Looks like the folks in Redmond, Washington, are talking about blogs. A new paper and new patent application from Microsoft explore interfaces and algorithms for bloggers and blog users to learn more about topics discussed on blogs.
The paper explores the idea of a smarter blogroll, that might help visitors to a blog learn more about what’s happening behind the names that they see on those blogrolls. Eric Baumer, who worked on the project as a summer intern, provides a nice summary of the Smarter blogroll project.
This paper is interesting in that the smarter blogroll may not have been as successful or as well received at its creators may have hoped amongst the people that they tested it with, but their findings point to some interesting next steps to take.
Another Microsoft effort on blogs, a newly published patent application, provides a detailed look at ways to rank blog content, but doesn’t give much of a clue as to how this method might be implemented, whether through blog search, or blog reader, or incorporated into some other means of providing access to content rankings from blogs.
Should the numbers of trackbacks and comments to blog posts be an indication of the value of their content? Should the relative popularities of blogs, based upon such things as numbers of subscribers, or numbers of backlinks be a determinant in how specific posts should be ranked compared to each other? Those are a few of the topics explored in this patent filing.