Bubbles in the blogosphere

A slightly confusing site I must admit, Alpha Inventions seems to have caught the interest of the blogosphere lately.

The main idea seems to be to display the frontpage of a blog, and every few seconds cycle to a new blog. If the viewer wishes, they can click on a displayed blog. A blog is more likely to be displayed if a.) The blogger writes a post about Alpha Inventions, (I believe that this is equivalent to having hits directed to the site from your own blog) or b.) if the URL of a blog post is entered into an input box on the Alpha Inventions site. In the absence of either of these things happening, (which grows increasingly unlikely as the site becomes more popular), the site also seems to search out and display some blogs randomly.

Point “a.)” was assertained by visiting the site via my own blog, without having posted anything specifically relating to the site (until now), and then noting the subsequent rise in pageview stats. It should be noted that the hits only seem to be to the frontpage, with very little ‘browsing’ within the blog (e.g. no effect on individual post stats, clicks from within the blog by visitors, or comments). I wonder if the act of displaying the blog itself on Alpha Inventions counts as a ‘hit’ – although the developer claims that this is not the case.

I’m not sure how this will work in the long term as more and more blogs are added to the queue/list/whatever. The site will presumably become saturated.

I’m a bit skeptical about the site, as I have personally found it a rather simple process in the past to find blogs which are relevant to my own areas of interest/research, using Technocrati etc., and by browsing other people’s blogrolls. At the moment Alpha Inventions has no search or weighting functions, so you’re most likely to come across a large number of blogs irrelevant to your own interests (which indeed I have).

The other thing the site seems very good at is creating discontinuities in pageview statistics. Not necessarily a good thing for anyone interested in monitoring ‘natural blogosphere growth’, or sporting a borderline OCD.

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3 thoughts on “Bubbles in the blogosphere

  1. Alexandra Kitty says:

    Alpha has an upside and downside — the upside is that you would come across blogs that you would not normally consider — for example — blogrolls usually list like-minded blogrolls and I find Technorati to have the same problem — if you’re narrow-minded, you’ll miss out with those traditional methods. Alpha Inventions is more of the “try it, you’ll like it” — giving exposure to an audience that may not have been looking for you in the first place. That part of it I admire.

    The downside is that the spikes can be temporary — someone could have clicked on your blog, but it’s not necessarily a steady audience.

    What blogs need is a fostering or nurturing that blogrolls and Technorati fail to give — what Alpha Inventions is at least addressing — but it needs it in a slightly different way. Alpha Inventions is still fairly new — and it’s an idea worth supporting, but it needs to grow and experiment. I won’t knock it…

  2. Amitabh says:

    There is yet another way of utilizing AI. You can actually submit your blog – before it gets knocked off, I mean. Or go for a paid submission which will guarantee that your blog will remain in the reading cycle for some period of time.

    And I have had people visiting my blog and commenting — like I and Alexandra have done now.

    I wouldn’t have found you if it were not for AI.

    Cheers!

  3. physicsandcake says:

    I do think that it’s a good thing in general – I just worry what number of blogs would be able to sign up to a paid service with guaranteed pageviews before the site became so saturated that people would have to wait an extremely long time to get their money’s worth in the ‘queue’.

    As a freebie traffic-boost I can’t complain too much! 🙂 I’ll certainly keep an interested eye on the project!

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