Blogged.com, a new blog rating service, officially launches Monday. The service has a decent catalog of blogs in its archive and could be a useful tool if you're looking for blogs on a particular topic, or looking for yet more blogs to read.
There are two types of blog search sites. If you are looking for individual stories or items inside blogs, search tools such as Google Blog Search will do a good job of finding articles. In the other category are the blog directories, such as Blogged.com and BlogCatalog. They're more useful for finding blogs you want to follow regularly. Then there's Technorati, which does both, but isn't nearly as approachable as a directory as Blogged.com.
Blogged.com's value is that it editorially rates blogs in its catalog on a 1-to-10 scale, based on frequency of updates and quality of writing. The rating system is a bit of a black box, since the only review a site gets is the numerical score--you can't see the score breakdown or the supporting opinions of the reviewers. However, the goal is to get users rating the blogs, and if there are enough user reviews, the co-founders told me, that rating will take the place of the Blogged.com team's score. Blog authors can get a widget to put on their blogs that lets readers to rank their sites as well.
Each entry also has a list of "related blogs," a potentially useful feature I'm reserving judgment on, since the results it gave me were pretty random.
Eventually, according to Blogged.com, the service will rate writers in addition to blogs. Bring it on.
The site has its own social network. You can invite friends and share reviews. These features are overkill in a world already saturated by social networks. Fortunately, there's a Facebook application in the works, and the founders plan to integrate other existing networks into Blogged.com, so that users can share the blog favorites with the friends they've made elsewhere.
The site is a big search engine optimization and advertising play. The concept is that blog authors will submit their blogs to the service so that they will be able to benefit from links into Blogged.com's stellar catalog, which should drive them Web traffic. This model paradoxically assumes that blog discovery via search is currently broken, while at the same time relying on these broken search engines as the main door into the site's database. (See also: GenieTown). Although it sounds loopy, there is so much traffic and ad revenue on the major search engines that the model just might work.