For a while now, we've been trying to find a way to make the Power 150 more dynamic so that that it's more reflective of current trends/influences and more fun to watch on a daily basis. After weeks of effort on the part of ourselves and the fine people at AideRSS, we'd like to announce our best stab at achieving these goals with the arrival of PostRank metrics on the Power 150.
Oh, what's PostRank, you say? Here's a brief explanation: PostRank is a service that measures the active engagement of your blog posts. By tracking sources such as Digg, Twitter, Facebook, del.icio.us and Google, activity such as RSS feed subscriptions, comments your posts receive, and good, ol' fashioned, page views, PostRank can measure how well your blog does on a post-by-post basis.
For the Power 150, AideRSS has opened up their API to give us composite engagement scores that sum up blogs as a whole, and we're taking that data and integrating it into our rankings. And we're really going deep this time: PostRank scores will now comprise a full 1/3 (or 50 points) of your Power 150 score.
Why's PostRank so great? For one, unlike other metrics, they provide real-time data. We'll only be grabbing it once a day like any other metric, but you can be reasonably sure that your recent hot post will be accounted for. But here's an even bigger reason: we have a specific time window. For each blog, we're grabbing PostRank scores for only the previous 30 days, an intentionally small window of time. We wanted to make the Power 150 more dynamic and current, and, by basing 1/3 of your overall score on recent activity, we're hoping this will affect rankings in three ways:
- Level the playing field a bit. If you're a king now, you could be demoted within 30 days. If you're at the bottom, you could enter the upper reaches yourself within a month, if you do well enough. Of course, the latter still won't be easy, but hopefully not the insurmountable task it once was, because recent successes will count for more and long-accrued success a little less.
- Encourage people to keep up with their blogs. If you stop blogging for a month (as some of you have -- tsk, tsk), your score will suffer. We don't necessarily want to punish you for taking a break, but we think those who are still active and working should have an advantage.
- Give a better picture of what's happening now. We want the Power 150 to be a more dynamic place, a better reflection of the fluidity of conversations on the web rather than a calcified "Who's Who." It's a pretty lofty goal, but this our best shot so far.
For those concerned about the change, we'd like to point out that 2/3 (100 out of 150 points) of our scales are staying relatively the same. We're ratcheting down the influence of Technorati -- it's going from 60 points total down to a more reasonable 20 -- by halving the worth of Technorati In-Links and In-Blogs (Authority) and eliminating Rank altogether. After going through all of the metrics we have, we decided it was redundant to include both Rank and In-Blogs, since they measure the exact same thing.
To PostRank into our scales, we've also scaled down Yahoo! to 20 points, which also makes it more in line with the relative weights of our other metrics. With this and the Technorati changes, your relative position in all our metrics outside of PostRank should not change much.
While we can't expect everyone to agree the changes we've made, we're hoping that they're what the Power 150 needs to stay relevant and useful for the future. We've got some new features in the works, many of which are now possible thanks to PostRank, and we'll be rolling them out in the weeks and months to come. Please share your thoughts about our changes in the comments, our Facebook group or just drop me an email.