A group called linkfluence made a presentation on the "top feminist blogs & sites" on the web. It was quite interesting, especially since I sat between Kim Gandy, President of NOW, and Liza Sabater during the presentation. It was like a really weird episode of Mystery Science Theater.
They had maps for a lot of different issues and blogs to show us that the feminist web (blogs & web sites) are a tight group AND fairly well entrenched in the overall progressive web. Of course, I think progressive should equal feminist, but let's not go there shall we? VLF has the white halo around it and sites that are linked to us here are outlined in black. If the circles are yellow that means I link to them, but they don't link back. Green means we love each other. Red means someone loves me & I don't give them linky love. I love this because I've found a few blogs that I had no idea link to me. New friends!
So what did we learn from this presentation?
- Eleanor Smeal was not buying into the calculations. She made at least 3 comments about it during our plenary. I think that her and Kim Gandy feel that by having thousands of pages on policy & news, that being a huge resouce (which they are) should elevate them higher. BUT as I pointed out to Kim, this calculates your influence by linky love. NOW & Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF) get a lot of linky love, but they don't give much, if any back.
- Engage. I have a Twitter friend who is always ranting about the Twitter elites telling us regular peeps what to do with a simple "Engage me & I'll follow you!" I think this is a simple, almost common sense idea for us bloggers who have been doing this for some time. It's more than just leaving comments, it's engagement.
- Linkage counts. Many of you know how I feel about blogrolls and well, I'm right. Calculated influence is about linkage & blogrolls. But the debate has exploded on Twitter on how well influence can really be calculated.
***First, there is the definition of "feminist web site" that needs to be addressed. The linkfluence team admitted that this was a weakness in their methodology.
***This doesn't even touch on the debate on what feminism is. Does brownfemipower count as a feminist site if she rejects that label?
***And this is about linkage. This blog's URL changed in the last year. As did bfp's blog. This degrades our influence. I saw this on my bull shit technorati rankings after I moved from a blogspot URL to my domain URL.
The debate over the influence not only goes from a certain male blogger being in the original list, but also the lack of WOC or LGBT bloggers on the list.
For institutional organizations, I'll get to them.
For us bloggers, especially us under-the-radar, WOC, individual, LGBTA, non-group bloggers...we need to have each other's backs. Yes, it's fine that we link to Big Feminist Blog who broke a story or had enough writers so that they were the first to blog about the story. BUT we need to do better at linking to each other. I am guilty of this. I spend a lot of my precious blog reading time trying to keep up with the Big Girls when I should be spending that time engaging with individuals.
Don't get me wrong, I love my Big Girl blogs, but it's hard to keep up with them sometimes. There's so much. Perhaps one days I just clear them in my Bloglines and spend that 20 minutes I would have used scanning their headlines & read an entire bfp post (and ya know sometimes it takes that long! hehe...).
But that is if we want to influence each other and raise our collective influence in the blogosphere. Are we satisfied doing our work read but not being labeled influential? Or do we want both? Instead of getting pissy that this blog or that blog got on the list, let's work on creating our own influence not tearing another blogger down. Let's lift each other up.
I guess I need to work on that blogroll, eh?
Other thoughts on the Linkfluence report: