Much has been written in recent years about the blogosphere and its impact on political, educational and scientific debates. Lately the issue has received significant attention from the industry. As the blogosphere continues to grow, even doubling its size every six months, this paper investigates its apparent impact on the overall Web itself. We use the popular Google PageRank algorithm which employs a model of Web used to measure the distribution of user attention across sites in the blogosphere.
This paper is based on an analysis of the PageRank distribution for 8.8 million blogs in 2005 and 2006. This paper by Lars Kirchhoff, Axel Bruns, and Thomas Nicolai for the Association of Internet Researchers conference in Vancouver, 17-20 Oct. 2007, addresses the following key questions: How is PageRank distributed across the blogosphere? Does it indicate the existence of measurable, visible effects of blogs on the overall mediasphere? Can we compare the distribution of attention to blogs as characterised by the PageRank with the situation for other forms of Web content? Has there been a growth in the impact of the blogosphere on the Web over the two years analysed here? Finally, it will also be necessary to examine the limitations of a PageRank-centred approach.