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The Feminist Web According to Linkfluence

BY Sarah Granger | Tuesday, February 3 2009

At last year's Personal Democracy Forum conference, Linkfluence gave a remarkable visual presentation about the political web under "Presidential Watch 08." The crowd responded favorably, particularly when we could see spheres of influence like the Obama and McCain websites with respect to progressive and conservative blogs. The data is fascinating to observe. Yesterday in Washington, they gave a similar presentation at the Fem 2.0 conference on the "Feminist web."

Fem 2.0 was a one-day conference dedicated to the discussion of how to advance the agenda for women's issues like equality in pay, healthcare, and reproductive choice, but engaging through new media and online outreach. It was an open nonpartisan event, but it was attended by mostly progressive women. The two questions I had for Linkfluence: how they determined which sites were feminist sites, and whether they would release the information as public data, were answered quickly.

Viewing the feminist web (u: fem2pt0 ; p: linkfluence), we see that feministing.com and feministe.us/blog, two of the bigger sites on the feminist web as noted in their news release that includes their "top 30 list of Feminist sites and blogs," are centeral to that part of the web.

When the data is compared with the political web, mashed up with it, it's apparent how embedded within the progressive blogosphere the feminist web is, although it is definitely its own community as well, and how it's more centrist than fringe on the map. Part of the discussion at Fem 2.0 was about how to reach out and get more traction on issues on other sites not necessarily considered "feminist" by their statistics, and the data shows that these sites dedicated to the discussion for and by women are not operating in an echo chamber.

For political researchers and strategists, this data could be of real use in terms of identifying and targeting specific groups. What Linkfluence was able to do in this case could translate to other topic areas like environment, poverty, national security, although most likely the feminist web is closer knit than other issue based groups. The data could even be used for targeting political ads and messaging strategies. However, it may not always be available for public viewing. Check out the data while it's still up.