Friday, October 10, 2008

True colors shining through

By Libby Spencer

I just ran across this post and frankly I don't understand the geekery here. Waxy has invented some new algorithum based on memeorandum links that rates the partisan nature of a blog's linkage. I don't want to download the program myself because my old computer is already really sluggish these days, but I'm really interested in figuring it out because my own blog The Impolitic and The Reaction are both on the list. I get the color code. That's pretty simple.

While most political blogs are extremely partisan, their biases aren't immediately obvious to outsiders like me. I wanted to see, at a glance, how conservative or liberal the blogs were without clicking through to every article. [...]

The colors don't necessarily represent each blogger's personal views or biases. It's a reflection of their linking activity. The algorithm looks at the stories that blogger's linked to before, relative to all other bloggers, and groups them accordingly. People that link to things that only conservatives find interesting will be classified as bright red, even if they are personally moderate or liberal, and vice-versa. The algorithm can't read minds, so don't be offended if you feel misrepresented. It's only looking at the data.

I don't understand the scoring at all. Maybe some tech savvy reader can tell me what our colors are and what the ranking means?

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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  • I'm going to send this to Vivek, one of our contributors (although he's had more important things to do recently, like law school), who's a wizard with numbers.

    It sort of makes sense to me, but I'm not sure what linking they're including. Links in or out? And what happens when we link to, say, a NYT article at Meme?

    The overall scores do seem to reflect partisanship, with a few notable exceptions. The Reaction is sandwiched between Jonathan Martin's blog at the Politico and The New Republic (what, the entire magazine?).

    But take the WaPo, for example. According to this, it's linking behaviour is even more partisan than Mother Jones. But what links are being counted, and how? Is it that liberals are more likely to link to WaPo articles than conservatives?

    Oh, and The Moderate Voice is more partisan than The Reaction? Huh.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 2:24 PM  

  • It's a curious ranking system. Judging from the other answers I got, since I posted this everywhere, the numbers don't mean anything but I think the links need to weighted for context to make any sense. They don't discern between links that are positive and those that mock.

    By Blogger Libby Spencer, at 7:45 PM  

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