SocialRank revisited

On December 10th, I published a post entitled Who is SocialRank?. This was because I had received the following email, purportedly from SocialRank’s “Contact Manager”:

Hi there,

We have just launched a new community page on that shows you the popularity of every London blog and … today your blog, has made it into the TOP 10!

Since the launch of 2 months ago, we have made major improvements – thanks to all your feedback!

You can now:
– view the top London stories of the day, the week and the month
– keep yourself continuously updated with weekly email alerts
– see how popular your blog is compared to your peers every day

So, why don’t you tell your readers about your outstanding ranking?

Simply do it by adding our SocialRank badge to your blog. Then, you can instantly monitor your rank in real-time.

Plus, by adding the badge, you will be listed as a featured blogger and get a link back to your blog.

You can see your ranking here:

Let me know if you need assistance with the badge.
And please do drop some feedback if you feel there are more room for improvement.

Kind regards,

SocialRank Community ManagerLondon.

PS: We’ve launched a couple of other SocialRank powered sites,

Now, you know me. I am not at all cynical. It would never occur to me to compare a site that, without consulting me and without me applying for the privilege, makes me one of the top 10 blogs in London with one of those spam emails that tells you that you have won a major prize in a lottery you have never heard of and certainly didn’t buy a ticket for.

Well, actually, that is exactly what did occur to me.

But fair’s fair and let’s give everyone a chance before condemning them out of hand. I replied to Caroline thus:

As you seem to be quite new, I don’t know what to make of you. So I will adopt a wait-and-see approach.



I had to wait quite a while for a reply but, eventually, on December 14th, one arrived:

Hi Silver,

Sorry to answer you so late…

Yes, the London community is quite new.

I am glad to hear you like it so far!

That’s already a good step, keep on checking on us and I hope that you will write about us in the near future.

We are open for new ideas, so feel free to give me some feedback!

Kind regards


Reading my email, can you see where I said I “liked it”? Neither can I. So I replied as follows:

I did not say I liked it. I said I would wait and see.

I have expressed my doubts and questions in the following post:

Feel free to add a comment if you wish.

I thought it only right, in view of the suspicions I had expressed, to draw Caroline’s attention to my post and to offer her the opportunity to reply. It is now December 21st and there has been no reply, either privately by email or in the form of a comment to my blog post.

You can interpret this in various ways. For example, it might be that, despite advertising my blog as one of the top 10 in London, SocialRank still does not consider it a worthy forum for giving information about themselves. Or maybe it is because my suspicions contain more than an element of the truth and they do not care to try to defend the indefensible. Only a cynic would think the latter, of course.

The cynic’s thinking might continue thus: What better way to publicize a new Web site – and to encourage people to pay good money to advertize on it – than to get a lot of naive bloggers excited about it, to discuss it and publicize it on their blogs? What do they call it – viral marketing?

Well, all I can say is: thank my lucky stars that I am not a cynic.


About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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4 Responses to SocialRank revisited

  1. emalyse says:

    Cynic is my middle name but I guess the social exploitation aspect of social networking start-ups means many are bound to incorporate viral marketing techniques. If it’s a useful service it’ll thrive and on the other side of the social networking coin, people as users, will decide whether they live or die based on this delicate balance between being a valued service vs being exploited for profit.

  2. SilverTiger says:

    What concerns me is the deceit. A service that is prepared to be deceitful is unlikely to operate for the benefit of those it exploits.

    In the interview you kindly provided the link for, they say they rate blogs on

    1. Number of comments;
    2. Number of links;
    3. “Quality”, as detected by special software.

    This is obviously untrue because my blog has few comments and few links and this claim of “software that detects quality” is rubbish: there can be no such thing.

    My guess is that they pick blogs more or less at random, hoping that the suckers they choose will display their button and that this will gradually spread as other suckers get taken in.

    SocialRank could have replied to my post and email but, despite inviting “feedback” and claiming they listen, they have not done so. We are thus at liberty to draw appropriate conclusions.

  3. Mike says:

    Hi there,

    This is Mike from the SocialRank team. I just wanted to take a moment to get back to you. First, the reason that Caroline was not able to respond to you quicker is that she was traveling half way around the world to be back with her family for the holidays so I hope you understand why she was not able to get back to you in time.

    Second, our site is still in beta and at the moment you are indeed one of the top 10 blogs of the blogs that we have identified here:

    Relative to those other bloggers, even with the limited number of comments and backlinks that you receive, your blog makes it into the top 10 list. Now, perhaps we have missed out on a lot of better London blogs. If yes, then it means we will further need to improve our coverage.

    Lastly, I hope you will see that all we are trying to create and provide is an exciting new service that enables passionate readers to discover the top stories of the day and passionate bloggers to see which blogs are creating the most buzz in their community. In categories where our coverage is already excellent you will hopefully agree that SocialRank is already working quite well. For example, take a look at or

    Happy holidays and let me know if you have any more questions.

  4. SilverTiger says:

    Thank you for replying finally.

    I have to say that I do not think you answer my points adequately. For one thing, I think that you should explain exactly how you rate blogs. The fact that you do not do so is troubling – to me at least. For example, I wonder how you even identify a blog as a “London blog” short of reading them all which seems unlikely.

    Anyway, we have both expressed our point of view and, short of you giving us a fuller explanation of your methods, there seems little point in pursuing the argument further at this stage.

    I will wait and see how the situation evolves and in the meantime reserve the right to remain sceptical.

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