It’s all of them!
Well it is.
There are a few ways of measuring “influencers” in Irish Blogging.
You could measure using traffic.
Though right now unless people open up their stats (My personal blog over on Mulley.net has public stats, see bottom of the page) you can’t get accurate stats. Niall has opened up his too. Sites like Alexa might help. Paul created a list of 179 Irish blogs and their traffic estimates using Alexa so this might give you a snapshot.
You could measure using Technorati.
Ye wha? Technorati is a bit of a blog search engine and a blog ranking thingymajig. I’m not sure that it knows what it is anymore but it does rank blogs by the numbers of links that they have and gives you a rank compared to others. If a lot of websites link to you then this is a measure of value, a rough one but a measure. Google started off with the idea that links were quite important and still basically believe that.
You can use Technorati to compare the rank of one blog to another, the lower the rank, the more “powerful” the blog. Justin Mason created a handy resource a while back for Irish Blogs that allows you to see a list of the best ranked Irish Blogs. It’s here.
But in a democratic world…
Influence online is about getting your voice heard, not how loud the voice is. The truth will out, all comments trickle down, out and up eventually.
At the recent IIA Social Media Working Group feedback forum on their Blogging Whitepaper I believe someone suggested (I tuned in via Twitter) that you check out those blogs talking about you and if a response is needed (I guess if someone is complaining about your service) then create a response plan based on their Technorati influence. Picking the most influential ones to respond to and cutting off the rest. That’s oldschool thinking there.
Every single blog has the potential to be the next big player, the influencer of an influencer. If a blog has a single reader or subscriber or can be found on Google then they should get a response. Besides which, if someone takes the time to write about your product, it should be worth responding to no matter what. Naturally they are exceptions. Fools exist, giving them air wastes more air.
Someone suggested you wouldn’t have the time or resources to respond to all bloggers. Make some. Blogging is democratic and bloggers respect and enjoy opinions from other bloggers with all sizes of audiences. If you respond to the top 20 bloggers based on traffic or Technorati rank and no more, what about that blogger in the same niche you ignored? Are they subscribed to by an “influencer”? Then you’re hosed if they are, it’ll trickle up.
Anyway, surely if the world is talking about your product you’re either doing something really really good or really really bad?
Obviously we don’t like the word “influencer”
But if it’s not responding to bloggers but working with bloggers, what should you be doing? Well, what area are you doing Online PR or Online Marketing in? Find Irish blogs that match that. You’ll find them by searching for keywords on IrishBlogs.ie.
Of course there’s a whole other blog post about the best way to work with bloggers and you’ll read it here soon but read this PDF as homework first. It’s from Shift Communications and is about the best one pager on how to work with and approach bloggers.