Mysteries of the TTLB Ecosystem

Something's been bothering me for the last three days or so. Sometime between Wednesday and Thursday, an odd thing has happened.

My ranking in the TTLB Ecosystem fell from "Large Mammal" to "Marauding Marsupial," (my numeric ranking fell from somewhere in the low 600's to the 1,600's) overnight, and I can't figure out why. I waited a couple of days to see if it was some sort of fluke, but there my ranking remains. The odd thing is, by Technorati the number of incoming links seems not to have changed radically, and certainly my hitcount is continuing to increase, albeit at a noticeably slower rate than it has been.

It wasn't long after I started blogging that I discovered the TTLB Ecosystem. Naturally, as a new blogger, I was eager to see where I fit in and ranked; so I signed up and put the little snippet of code that's needed to refer to my status into my blog template. It's a fun little thing, and perhaps a bit of an ego boost (or deflation). My ranking rose fairly quickly from "Slimy Mollusc" to "Large Mammal." There I stayed for the last three or four months, with no change. I admit that I have no idea how this happened or any of the details about the TTLB Ecosystem works (the FAQ doesn't explain much), but it was a nice little bit of ego massage that implied that this blog was "evolving" somehow relative to the rest of the blogosphere (although there were times when the slow loading of the code snippet has tempted me to remove it from my blog altogether, lest potential readers become impatient).

Now, just as fast as the TTLB giveth, the TTLB taketh away. It now appears that I've "devolved."

Oh, well. It's no big deal, given that my traffic is, for now anyway, continuing to increase, and I remain quite happy about that. In fact, I can console myself with my thought that "Marauding Marsupial" sounds much cooler than "Large Mammal." However, I am still curious as to how such a drastic decrease in my TTLB ranking (low 600's to high 1,600's) could have occurred so quickly, in essence overnight. I can't seem to find the answer anywhere on the Truth Laid Bear site.

I suppose it will remain a mystery.


  1. Ouch orac! what a knock to your ego. How about some prozac, group therapy etc..

    Anyways, you know I just made Marauding Marsupial and I was thrilled about the promotion.

    I've seen my site meter go up to 600 average at one point, then down to 100's then back up to 200's then down to 300's and it continues. You know, I'm really just about sick of the whole thing. I may just remove it from my blog as it makes the whole thing so much less enjoyable and just encourages my competitive nature. Isn't this supposed to be for fun?

    I wish I wasn't so addicted to the damn thing.

  2. I see what you're saying, and I've even contemplated the same thing myself. You're right; it's hard not to be obsessed with your own hit count and having such a meter (as well as the TTLB ranking system) does encourage competitiveness. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, as it drives you to do better on your blog. I also find it so fascinating to keep tabs on referring web pages that I can't give Sitemeter up, regardless of what the traffic level is doing. When I see a sudden surge of traffic coming from the same referring page, I know someone's linked to something I've written, and I can't resist checking it out. I might not know it when someone is trashing me otherwise.

    The patterns that Sitemeter reveals to me are highly fascinating as well. It never ceases to amaze me that, in a very reproducible fashion, on weekends my hitcount almost always falls to around 50% of its average weekday level. Saturdays are usually the low point in the cycle. That's why I tend to post more fluff (or even occasionally nothing at all) on weekends. Also, Tuesdays and Wednesdays seem to be fairly reliably my peak traffic days, which is why I try to post my best stuff on Mondays through Wednesdays.

    As far as overall trends go, I think the best indicator is your monthly hit count, as it evens out all the normal daily fluctuations.

  3. I haven't even seen the monthly hit counter. Ooooohhhh let me look

  4. I am not happy with TTLB. Not because I have slipped back to Adorable Little Rodent (it's my favourite category!) after being a Marsupial for some time (though near the very bottom of the category); the number of links is about the same as before. A sign of how the blogosphere is growing, I suppose.

    I am unhappy because it now only shows 'the top 25' links where it used to show everything. I don't have TTLB on my site to worry over my rankings, I have it so I can find interesting blogs that are linking to me. If it doesn't list all of them it's no use to me at all. If this is a permanent change I may well remove the TTLB link on my site.

  5. I'm a flippery fish, so I honestly don't care much for your mammalian troubles..... TTLB is nowhere near as useful for tracking links and traffic as Sitemeter, and I refuse to post the TTLB code on my site because I do not want to in any way endorse or promote NZ Bear's political views.

    Did Bear modify the dividing lines between his categories to take expansion of the blogosphere into account?

  6. I don't know, but the rapid change makes me wonder...

  7. I thought I was a flippery fish, so I was going to agree with ahistorically ..but I'm a crawly amphibian ..not sure when I hit that or how.


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