Mediagazer Leaderboard: A Ranking System That Isn't Insulting, That Actually Works

Mediagazer Leaderboard_1274130198545.jpg
When Dan Abrams' media news site Mediaite debuted, they also unveiled a proprietary ranking system of media personalities they called the Power Grid. It was met with a mixture of jeers and boos, as was the new one they launched for Abrams Media's sports site: in a time where media jobs were falling by the wayside, the last thing anybody in the media industry wanted (or more importantly: needed) was a ranking system based on proprietary algorithms that create an average that means absolutely nothing. Which their Power Grid is. It's of absolutely little use except for people stupid enough to take other people's secret rankings systems as a way to discern who they should (and shouldn't) pay attention to.

Thankfully, something new has come along, and it actually appears to have functionality.

Mediagazer - a crib-sheet like media news aggregator from the people behind TechMeme, which is the same thing, but for media news - debuted their new Mediagazer Leaderboard today. It's essentially a snapshot of who's appearing on Mediagazer the most, and the most prominently.

The ranking is based on a variable we call presence - the percentage of headline space a source occupied on Mediagazer over the past 30 days. The greater a site's presence, the higher they appear on the list.

For one thing, they're frank about their intentions, and not coy, and entirely self-aware:, all mistakes Mediaite made on their launch. Observe:

While we suspect that the release of the Leaderboard will further inflate egos and perhaps settle a small bet or two, we hope you can use the Mediagazer Leaderboard to discover just how strong some of the media voices around you are.

Granted, MediaGazer's leaderboard will experience its fair share of criticism: the bizarre way they separate sources from the same brand (for example, a Runnin' Scared story - which is from a Village Voice blog - and a Village Voice story will be counted separately) or that the aggregation of Mediagazer, where the scores come from, is a technically subjective process (as in, there's somebody deciding what stories are the most discussed, and thus, ending up on the site).

But as far as useful tools go, this one could get some mileage out of people who aren't just obsessed over their own ranking within it. If anything, it'll be fun to watch the tides of news cycles, and the evolution of who's getting to own them. Given the results on the board right now - and like the evolving trend of the last few years that shows smaller media mom-and-pop organizations now overshadowing their monolith brethren - watching this thing...could get interesting.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]

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