Six Apart, the creators of the publishing tool MoveableType have recently relaunched their domain, Blogs.com. Blogs.com is labeled by Six Apart as "The Best In Blogs". Asides from having a killer domain name, especially in this day in age, Blogs.com serves as a human edited blog directory with one large post a day dedicated to the hot topic of discussion. The directory contains around 1,200 different blogs from which to search for content.
You may remember when I reported on Rojo, a free RSS and Atom Feed reader went belly up, only to be replaced by something else in the future. That ‘something else‘ is Blogs.com. Rojo was acquired by Six Apart in 2006 and much of the team as well as their ideas for Rojo have been implemented into the site.
Right now, Blogs.com contains a directory filled with blogging celebrities such as Marc Andreessen and Chris Anderson. In my opinion, the bloggers who don’t make much noise won’t see much benefit from being listed within the Blogs.com directory, at least not yet. Anil Dash claims that:
celebrity Top Ten lists let some of the best-known bloggers on the web guide us through the sites that influence them, helping dig up some undiscovered gems you might have missed.
That may be true, but in all honesty, the big boys and girls in the blogosphere all seem to follow each other in their feed readers so I’m not sure how helpful it will be to publish top ten lists from these people. A better alternative would be to publish top 10 lists from those bloggers who never appear on the radar. This would really give visitors a chance to check out some gems. Thankfully, Six Apart plans on rapidly introducing new blogs into the index and even provides bloggers an opportunity to submit their site to them. I’ve already taken them up on their offer and if you blog, I encourage you to do the same by filling out their simple submission form.
As a side note, if you are looking for ideas on top 10 posts, Blogs.com has an entire section on their site for recent top ten lists.
Blogs.com is no Technorati and they don’t rely on any algorithms to determine which content is highlighted on the front page of the site. However, how can you display hidden gems in the blogosphere without looking like you are irrelevant. There always seems to be a group of stories which make the rounds from one blog to the next, if Blogs.com doesn’t publish blog posts highlighting these stories, why will anyone care about the directory in the first place?
Last but not least, there appears to be a few bugs circulating their MovableType Pro installation. As I was searching for more blog posts on the topic of Web 2.0, I received this error:
Overall, I think Blogs.com is just another place for popular bloggers to become even more popular while lesser known bloggers are thrown into the rubble. Considering Six Apart plans on adding new blogs into the directory, I hope this becomes less of an issue and provides lesser known bloggers the chance to appear on the podium. I like the idea that the directory is human edited by a staff of people which will cut down on just about any spam. As for discovering gems and getting the best out of blogs, I think bloggers who know how to use RSS/FeedReaders do a good job of this on their own. With algorithms on Technorati, POPurls, and other popular data aggregation points, why bother with a hand edited directory in the first place? Are these algorithms not doing a good enough job in presenting the webs best content?
It will be interesting to see where the directory stands six months from now. I’ll be interested in the total amount of blogs within the directory as well as the different categories covered. If you have given Blogs.com a look through, please leave a comment and let me know what you thought. Do you think being accepted into this directory will gain you much in the way of traffic?