htaccess file, if you’re interested) that bounces requests for to the new server at So I don’t know why the ecosystem is picking up those as links. One possibility is that they are links from someone else’s site to my old server, which then get bounced to the new one, and the ecosystem is picking them up that way. In which case they’re real links after all and not fake Enron-type double accounting measures to make me more popular. I don’t need to resort to that sort of stuff. Of course I don’t. The alternative—being forced to hang out at the chess club with Drezner or something—is simply unthinkable.

At any rate, I think Technorati seems to be the most accurate weblog ranking sytem around right now. And Chris outscores me heavily on that one.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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