Friday, October 08, 2010

Mapping Australia's blogosphere - identifying key influencers for communicators

If you're seeking to communicate with Australians it is wise to step beyond traditional media channels and investigate how to engage through Australia's blossoming blogosphere.

The Australian blogosphere is the collective term for the entire ecosystem of Australian blogs - how they interconnect, how ideas (memes) spread and how links allow audiences to flow between them.

Dr Axel Bruns, an Associate Professor in the Creative Industries Faculty at the Queensland University of Technology, is currently researching the extent of Australia's blogosphere and the connections between individual blogs.

To achieve this he is using a range of computer-assisted tracking and mapping tools to build a visual map of our national blogosphere, mapping close to 3.4 million links and 8,300 blogs (which he acknowledges is highly incomplete).

He has been using data collected during the Federal election campaign, allowing him to particularly observe the flow of ideas across politically-orientated blogs - allowing him to test some interesting hypotheses.

Alongside this he's mapped distinct clusters of blogs based on their topics - light green for politics, red for parenting, yellow for food blogs, green for arts and crafts and light blue for design and style.

Taking the colours and looking at the connections and relative sizes of the different blogs it becomes possible to identify the most important connectors and influencers - the blogs that a communicator would wish to build strong relationships with.

I've included an image of this work below (marking where my blog 'lives').

To learn more about Dr Brun's work, check out his blog, Mapping Online Publics and particularly the posts, First Steps in Mapping the Australian Blogosphere and Mapping the Australian Blogosphere Some More.

Map of the Australian Blogosphere - view a larger version in this PDF


  1. Wow, Massive undertaking Dr Axel Bruns has on his hands. I would have thought that would be a never ending operation as new blogs are born every day.

  2. A brilliant find of Dr Axel Bruns incredible work - thanks for sharing

    do you know if it is able to identify where people have more than one blog - as this would potentially reveal more connectedness ?

    ps has @ValdisKrebs seen this ?