Blogs: French, less sociable than you might have thought (but Italians even less so!)
We have already discussed several times on this blog (most notably in the comments) the fact that French bloggers seem to link to one another with far less regularity than their American counterparts. I had wanted to avoid stereotypes - the disciplined Germans, complaining French and romantic Italians etc. - and approach this with an open mind. Still, the results are fairly clear cut: each country has a different approach to Web 2.0.
I worked out the proportion of links on the blogs of the various countries in the Wikio database for September 2008. The results are clear: The US is well out in front with 0.17 links per post, or one link for every 6 posts. Then comes Germany, followed by the UK and then France, which has half the proportion of links of the United States (0.08 per post or one link for every 12 posts published). Then finally comes Spain and Italy. Cliches aside, it's funny to see the the Anglosaxons and Germans on one side, and the Latin countries on the other, the two flanking the French who sit slap-bang in the middle.
Even more interesting is to see the results separated by link type: to another post or to a blog's homepage.
|Country||to a post||to homepage|
You will notice that the different rates are essentially those of links from post to post: links to homepages occur in pretty much the same proportions from country to country (with a slightly higher rate for France). French, Spanish and Italian bloggers link to other posts 4 times less than Americans do.
These results lead me to two remarks:
1. First off, they explain the difficulties one encounters in trying to make a memetracker work in several countries - one which tracks 'hot' discussions by following post-to-post links. The example of Techmeme seems a difficult one to recreate in other cultures: for example Wikio's memetracker works better in the US than in France, where the discussions are less easily aggregated. New ideas are needed!
2. Also, as I explained in my last post [Fr], the Wikio rankings do not currently take into account links to homepages. This was a way of combating "chains", but (having seen your reactions and comments) we will evidently have to rethink this one too!