Seriously.. Sixapart? I am sure you could do a lot better than having an expensive team of editors cherry pick their favorite blogs in a handful of categories. You guys have a ton of good, high quality blogs and the interesting thing is that you can use some of the tag information to cluster these blogs into the different communities they belong to. For example blogs that talk about business are likely to use tags like marketing, advertising, finance etc. Algorithmic approaches can be effectively used to mine blog graphs to find high quality feeds.
At eBiquity, we have looked at this problem from two different approaches:
- Using readership information from Bloglines, we can cluster the blogs based on how people subscribe and categorize their feeds. Although typepad probably does not have access to subscription information it has other sources (like what tags are used by the blogger, and the number of people visiting and commenting on the blogs) to come up with a much better directory. Something on the lines of "Feeds That Matter" (see site here, bit outdated though).
- More recently, I have looked at how we can combine the graph structure and folksonomy information to identify communities in social media. This was an Idea that I first shared on this blog and subsequently submitted a paper, which I would be presenting at this year's WebKDD workshop.
The point is, I beleive that the top 10 offered by sixapart and bloglines are not really that interesting anymore. In the era of hundreds of thousands of potentially good blog (of the millions that exist), we can rely on algorithmic approaches to find (more than just 10) high quality blogs. This is also related to the "Feed Distillation Task" that TREC ran for 2007. If you are interested in feed distillation... check out CMU's submission by Elsas et al. and the follow up papers by Jon at other venues.
Another challenge is being able to find not just popular blogs but also that cool blog that probably be down there somewhere in the long tail.