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Power Grid Monday, January 25th 2010 at 6:15 am

Power Grid FAQ

As you may have noticed, Geekosystem has a nifty feature called the Power Grid, which ranks people, objects, and assorted eidolons from across the vast expanses of geekery. What is this Power Grid, and by what infernal machinations does it issue forth its categories, subjects, and rankings? A brief FAQ:

Q: So what is this Power Grid exactly?

A: The Power Grid is Geekosystem’s little way of celebrating the concepts, icons, and personalities that we know and love the way we know best: by obsessively cataloguing, ranking, and spouting trivia about them, week after week after week. For our first week live, we’ll be running our 150 greatest living geeks series, dropping a new set of 30 influential geeks in different fields each day. Thereafter, every Thursday, we’ll be rolling out a new Power Grid ranking and comparing some new category of things that we feel like discussing, be it people, programming languages, or rideable animal friends from platform games. We hope you will find it a neat weekly read.

Q: Wait, so is this like the Mediaite Power Grid?

A: Yes and no. It’s built using the same proprietary ranking algorithm as Mediaite’s Power Grid, but the chief difference is that the Geekosystem Power Grid ranks stuff that is actually interesting. If you’re riveted by the horse race between Katie Couric and Charlie Gibson or deeply care whether New York Times or Washington Post columnists are winning the soundbite war of the week, then, uh, by all means go hang out at Mediaite’s Power Grid.

If twisted hacker geniuses, dragon folklore, or dreamt-up gadgets involving carbon nanotubes are more your thing: well, you know where to look.

Q: What do all of these stats mean?

A: Each category has its own relevant set of statistics which go into the ranking. We will explain each statistic on this page as new stats arise.

  • Web Buzz: Measures the number of relevant hits yielded by a search of an individual’s or entity’s name. Irrelevant hits, such as those for similarly-named individuals, are filtered out.
  • Blog Buzz: Ditto, only it searches blogs instead of the broader web.
  • Technorati: Measures the number of times an individual’s or entity’s name pops up in a Technorati search; presumably benefits techier, webbier individuals more.
  • Twitter Followers: Do you have to ask?
  • Geekiness index: This is our editorial way of asking: beyond all of the numbers floating around, who or what do we honestly think is geekier or has made greater contributions to geekdom? Ranked on a scale from 1 to 10, and totally subjective. At that, the geekiness index is one of many factors and will never be the majority determinant for any given category, so don’t freak out about it too much.

Q: You schmendriks! X should clearly be in this category, but isn’t; Y is ranked higher than Z, but Z is clearly geekier than Y.

A: Lists being lists, we expect that these will stir debate from time to time. The orderings as they fall aren’t 100% canonical, but they are based on (mostly) hard numbers, and if we’re posting ‘em, we think that they are a pretty good general ordering of things.

Since this is the Internet, feel free to (respectfully) flamewar us in the comments section.

Q: Can you do a future Power Grid about (such-and-such)? My question isn’t answered by this FAQ :(

A: We’re definitely open to Power Grid suggestions, comments, and criticism; you can drop us a line at powergrid@geekosystem.com. We can’t guarantee that we’ll email you back, but we can vouch that all messages will be read.

If your question isn’t answered here, likewise drop us a line and we will do our best to get back to you.

Q: What am I waiting for? I want to check out this Power Grid thingie.

A: Your wish is our command.

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