Zen and the art of blog directory maintenance

Barbaraanalysts, social media, Tekrati

The Tekrati directory of analyst blogs is easier to use, offers more information and is better integrated with its sister directories, on analysts and analyst firms. What’s more, we migrated the OPML to the latest rev and did an extensive housecleaning on the listings. Richard handled the programming effortlessly, as always. I, on the other hand, am still wrestling with a content issue: new rules for separating a blog from any other form of online journal or commentary. I’m asking for help.

You might be thinking that I’m a little slow on the draw, given that I’m just now pondering the universal truths of Blog, some two and half years into publishing a directory of blogs.

Since the 2005 directory debut, my rule has been this: there must be evidence of blog publishing software and/or blog coding and format standards. That’s what split the blogwashers — my term for analysts using web pages that mimic a blog in a cosmetic way — from the bloggers. Only the bloggers that passed this test made it into the directory.

Fast forward to 2007. I’m feeling increasingly self-conscious about this technology-only premise, and that’s not a good thing. More web content seems to be a hybrid, a blend of blog and other content publishing applications. This results in too much dithering on my part. And, I don’t like to guess. Whether a blog is in or out of the directory should be a simple decision. It should not be subjective. (Other elements are subjective, as it is, like who is and who is not an analyst. That’s another conversation.)

What to do? I don’t think that adding more technology to my filtering criteria is the right approach. After all, any kind of page can be turned into an RSS feed, lots of publishing systems allow reader comments, lots of blog templates perform like traditional websites, and lots of analyst blogs don’t accept comments or have feeds that don’t validate.

Over the weekend, I asked Alan Pelz-Sharpe, author of doingITbetter and an analyst at CMS Watch, for his thoughts. He suggested that both purpose and means of publishing could work as criteria. Here’s an excerpt from his email:

“From my perspective a blog is something that is regularly updated and free for open consumption. I guess it is also a little less edited, and (in the spirit of a diary or weblog) more off the cuff – if something requires more thought and examination then this is not the place for it.”

I’m hoping that some analysts and readers will chime in, through trackbacks via the Tekrati weblog. It would be great to get opinions from the likes of Carl Howe, Mike Gotta, Charlene Li or Josh Bernoff, Dale Vile, James Governor, John Blossom, Stowe Boyd, Jen McClure, Jonny Bentwood, and Erik, and of course, more from Alan. And, you.

Thoughts on the redesigned blog directory would be most appreciated, as well. We’re now in position to add more interesting bells and whistles. What appeals to you, and what does not?

The blog directory starts at analystblogs.tekrati.com.*

*Effective 11 February 2011, The Tekrati Analyst Blogs Directory is no longer available.

Reprinted from Tekrati.