Digg and reddit are great ways of learning what's popular on the web. However when you're looking for what's popular in niche blogs, the services are much less helpful. Technorati is also a good place to see what blogs are popular, but not which individual posts.
What if you're only interested in PR blog posts, or stuff about knitting or motherhood or scrapbooking and you want to know what are the hottest posts?
SocialRank has developed an algorithm that does for blog posts what Google's Pagerank does for websites. It is a mathematical deduction of the days hottest posts. The SocialRank algorithm measures blog post's popularity by looking at things like comments and links, and conversations on and off each blog and ranks them based on all blogs in that category.
This week SocialRank launched with a bunch of niche sites (even one for knitting). Two that interest me are:
PRVoices – which tracks PR blogs. I recognize many of the blogs that appear here, so it would seem that the SocialRank team has chosen well. Note that you can nominate your own blog (or another) to be ranked.
MarketingLens – looks at marketing blogs.
I spoke with the founder of SocialRank, Vishen Lakhiani, who is a true internationalist. A Malaysian, he spoke to me from his home in Estonia. "I worked at Microsoft, than in Silicon Valley, but I got tired of my job," Vishen says. "I did some internet marketing and made a bunch of money that allowed us to create several web 2.0 companies. The idea behind SocialRank sites is to show the most popular posts but without regard to popularity of the blogger. For example, Seth Godin is a very popular blogger. Anything Seth writes about, even if he just wrote about his dog, would get links. So we try to dampen the effects of his popularity to find just the ones that are important. We then rank them based on what’s hot."
The team only launched these sites yesterday, and they are working out some kinks, but they are worth a bookmark. I like what Vishen is up to and I hope they succeed. The market needs this take on what's hot.
Vishen also shared some interesting ways the team is working with their algorithm engine that may lead to some cool new offerings. Stay tuned.