Some research by a University of Amsterdam researcher and Buzzmetrics support the principles behind the Conversational Index, namely that having lots of comments (they didn’t look at trackbacks, lamentably) is an indicator of a blog’s importance:
New Research Paper (DRAFT): Large Scale Study Looks at Comments Posted on Weblogs (8 pages; PDF)
This time the prolific Dr. Gilad Mishne from the University of Amsterdam and Natalie Glance from Buzzmetrics have written (what we’re linking to is a draft) about their research into commentary left of weblogs. This paper will be presented at a blogging ecosystem workshop during the WWW2006 conference next month. We’ve posted several other new papers by Dr. Mishne here and here during the past couple of months including one focused on blog search.
And the results?
These tables show the relationship of comments and popularity.
I can’t translate this data to the CI model (because of the lack of trackbacks), it strongly supports the metric (although, I didn’t consider the size of comments — since I don’t have an easy way to get those numbers). And I am suprised that the authors didn’t come up with a formula like the Conversational Index, themselves.