When did bloggers start counting links?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

This post, by Shelley Powers, in 2005, is a treasure trove of lost blogging culture:

Three or four years ago or so, weblogging didn’t seem to be as competitive. Oh, some folks would brandish their web site hit count, and demand we bend down and kiss the dusty hems of their royal robes. But for the most part, we seemed to be a mish-mash of people, some who had more readers than others.

I’m not sure when we started counting links. I think it might have been when we started obsessing about Google page rank. Well, Google in general. About that time, if I remember correctly, sites like Blogdex and Daypop began to count links to stories and post the top linked stories of the day. Getting Slashdotted (or /. to use popular parlance) was a biggie, though I don’t think anyone has ever explained to me the value of being /.

Then other sites came along, like the Ecosystem and more recently Technorati and Bloglines, which maintain a running total of aggregated links, though the technology of these sites has problems with scale much of the time. These sites started posting ‘top lists’, and that was all she wrote, and now this environment is fiercly competitive. About like the technology industry itself, which spawned these lists, so I guess the result isn’t surprising.