Microsoft on Blog Rolls and Ranking Blog Content

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.

Smarter Blogroll: An Exploration of Social Topic Extraction for Manageable Blogrolls

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.

Ranking blog content

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.

9 thoughts on “Microsoft on Blog Rolls and Ranking Blog Content”

  1. All I can say is maybe. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if they came up with one, but it would be nice if they offered something new and useful with it if they did.

    The ideas in the patent application could be applied to a desktop search, blogroll widget, custom blog search, browser feed reader, web-based feed reader, or a blog search engine.

    Instead of assigning more value to a topic based upon the “popularity” of a specific blog (the way that a technorati does with “authoritative sources”), it might look at specific posts and the comments and trackbacks and links to that post to see whether or not it should rank highly for a topic discussed within it.

  2. I thought of MyBlogLog when reading it, too.

    There are parts that are similar.

    I wouldn’t mind having a way to tell what the people in myblog roll were writing about, and linking to, in a quick glance.

    If Yahoo could show a “what people are reading” based upon the different folders in my Bloglines reader, that would be great.

  3. Could you give us a summary of the second patent there? It’s a bit hard sometimes to understand the language used in patent filings (it’s certainly not what I consider English :)).

  4. I think the fact oft Microft dealing with professional search engine optimization has it’s charm. Maybe the quit business of computer software and do SEO now.

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