June 04, 2002
My Plans For Galactic Domination Come To Fruition

N. Z. Bear's map of the Blogosphere is very impressive. It looks like a cross between a galactic starchart and a spider web (one with lots of embalmed flies on it).

It's not clear exactly how the final layout was done. Is the idea to put those with the most links to each other closer together? Larger dots means more links, and these are for the most part closer to the center, but the chart is suspiciously symmetrical, and N. Z. Bear talks about tweaking it. I suppose I should read up on the Pajek software -- assuming the instructions aren't in Slovenian -- and see for myself.

So who is at the center of the Blogosphere? That is difficult to calculate precisely, but it appears to be a tossup between a microbe named Frank Cagle who covers Tennessee politics -- hence no doubt his proximity to InstaPundit -- and me, Dr. Weevil, roughly half way between the two largest and brightest stars, InstaPundit and VodkaPundit, though a bit closer to the latter.

Of course, if no spider is available to occupy the center of the web, a weevil (or a 'grasshoppa') is the next best thing: at least it's an arthropod. Somehow N. Z. Bear seems to think weevils are small mammals. (Update: after the latest readjustment, I'm a Large Mammal and a Penultimate Link Slut. Put those together and what do you get? A goat, I guess, or a Bonobo. Also, I probably shouldn't be ungrateful, but 'penultimate' does not mean what N. Z. Bear seems to think it means.)

Speaking of insects and small mammals (particularly rodentia and mustelids):

For an encore, how about a map of the Bogusphere, N. Z. Bear? Show us just how Media Whores Online, The Guardian, WarbloggerWatch, and all their friends and allies relate to each other.

Here are some other things I'd like to see a knowledgeable person calculate:

  1. Most shameless blogger, Part I: Who is the most Desperate Blogger, handing out links promiscuously, while getting the fewest in return?
  2. Most shameless blogger, Part II: Conversely, who is the most Selfish Blogger or (if we're feeling nice) the most aloof, handing out the least links, while getting the most in return?
  3. Who is the most Populist Blogger, getting the most traffic from the general public with the fewest links (at least relatively) from other bloggers?
  4. Who qualifies as a Bloggers' Blogger, getting the most links from fellow bloggers, along with the least traffic from the general public?
  5. Who is the Most Gracious Blogger, the one most likely to link those lower on the scale instead of those higher up? (This question and the next really only apply to those in the middle of the list. 'Higher Beings' obviously have to link mostly downwards, if they link at all. Microbes will inevitably link mostly upwards, though there could be an all-Microbe screw-the-upper-blogging-classes link list. Is there?)
  6. Conversely, who is the Snobbiest Blogger, linking for the most part only to those higher on the list and disdaining those below? (Is this the same as the Most Conventional Blogger, who links to the same blogs everyone else links to? Is there some way to distinguish the two? The same goes for the previous question: is the Most Gracious Blogger the same as the Quirkiest Blogger, the one with the least predictable or categorizable set of links, or can we distinguish those two?)
  7. Finally, we now have a means of determining who is the Most Sexist Blogger in a scientific fashion instead of using some kind of (un)popularity contest with electronic ballot stuffing. Of course, there is more than one possible definition for 'sexist'. Some might say it is whoever is most likely to link to bloggers of the same gender. Some might say it is whichever older male (or female) blogger has the most links to (usually much younger) female (or male) bloggers much lower on the scale. There may be other possibilities.

All of these should be calculable, and all are more interesting to me than unscientific 'who's the sexiest blogger?' and 'who's the sexistest blogger?' contests. Top ten in each category would suffice. Nominations for all seven categories may be placed in the Comments, but these can only be guesses until the calculations are done, preferably not by me.

Finally, speaking of comments, I will have more Altermania tomorrow, with a reply to the complaints of 'p84269317' about my last Altermanium. Right now, I have 146 pages of final exams to grade before I can go to bed.

Update: (6/5, 8:30 and 9:00 AM)

I have added three more possibilities (5-7) to the numbered list and adjusted the prose elsewhere to match.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at June 04, 2002 09:55 PM

Weevildude -

To answer your question, the final layout was semi-automatically generated by the graphing program I used. I don't claim to understand the full algorithm, but yeah, I think it did tend to put the most highly-linked bloggers in the center.

I then did some manual tweaking, mainly to ensure the weblogs names' didn't overwrite each other, and also spread out the graph to take best advantage of the full page space. But I basically tried to preserve the overall shape; i.e., those that were in the middle stayed in the middle and those on the outer edges stayed there...


Posted by: N.Z. Bear on June 5, 2002 06:35 PM

If VodkaPundit goes Supernova, my little area of space will be bathed by lethal radiation. In short, I pray for the continued and orderly fusion of his blog or I'm fucked.

Posted by: PBR on June 5, 2002 11:14 PM

Fusion Blogs are great

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