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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

blog whistle circle jerkers

After surveying 186 blogs, and drinking a lot of coffee, the nz blogosphere rankings are now complete.

The highest blog that posts less than once per week sits at No.20. Frequency of content is undoubtedly an important part of driving traffic.

The list is a decent size now and it covers all range of opinion. The 35 or so new entries for this survey have increased this further. There is a lot of information to be extracted from the data for those who care to sift through it.

I've had some thoughts about Public Address. It describes itself as a "community" of blogs. This raises the question of whether the main page (publicaddress.net) is a blog in itself or a form of aggregator that would otherwise not qualify under the criteria. I have been counting the main page as a blog. The criteria of nz blogosphere, to restate, is the blog must be:

  • regularly updated
  • author-operated website
  • blog format
  • linked
  • original content
  • public discourse
  • re: nz

    The issue is that the summaries to that main page are not original content because they occur in the author's own blog page. However, editorially, every blog in PA except Russell Brown's Hard News is not independently author-operated. Should each blog on PA be counted individually?

    I don't really want to revisit it, but asking the question of Russell's enterprise means asking the same of Lindsay Perigo's too. SOLO Passion is to libertarians as Public Address is to the creative arts sector. But the description of an inward facing circle jerk would be most appropriately apportioned to SOLO. It doesn't feel the same as PA, it is more of a religious/ideological social networking and internal discussion forum than PA's outwardly facing public discourse idea.

    The two systems have blogs on a single platform, moderated or operated editorially (not just administratively) by one of the bloggers. In that case we are dealing with the same issue and it would be good to come to some firm conclusions about how or if the platforms can or should be included.

    The irony is that for people so ferociously individualistic in their politics the libertarians are intensly tribal in so many respects.

  • 19 Comments:

    At 17/6/08 6:00 pm, Blogger Barnsley Bill said...

    Can a blog still be classified as such if it does not permit reader interaction via comments?

     
    At 17/6/08 6:14 pm, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

    Yes. Legitimate question though.

    This only really affects No RIght Turn. That blog gets a lesser score because of it.

     
    At 17/6/08 6:24 pm, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

    Oh, and talk about a small country:
    I was busy finalising the list and moving Denis Welch's blog to its position and I realised that was who I was listening to on National Radio at the time. And he was talking about print media ratings and surveys. He was saying that readership figures are bullshit and that circulation/sales figures are far more credible - I agree.

    And on that issue I am seriously considering lowering the estimated Alexa traffic score to encourage reporting. I want to see No Minister show their cards!

     
    At 17/6/08 8:23 pm, Anonymous Legio X said...

    Well we all know you've got the Joker co blogging with you Tim so I'd be raising to get you out of the game if I was him/her.

    Speaking of co bloggers, Ben Thomas seems a little....ah.....sporadic, what gives?, not a chick fight is it?

     
    At 17/6/08 9:02 pm, Blogger FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

    Thanks for the latest chart Tim.
    What cards do we need to show?

    I'm keen to learn more of the technical bits and bobs behind the blogs.

     
    At 17/6/08 10:38 pm, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

    FM: if you have a counter/meter - and looking at the source code for No Minister I don't think you do - you could email me a screen grab of the unique visitors figures for the calendar month.

    We are shadow boxing at the moment, you know my stats, but I have to guess at yours using Alexa - which is only a rough estimate. The question that arises is why should I put you ahead of me when I am being transparent and using verifiable third party data when I have no similar evidence coming from you? The answer is: because I'm generous. But because Tumeke! is kept out of the top 10 due to No Minister means I'm thinking hard about just how generous I should be in the future!

    If people get annoyed that I'm not representing the true extent of their traffic then they will tend to email me with the data. They have done so and I encourage bloggers to do so. But the problem is they will only do so if they are being undercounted - anyone benefiting from an Alexa over-estimation would never contact me to point that out. Indeed, it could encourage people to hide their meters if their Alexa score was higher. So the idea is to lower the estimation profile to undercount them just enough to get irritated bloggers motivated to give me the data.

    DPF provided me with some files that I couldn't open - so I have not actually viewed his proof. Russell has said stuff in the comments section a while back but hasn't sent me anything. Cam Slater has got several publicly viewable meters on his site. No Right Turn has a meter. etc.

    If a blogger complains they have been undercounted - inter alia The Standard - and then don't follow up with the data then it could be inferred that they ain't all that. *could be* inferred - or they could be busy. Whatever.

    A move to an incentivised disclosure regime may be on the cards for the next survey. See how we go.

     
    At 18/6/08 8:31 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Tim, this blog would be ten times better if it was just you posting.

    Bomber just posts lowest common denominator, talkback radio, who can I upset today? type stuff, in four basic categories:

    - The police are horrible evil rapists, criminals are never to blame for their crimes.
    - Global warming is real, but conservatives don't believe it.
    - very poor Iraq and/or Palestine commentary
    - the middle class are terrible people and should be shot come the revolution.

    Whereas your posts are far more thought provoking and insightful.

    Someone give Bomber his own blog.

     
    At 18/6/08 10:46 am, Blogger FAIRFACTS MEDIA said...

    I don't know about counters, Tim, but i'll ask my partners in crime and see if they do.
    And I thought No Minister was shadow boxing Poneke :)

     
    At 18/6/08 5:31 pm, Anonymous jimmy said...

    The anons are right Tim.

    Bomber brings foot traffic, but it is the Michael Laws squackback type of foot traffic.

    Quality over quantity anyday surely?
    Cut bomber loose and go it alone.
    Tu Meke will be all the more better for it.

     
    At 18/6/08 5:36 pm, Blogger Barnsley Bill said...

    I took issue with Mr Bradbury last year while Tim was finishing his tour of NZ Club Meds.
    Since then I have come to appreciate his posts. I rarely agree with anything he writes but he does provoke thought.
    All you anonymongs should go rip out a rib and learn to suck yoursleves off. Don't like what he writes? Shut your eyes. Or better still start your own blog and fight back.
    Mr Bradbury, do not in any way take this comment as support for your viewpoint. :)

     
    At 19/6/08 9:01 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "all you anonymongs should go rip out a rib and learn to suck yoursleves off. Don't like what he writes? Shut your eyes. Or better still start your own blog..."

    Suck it up Barnsely Bill, (mum call you that, or is that a non de plume, so we don't know your real name. Could have just called yourself anonymous).

    Opinions are like arseholes Bill, every one has one.
    Just most people realise that their rants are just that, rants.
    Except for some bloggers who think their every post is some Pulitzer Prize winning story.

    The saddest thing is that you have to come to another bloggers site to generate a discussion.

    Waiting for your next post BB.
    Btw, are you a once a day blogger, or do you need to go more than that?

     
    At 19/6/08 9:17 am, Blogger Barnsley Bill said...

    Anonymong said:
    "Btw, are you a once a day blogger, or do you need to go more than that?"

    Well done sir. That is the best put down I have seen on a blog all week.
    That will be going in the book.
    My point was. Hurling random attacks at particular posters is unnecessary, you just end up looking silly and if the posts cause that much anger it is probably wise to just not red them.

     
    At 19/6/08 9:46 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Bill.
    I am glad you have a sense of humour, bloggers seem so dour.

    The point was if foot traffic is the be all and end all of blogging, then all you have to do is put up ridiculous, hyperbolic posts, and then sit back and watch your meter.

    That is precisely how talkback works, and this is what I thought bloggers wanted to get away from.

    More facts, less conjecture.
    More investigation, less sensationalism.

    Tim does investigative journalism quite well (when he is not in a cop-hating frame of mind), whereas bomber generally goes for the lowest common denominator trash.

    I am not trying to shut bomber down, I just think Tu Meke would be more credible without him.

     
    At 19/6/08 6:16 pm, Blogger PC said...

    Tim, you say you "don't really want to revisit it," but asking the question of Russell's enterprise certainly does mean asking the same of Lindsay Perigo's SOLO.

    So let's revisit it.

    It seems to me that you given reason for excluding SOLO is not so much a reason as an excuse -- you call SOLO "an inward facing circle jerk" and "more of a religious/ideological social networking and internal discussion forum than PA's outwardly facing public discourse idea," yet at the time of writing this the top two articles on the site are copies of SOLO's latest press releases -- press releases which regularly gain a wide readership at places like Scoop, (just as do posts from the likes of Lydon Hood and Russell Brown and Keith Ng that have previously appeared at their blogs).

    So, hardly "inward facing" then. And hardly religious. Sure, there's generally substantial agreement among SOLO's many posters -- well, sometimes, anyway -- but that's no different to the comments section of the likes of Public Address, is it?

    Just to check the claim to be sure, let's look at the most recent half-dozen posts on SOLO's front page and see how "imward focussed" they are:
    * post on the light bulb ban. Outward facing? Check.
    * post on Helen Clark blaming bottle store owners for getting shot. Outward facing? Check.
    * post on an Ayn Rand article. Outward facing? Well, no less outward facing as my own posts on Ayn Rand, and my blog is included.
    * post on Ireland's vote on the EU's Lisbon Treaty. Outward facing? Check.
    * post on David David's stand against the UK bill to hold suspects for 42 days without any charge. Outward facing? Check.
    * post on Herbert von Karajan and Beethoven. Outward facing? Check.

    Face it, you have no real reason for excluding SOLO. It fits all of your stated criteria:

    # regularly updated - yes, several times a day.
    # author-operated website - yes, in much the same way as Public Address.
    # blog format - yes.
    # linked - yes.
    # original content - certainly.
    # public discourse - what else would you call press releases and posts on the issues of the day?
    # nz related -- most authors are either NZers or NZ-based, and those who are non-Enzeds have, (like Americans James Valliant and Michael Vardoulis for example), featured in NZ's media.

    So in summary there is no real reason for excluding SOLO. It fits all of the stated criteria, and your stated reason for exclusion doesn't stack up.

    Of course, since Tumeke's blog rankings are your creation it's entirely up to you what you do -- it's your business, and as you know we'd defend to the death your right to make mistakes. But in my view, both SOLO and Public Address should be included as one blog each, in the same way that other sites with multiple contributors like The Standard, Frog Blog and your own enterprise are included as one blog.

    Which would make SOLO somewhere in the top ten, methinks. :-)

     
    At 19/6/08 7:53 pm, Blogger Tim Selwyn said...

    Peter,

    This is exactly the discussion we need to have and that I wanted. Much of your argument is persuasive.

    "Author-operated" as an issue must be dealt with the same way as between SOLO and PA because they are similar styled platform systems with a similarly organised editorial structure (if I could call it that) from what I have observed. This is separate from:

    "public discourse" as an issue.

    Public discourse is a contentious term. I understand that. I discovered that there seems to be a feeling out there that some of the blogs on the cultural side (shall we say) and not on the political or current affairs side, consider themselves to be public discourse. ...

    hold that thought.

     
    At 19/6/08 8:56 pm, Blogger PC said...

    I shall await your cogitations, sir.

     
    At 20/6/08 6:33 pm, Blogger Julie said...

    Thanks for doing this Tim. Just a question about submitting site stats. I'm not quite sure how to do this, from a technological pov. We use Statcounter - which screen would you need a screen shot of?

     
    At 20/6/08 7:14 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    With Statcounter, looking at the "summary" page, tick the boxes so that it shows the month you want, then look below the individual days stats - there's a link that lets you download the numbers as an Excel or CSV file. Do that, then send the file to Tim.

    If I'd done that for May, Hot Topic wouldn't have dropped 10 places )-;

     
    At 21/6/08 12:26 pm, Blogger Julie said...

    Thanks Gareth, I think I'll have to do it as a screen shot, as Excel crashes my computer and I don't know if a CSV file would do the same. Cheers though, now it makes sense!

     

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