BuzzLogic wants to identify influential blogs, raises $1.5M

UpdatedSan Francisco start-up BuzzLogic is trying to help you sort through the blog clutter. If you’re a marketer or PR person, how do you really know who is an influential blogger and who is not?

BuzzLogic just launched at the DEMO conference, and is homing in on this “influencer” question.

The company seeks to define who is shaping specific conversations in blogs with “algorithms” that analyze relationships, based on four criteria:

–overall traffic and number of inbound links
–contextual relevance to a customer’s specified area of concern, such as key words.
–frequency of content publication on such topics
–the traffic it sends back to the marketer

This is a very difficult thing to do through automation, because links can often be deceptive. As the hundreds of PhDs at Google have found, it is not easy to deconstruct the masses of “link-farms” between Web sites, purposefully created to boost each other’s traffic. We seem to always be one step behind the latest statistics tricks, on traffic numbers too. Rob Crumpler, the company’s chief executive officer, tells us the company has done a lot of work to combat this sort of thing.

If you’re not going for perfection, and want to get a good first take on a short list of bloggers you should care about, BuzzLogic may offer a starting point. “Rather than look at thousands or tens of thousands of blogs, we say here are the 10 or 20 most influential [individuals],” Bob Schettino, the company’s chief marketing officer told ClickZ yesterday.

BuzzLogic is selling a subscription service. As ClickZ points out, there are other “listening” services already offered by companies like Cymfony, Nielsen BuzzMetrics, Waggener Edstrom and Umbria.

BuzzLogic recently raised $1.5 million in seed financing from investors including Ackerley Partners and angel Ron Conway, VentureWire reported (sub required) and which we confirmed. Scott Briggs, former president of Ziff Davis, and Crumpler were also investors. Now that it has launched, BuzzLogic is aiming to raise $6 million in a first venture round.

Update: Here is what the company sent us to explain its pricing:

Our pricing is a function of the number of conversations (queries to surface those conversations) and the number of influencers. For example an outbound marketing person might want to focus their listening and engagement on the top 25 influencers. A customer service manager might want to look much deeper into an issue. Small companies may be able to address brand, product and competitive issues across 10 conversations. Larger companies will need a bigger footprint.

With that as context, our first tier of service starts at 10 conversations x 25 influencers, at $500 a month. The pricing goes up from there depending on the mix.

Our beta program includes a 60-day free trial option of four conversations x 25 influencers.