The most influential authorities on Business Blogging

To understand who is influential when it comes to "business blogging," the Onalytica Blog decided to measure it.

The chart shows the top 25 influencers on the topic of "business blogging."


How to measure the influence on an issue

When Technorati ranks blogs they count the number of link sources pointing to a blog. So a blog that has 10 inbound links has higher rank than one that has 5 inbound links. So far so good. The blog with inbound links from 10 different sources is clearly more popular than the one with 5 link sources.

However, when they use this measure of popularity as "authority" they are stretching it too far. David Letterman may be popular when it comes to the topic of US national politics, but few would call him an authority on the topic.

To make influence measurements operational (and relevant) they have to be tied to a context (or brand, company, etc.). This is achieved by extracting only those references that are made in the relevant context of focus.

When calculating influence we make the basic assumption that a person references another person if the former thinks the latter is relevant to the context. We assume this logic is systematic, meaning that this is a general reason for referencing others in a particular context.

It doesn't matter that people get referenced for other reasons (perfunctory reasons, reasons from limited knowledge, etc) as long as the same people (or websites, stakeholders, entities, etc) do not get systematically referenced when they are not believed be relevant.

The practical steps to gathering the data and measuring influence on an issue are:

First we define a search criterion. This can be simple or a set of rules. Simple ones typical give best results.

In this case our search criterion was to look for documents (web pages, blogs, pdf files, documents) that either contained the phrase "business blogging" or "business blog".

Using our own issue focused Internet crawlers any document matching the issue was downloaded and analyzed for references. (A reference can be a hyperlink or a textual citation. A textual reference to "The White House" would be treated equal to a link to

The references are extracted from the documents and after some semi-manual consolidation and statistical filtering they are transformed into a massive system of simultaneous equations, consistent with Leontief's directions.

Once the equations are solved we have, viola, the relative influence of each stakeholder of the issue. We term this metric Issue Influence Index™.

The Issue Influence Index™ is a relative and linear measure of influence. It ranges from 1, which can be interpreted as "very little influence, but still more than no influence" and upwards.

An organization with an index of 4 has twice the influence of someone with an index of 2.

Corante is actually a group of well known bloggers operating more or less under a common brand.

Business Week and Forbes
They have published some of the most widely cited articles on "business blogging" and their attention to the topic signals to many an acceptance of "business blogging" in the business media.

Neville Hobson
Neville Hobson is the most influential appearing under his own name. To some more known as the publisher of the popular podcast "for immediate release".

Blogging is related to news and therefore it's not surprising to see the world's largest news organization on the list.

Micro Persuasion
Blog run by Steve Rubel, a famous blogger with a focus on PR. During the week this study was made it was announced that Steve Rubel is joining Edelman, a large PR company with big customers like WalMart. It's not difficult to understand why Edelman poached Mr. Rubel. They are buying a lot of influence on a topic of great interest to their clients.

Seth Godin
I have yet to meet someone who works with the Internet who doesn't know who he is. Well known author and often seen as the inventor of "permission based marketing"

Ross Mayfield
Founder of the company SocialText.

GM Blogs
The entry to General Motors' blogsphere. Often referenced as an example of how a large and relatively conservative organization has embraced business blogging.

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