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September 30, 2007

Comments

Blognor Regis

Hear hear. I don't even record stats. Who cares.

James Hamilton

..or, for that matter, any middle-class moron who is possessed of the crassness and tack factor to hold the poll in the first place. Good on you.

Mike Power

They always have and always be little more than a great big circle-jerk. Well said.

Mike Power

+ will :)

Mike Power

+ will :)

Bill (Scotland)

Agree entirely. The 'blog rankings' and round-ups of various kinds have always struck me as the online version of onanism; some people obviously try and tailor what they write and to whom they link based solely on who might link to them and to how high up in these self-serving rankings they might appear. The worst kind of narcissism.

Colin Campbell

Excellent points. These kinds of rankings are just ego tweaks for vain people. I read a lot of different blogs and it is noticeable that many of the ones I read most often are nowhere near the top of these rankings. The range of issues discussed and the quality of comments are important factors. I also agree that there is no way that amateur bloggers, which almost all of us are can produce consistently good content.

dearieme

I carry that attitude to its logical conclusion. I don't have a blog at all.

Mopsa

Thank you for saying this so eloquently - this weighing and measuring nonsense is getting out of hand and making folks unnecessarily blue (not talking political colourings here).

pommygranate

Isn't it just a bit of fun?

Mr Eugenides

I agree with you up to a point.

Blogging is inherently non-hierarchical; there are no minimum entry criteria, it costs nothing to get published, most people understand that a blog with 25 readers a day may be better than one with 2500.

In that sense I agree with Justin McKeating, who writes that to rank blogs is to insult them. It's also embarrassing to be ranked 'above' blogs which are obviously more interesting, erudite and generally worthwhile.

On the other hand, a lot of people just don't get "the blogs". Where do you find them? How do you know where the good ones are? How do you find this great writing that people always talk about?

You or I do these things by clicking through a hundred links on a hundred sidebars and finding - maybe once, maybe ten times in that hundred - an interesting blog on the other end that we didn't know about. But most people don't spend that kind of time wandering the blogosphere. They have two or three favourite blogs that they read and the rest is largely unknown territory. Why not give them a ready-made list, however flawed or simplistic, of the blogs that other people are reading and talking about?

If the list really did paint an accurate picture of the 'best' blogs out there, I think it would be a valuable exercise in helping opening up the world of blogging to outsiders. As it actually seems to reflect the reading habits of mainly conservative readers of Iain's blog, it is less valuable and more onanistic as a result; clearly any ranking of the 'best' blogs which puts Iain Dale at #1 is compromised from the start. But I wouldn't call it pernicious.

Human beings love to list things, rank them, and hand out baubles to the winners. There are Journalist of the Year awards and Politician of the Year awards; there are bravery awards and humanitarian awards. No-one would claim that the beauty and joy of football has anything to do with the black-tie bash at which the Footballer of the Year awards are handed out, but as long as you remember that awards aren't, really, anything to do with football, I don't see what harm they do.

Same with blogging, surely. The circle-jerk is with us always.

jameshigham

Had to smile, Chris. Now I'm running a little banner if you'd care to have one. I'll prepare it for you myself.

The Admiral

There is a lot of working going on in the more switched-on parts of the marketing industry to understand better the relative influence of blogs and other online outlets. Influence is not the same as popularity. Obviously, this is so they can tap into these circles of influence. Not in itself a bad thing - bloggers are free to ignore any or all briefings. Subjective lists of the "best" blogs are pretty useless in this regard though. There are however, some much more scientific ways of establishing influence coming into play.

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