Weblogs and adopter categories

The traditional assessment of the dissemination of information assumes that people fall into adopter categories. These classes of innovativeness have become popular parts of our vernacular: innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority and laggards.

My analysis of the blogdex data has shown that webloggers do fall into such neat buckets. over the course of the past five months, very few individuals have been consistent in their patterns of adoption of memes: sometimes a person finds a meme at the head, and sometimes at the tail. Adopter categories are not a useful tool for understanding the community and their dissemination behavior.

I’ve started using another measure in its place, the number of memes originating with an individual. Instead of biasing originality on consistency, this value relates the propensity of an individual to find and curate powerful ideas. Since most of you will not be at my talk at Sunbelt, I thought I might relay to you some of my results. The top 25 meme producers are as follows:

  1. scripting.com, 149
  2. ncf.ca/~ek867, 104
  3. davelog.com, 91
  4. dangerousmeta.com, 83
  5. randomwalks.com, 82
  6. camworld.com, 78
  7. swallowingtacks.com, 69
  8. themorningnews.org, 67
  9. wannabegirl.org, 66
  10. booboolina.com, 65
  11. zeggelaar.com/log, 63
  12. robotwisdom.com, 63
  13. bulltown.com/dailywebthing, 60
  14. fredleal.com/blog, 60
  15. tonie.net, 59
  16. world.std.com/home/dacha/www/emg/public_html, 59
  17. swaine.com, 57
  18. smartass.nu/blog, 57
  19. doc.weblogs.com, 55
  20. geocities.com/radio_mookie, 54
  21. watnou.com, 54
  22. megosteve.com 53
  23. letsvamos.com/letsblogar, 52
  24. 42.cabaretvoltaire.com, 52
  25. blahblahblog.com, 51

There is more to this measure than a list; not surprisingly it is correlated with many structural features. For instance, the more central an individual is to the entire network, the more probable it is that they are also a meme-originator. This points to either a) good links attracts an audience, or b) popularity makes memes spread. My instinct tells me that the answer lies somewhere in between.

6 thoughts on “Weblogs and adopter categories

  1. Hmmm…. how very interesting. I’m amused that I’m on the list, because I avoid memes like the plague and rarely, if *ever*, participate in them, because I think they are a poor substitute for interesting reading.

    I am proud to say I have NEVER created one.

  2. I’m using meme in the broadest sense.. according to blogdex, you’ve originated 57 links that spread to at least 5 other people. I guess you can’t control who turns your ideas into memes 🙂

  3. I was surprised to see my name on the list, too, considering I have little to no presence in the weblog community and get maybe 100 hits a day, most of which are people from Google looking for dirty pictures, and I do more than my fair share of link-grabbing from larger, more established sites like Boing Boing and MeFi. I’m not complaining or anything, because it’s nifty to be up there, but I just don’t get how exactly you arrived at that conclusion.

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