PostRank goes bump

I removed something from my blog today. Well, from the sidebar, actually. All right, all right — that is hardly the Times relaunching, I am aware of that, but it is still noteworthy for two reasons : one, it was the most recent addition there. Two, I removed it as a matter of, well, exorcism will have to do.

The item I removed was a pretty inconspicuous link to the aideRSS ranking of my blog’s feed items. I you missed Kit Meredith’s post extolling its virtues, aideRSS is a free web service that will swallow your blog’s feed (any feed, really, it doesn’t need any kind of subscription) and, after some rumination, spit out a ranking of your posts, which it calls PostRank. The FAQ tersely states that « PostRank™ is a scoring system that we have developed to rank each article on relevance and reaction [my emphasis]. ». The idea is to define sub feeds of, say, the top 10 % posts, so people can subscribe to these instead of the whole feed. Which sounds rather neat.

So what’s wrong with it ?

Nothing at first sight, which is exactly why I included the link in the sidebar (the much more informative widget provided is unavailable for hosted blogs, as it requires JavaScript to work). After all, if it helps my readers, it’s a good thing.

What made me wonder if that was the thing to do was what I discovered when I had a look at what aideRSS considers my « top 20 » posts (click on the screenshot for a larger picture) :

PostRank de Rheta’s World le 12 Mai 2008

I mean, I can more or less agree on the inclusion of four posts among the top five. The reaction numbers (which aideRSS computes from the number of comments, Google blog search hits, Diggs and bookmarks linking to your post — although oddly enough, its count is slightly off from the ones the services themselves provide) are mostly corroborated by the reader statistics of The fifth one, my interface rant, is the odd man out. Obviously, that is one case where aideRSS does its magic computing relevance. Independently from any feedback numbers.

So why remove the link ? Was I miffed by some patent pending, trademarked Google-ish algorithm showing me it knows more about my posts’ relevance than I, as the author, do ?

Wish it was that.

I removed the link because I was frightened — frightened to death by seeing what aideRSS considers the seventh most relevant post on my blog. Ever. See for yourself : Continue reading


When I read about the readability grade badges for blogs on Critic’s Rants, I knew I just had to get mine. So, without further ado, here it is :

High school

Now, if I knew what to make of that… Either I write a less idiosyncratic style than I give myself credit for, or my English is just too bad for any kind of serious literacy.

Move completed

Well, Rheta’s World has moved to WordPress. I never was entirely happy with Blogger’s limitations, especially its choice of designs, most of them, frankly, butt ugly. The custom design I used was cute enough, but as a legacy one it was not not accessible to the widgets (don’t go and check, it’s gone). With the move, the blog has a better structure, a clearer look (a tad cool maybe, but heck, it’s readable at least) and a cute box referring to my brand new account (hint, hint).

Bookmark this post…

A vos marques, prêts,…

…partez. Voilà que je me retrouve avec un blog. Terriblement à la page, la Rheta, de nos jours où même les ministres ont leur blog. N’empèche que l’envie m’en tenaillait depuis pas mal de temps, alors pourquoi pas ? Au pire, personne ne le lira. Au mieux ? A voir…

Ceci est le premier article francophone sur ce blog. Il en sera aussi le dernier. Les suivants seront en anglais, car mes amis sur SL Y-K-W sont anglophones dans leur large majorité. C’est pour eux que j’écris. Amateurs de francophonie, ne m’en voulez pas.

Bisous, Rheta