I have an interest in approaches to measuring the impact of Web 2.0 services such as blogs – and this is an area of work which is being discussed with our funders, JISC and MLA.
The conventional approach when engaged in such activities could be to carry out a literature search (which of course these days tends to mean Google, especially for Web-related areas of work).
Sometimes, however, rather than having to search for information, the information comes to you. What do I mean by this? On this blog’s admin page I recently noticed a referrer link from a post on the Intelligent Measurement blog which provided details of the Eleven Evaluation Blogs. This contained a link to a list of 11 blogs that focus on evaluation published by the American Evaluation Association (which included the Intelligent Measurement blog).
Incoming links are normally from pages which have a author-created reference to a post on the blog. However last year WordPress announced a new feature on blogs hosted in WordPress.com which “show[s] posts related to yours a little section at the end [of the post]“.
So resource discovery doesn’t have to mean going to a search engine – instead blog posts of interest to you can arrive in your blog based on the title of and content of your blog posts. So if I write a blog post entitled “Metrics For Measuring The Impact Of Blogs” I might discover incoming links for possibly related posts automatically embedded at the bottom of this post.
It will be interesting to see how well this works. And will we be able to say that “blessed are the blog authors for they shall find what they seek”?