Thursday, August 10, 2006

Chandler vs. Hammett, Round II

In a previous post, I compared the number of searches that were being done for Raymond Chandler vs. Dashiell Hammett using the Google Trends utility.

Well, I've discovered a new toy: BlogPulse. BlogPulse provides a variety of tools for analyzing ... you guessed it ... blogs. It has a trends tool like Google does, but instead of analyzing the number of people who are looking for a particular term, it analyzes the number of people who are writing about a particular term in a blog.

As you can see below, the battle between Chandler and Hammett plays out a little differently in BlogPulse.

Chandler still has a consistent edge, but Hammett tracks pretty closely, and on occasion, spikes over him. Which means, I guess, there's much more of a parity in the number of people writing about the two men than there is in the number looking for information about them. And that may not be too surprising since they are often mentioned in the same breath, as in "the hardboiled tradition of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler."

It's interesting, too, to replay the trend graphs for the other mystery writers I listed in the original post. The results are sometimes quite different than they were with Google, particularly for authors who seem to have done a good job of leveraging (on purpose or not) the blogosphere for publicizing themselves and their work. For instance, Barry Eisler is an author who ranks quite differently in BlogPulse compared to Google trends.

Finally, a grim lesson I learned from BlogPulse is if you're looking for blog "ink," there appears to be one sure way to get it.


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