We’ve had a lot of discussion internally over the past few weeks about how you can determine a blogs influence and if its an important number to know. There are the current favourite methodologies involving Alexa reach numbers, Technorati influence and Google page rank which do give you an idea of how well read and linked to a blog is, but it doesn’t give you the whole story. Dave Armano illustrates this point perfectly with his 2006 blog entry on influence ripples from which he produced this diagram influenceripple which shows how even low tier bloggers influence the higher level bloggers all the way up to the tier 1 heavyweights. You can see this in the tech space with the position of Dave Winer vs. say Robert Scoble. Whilst Dave’s technorati ranking and authority is a lot lower than Scoble’s he actually has massive influence over Scoble as when ever he posts something you can pretty much guarantee that Scoble will pick up on it, pushing what Dave is talking about to a wider audience. So Dave is in one of those smaller level 2 ripples effecting the level 1 Scoble. So who is more important, Scoble for getting the message out or Winer for coming up with the ideas in the first place. So what does this show us? Well I believe that it demonstrates that the current methods for determining the influence of a blogger, whilst a reasonable metric have major flaws and I think that the next iteration of blog influence measuring is going to involve not only the techniques that are currently in use but also techniques that show how the ideas contained within blog posts propagate - ‘River of News’ being a prime example. Then and only then we will be able to find out who the true influencers are.