Top 20ish blogs

Jim Mora invited me to do a spot on blogs on Afternoon’s  Critical Mass and started by asking which are the most popular blogs and how many people read them.

It’s difficult to answer that because for every unique visitor to a blog there will be many others who read it via RSS feeds.

Visits are only one measure anyway. Is a blog which attracts more visitors but fewer comments better or not than one with fewer visitors and more comments?

Tim Selwyn’s Blogosphere Ranking  takes account of visitors, posts, comments and links but it hasn’t been updated since January.

Two other bloggers also do rankings – Scrubone does the Half Done Stats and Ken Perrot at Open Parachute bases his rankings on the publicly available sitemeter  counter.

There are variations between the rankings with more similarity between the Blogosphere and Half Done rankings than Open Parachute’s but these 17 blogs regularly turn up in the top 20 of at least two of the tables most months:

Kiwiblog:  written by David Farrar. This is noted for both the quantity and quality of posts, widely read by who’s who of politics and media. He’s open about his blue bias but not bigoted. He’s widely read because of his political knowledge and analysis but also writes well on IT, travel, general news, reviews and sometimes he breaks stories.

Gotcha by Cameron Slater/Whale Oil. He’s been in the top 10 for months and at or near # 1 since starting his campaign against name suppression laws. I think he’d consider it a compliment to have Gotcha described as being towards the harder, sometimes even rabid, end of the right when compared with David; and some of his content may offend. But he also has moving posts on the realities of life with depression.

Cactus Kate is a New Zealand lawyer based in Hong Kong. She has incisive posts on business & politics and writes with attitude on her life and travels.

Not PC – Peter Cresswell runs the blog with occasional contributions from guest posters. He is a Libertarian who writes on politics, architecture, art and beer.

No Minister  is a team blog, most – but not all – of whom are somewhere in the blue range of the political spectrum. Several bloggers, me included, find No Minsiter is the blog which refers most visitors to their posts.

Dim Post: Danyl Mclauchlan specialises in satire. He writes with a pink to red perspective and his posts on politics are interspersed with observations on life in general

Tumeke!: Bomber Bradbury and Tim Selwyn – Bomber’s towards the rabid end of the political left. Tim is more measured, and often writes with insight on Maori and local body issues.

The Standard   is also at the rabid red end of the political  spectrum. It’s written by a team of mostly anonymous bloggers – at least some of whom work for the  Labour party and/or MPs.

Red Alert is the Labour MPs’ blog. It shows there’s more freedom in opposition, especially for senior MPs who wouldn’t have the time to post as often if they were ministers.

Frogblog is written by Green Party MPs and supporters though unlike Red Alert, sometimes gives a little credit to the government.

No Right Turn is written by Idiot/Savant. He’s left wing with insider knowledge of politics, who specialises in well written and researched posts.

Homepaddock: you’re reading it.

Roarprawn features Busted Blonde and occasional other contributors. BB posts on politics, life, food, Maori issues with insider knowledge of Ngai Tahu and life.

Inquiring Mind: Adam Smith posts a cartoon and quote of the day, supplemented by considered opinions on politics, life and also shares his appreciation of music.

Kiwipolitico: is written by a team. Posts are considered and mostly leftwing politics.

Hand Mirror:  a team giving a thoughtful feminist pink to red perspective on politics, general news and life.

Open Parachute:  Ken Perrot specialises in science and atheism.

Other blogs which often feature in one, or near at least two, of the top 20 rankings are:

In A Strange Land: Deborah is a New Zealander living in Adelaide who writes reasoned posts on feminism and politics from a pink to red perspective, leavened with others on her family, travels, life in general and recipes.

Macdoctor:  writes on medicine, health, politics and life with insight and wit.

Keeping Stock: Took a rest last year but has returned refreshed with a variety of posts on politics, sport, life and Christian music.

NZ Conservative is another team blog from the conservative, Christian sector who post on politics, religion and life and feature a regular Friday Forum.

Poneke is a journalist and it shows in his posts. He aims for quality rather than quantity and usually attracts a good number of reasoned comments.

Public Address – another team with a pink to red perspective on politics plus posts on a variety of general issues and topics.

M&M – Madeliene & Matt blog on science, religion, theism and explanatory idelness.

Something Should Go Here Maybe Later – does the Half Done Stats and also posts humorous posts mixed with the blue tinted  politics and religion.

I could go on, but this list has to stop somewhere.

Whichever way you measure it Kiwiblog is top blog with the most visitors, comments and links by a big margin and there’s also quite a big gap between the top few and the rest.

For every blog mentioned here there are many more which are written well and attract regular followers. As long as the blogger enjoys writing and visitors enjoy reading that’s what really matters.

31 Responses to Top 20ish blogs

  1. Paul Tremewan says:

    Well done, Ele… this explains more fully that what you spoke about… and I can read it at a pace where I can take it all in!!

    ‘Poneke is a journalist and it shows in his posts. He aims for quality rather than quantity and usually attracts a good number of reasoned comments.’

    Shurely shome mishtake here… as Private Eye would observe!!
    Paul T
    ps Maybe I should do The Report as a blog… [not!]


  2. Deborah says:

    Many thanks for including me in your list, Ele. And I’m glad to see you mentioned your own blog. I don’t read every blog on your list, but I do read Homepaddock, and I enjoy your snippets of North Otago life, and your Monday quiz, and your “Today in History” posts. I don’t always agree with your political views (‘tho sometimes I do), but then, I strongly suspect you don’t always agree with mine! It would be a great shame if we only ever read people we agree with all the time.


  3. homepaddock says:

    “Maybe I should do The Report as a blog…” – there’s room in the blogosphere for everyone.

    “I don’t always agree with your political views (‘tho sometimes I do), but then, I strongly suspect you don’t always agree with mine!”

    I suspect at least sometimes it’s how to get there rather than where we want to go on which we disagree.

    Even if it’s not, it’s only a difference of opinion and, it would be not just a shame but boring too if we stuck to reading the views of those with whom we always agree.


  4. Cactus Kate says:

    Well done HP for saying “dot cum” on National Radio. Ten points even.


  5. Deborah says:

    I suspect at least sometimes it’s how to get there rather than where we want to go on which we disagree.

    Just so.


  6. Motella says:

    Well done making the MSM!


  7. PaulL says:

    I would have put offsetting behaviour up there. Surely?


  8. pdm says:

    One thing you missed HP is that the `Left Wing’ blogs, Red Alert and The Standard do not tolerate dissenting views and are quick to delete and even suspend/ban commenters for daring to challenge a point of view.


  9. gingercrush says:

    In defense of the Standard. They usually do that when people are well trolling. Whereas on Kiwiblog trolling isn’t that penalised.


  10. It’s written by a team of mostly anonymous bloggers – at least some of whom work for the Labour party and/or MPs.

    Bullshit. There are probably fewer Labour members like myself than there are union supporters. There are quite a range of people writing there. I think that we’re getting close to 20 people writing there reasonably regularly now.

    I suspect that you simply can’t distinguish anything through your blue contacts.


  11. pdm says:

    OOOh HP you got Lynn Prentice going didn’t you.

    Where ever the 20 contributors come from at the Standard they will all be Labour sycophants, without a proper job, and unlike the `blue’ bloggers who will take issue with the National Party when they consider it necessary, they toe the party line.


  12. pdm: Pretty obvious you don’t read The Standard, otherwise you wouldn’t bother with such obvious drivel.

    My fellow authors generally give the Labour party quite a hard time – for instance I was just reading Zet’s last post.

    Some of the authors are well to the left or to the green of the Labour party. Others are definitely Labour party supporters.

    About the only thing that they have in common is that they tend to detest certain types of conservative behaviors. Most of the political posts look at the conservatives and nutters on the right without the nice fuzzy myths that those people like to embellish themselves with.

    Homepaddock is one of the better from that side, but still appears to prefer bullshit about our site from demonstrated idiots like Whaleoil to actually thinking for herself.


  13. Who dragged THAT in on their shoes?
    Well done making the MSM.


  14. Madeleine says:

    Well done, I don’t think I’d disagree much your list at all but for the description of MandM – though I found the reference to explanatory idleness funny!

    The bulk of our content is philosophy of religion, ethics, theology and jurisprudence with a bit of social commentary thrown in when we are not flat out with deadlines. We don’t really do science at all though some philosophy of science crops up occaisionally.


  15. Clint Heine says:

    Anytime you mention anywhere on the blogosphere that the Standard is pro Labour and/or written by paid Labour party members/staff – you can guarantee that Lynn will pop up and get rather very angry about it.

    It only adds fuel to the well established facts that the Standard has had rather strong links to all levels of the Labour Party – which has lost some of its sheen since they were booted out. I don’t know what he is so defensive about.


  16. Rob Hosking says:

    @ Lynn: given the pretty fair summary by Ele of blogs whose politics she does not agree with, I don’t think she can be accused of letting her own political stance render unable to distinguish anything through her “blue contacts”.

    And as long as you and other posters on the Standard are content to explain *everything* you don’t like as right wing bias you’ll remain a poisonous waste of time.


  17. Rob Hosking says:

    sorry, “render her unable” Damn.


  18. homepaddock says:

    Paul – Ofsetting Behaviour is one of my daily reads but it’s not in the top 20 of any of the three rankings.

    Lynn – sorry I was not just repeating what I’d remembered reading/hearing doing it incorrectly. Now you mention the link with unions that’s what I’d read/heard.

    Though from my point of view it’s difficult to see much difference between unions and Labour.

    “Homepaddock is one of the better from that side, ” – oh dear that’s just ruined any chance I had of being accepted as a member of the VRWC 🙂

    Madeleine – I was quoting directly from the masthead on your blog.


  19. Madeleine says:

    Ah, that explains it! “Science and Religion: Theism and Explanatory Idleness” was the title of our most recent blog post.

    The tagline for MandM that appears in my browser (I’m looking at it now) says: “MandM — Philosophy of Religion, Ethics, Theology and Jurisprudence.”

    I’m planning on re-designing the header to make that more prominent but I have to reach the end of the semester first as I’m too busy with study.


  20. scrubone says:

    Nice place to stop your list 😉


  21. scrubone says:

    “The Standard is also at the rabid red end of the political spectrum. ”

    Quite. Even some lefties find them too much.


  22. adamsmith1922 says:

    Well done Ele

    I notice Lynn from the Stranded trolled over


  23. I wonder whether Lynn realises how ridiculous he looks when he pops up somewhere like this and attempts to split hairs. Red Alert is far more entertaining and balanced than the standard which is why i dont read that anymore


  24. Julie says:

    Thanks for the plug Ele, much appreciated 🙂


  25. Thanks for mentioning the new Tuesday Poem blog in your chat with Jim. I’ll check out some of the political ones you recommend now…..


  26. Ken says:

    Got a chance to listen to the podcast – thought it was very thorough. Noticed the same pronunciation that Cactus Kate refers to.

    I would have added sciblogsNZ which seems to run between 3rd and 5th for daily visits on my list. It is relatively new though so won’t have made it to Tumeke’s list. But I think (and I admit I am prejudiced) that it is a significant addition because it has brought in a host of new scientist bloggers and currently has 30 (including syndicated blogs).

    Thanks again for a balanced presentation.


  27. As Clint says, when people post insinuations that The Standard is run by either the Labour Party or unions, you’ll find me popping up annoyed. I started doing that as my personal policy in 2008 after a series of rather stupid unsubstantiated posts by Whale and repeated by Kiwiblog.

    We then had trolls repeating them at every available opportunity and disrupting the debate on our site. I don’t like fools lying about me or my authors or the hard work that we all put in to make the site a success (which I think is the real underlying issue). So I attack the instigators of the bullshit.

    Guess people wanting to slur the site with unsubstantiated allegations will have to live with me. If you don’t, then you usually don’t get graced with my angry persona.

    It is pretty simple really. However it is a characteristic of many on the right to prefer lies and myths rather than anything close to facts. So I’m expecting have to continue programme for a considerable time.


  28. Ciaron says:

    However it is a characteristic of many on the right to prefer lies and myths rather than anything close to facts.

    And vice-versa….


  29. homepaddock says:

    Ken – Sciblogs deservedly appears well up your table, is at 23 in Half Done’s and would probably be much higher in a more recent Tumeke list.

    Lynn – at least some of the criticism of the Standard is because it’s at the rabid end of the political spectrum and some of its anonymous posters indulge in personal attacks rather than debating issues. This happens across the political specturm but I can’t think of a team of anonymous bloggers at the hard right who attack people. If there is I doubt anyone would suspect them of blogging * and I can’t think of any organisation on the right for whom they might work which is party political in the way unions are.

    There are some reasoned anonymous bloggers on the left – No Right Turn and the Hand Mirror for example, and some which aren’t anonymous eg Bowalley Road. I may not agree with their views very often but I respect the way they debate and discuss issues, principles and policies rather than attacking people.

    Not all posters at the Standard are rabid and maybe I pop over on a bad day but that’s my impression of the blog’s tone as a whole.

    * That sentence should read . . . anyone would suspect them of being paid to blog and I can’t think . . .


  30. Double Standard says:

    You’re a National Party electorate secretary. Correct?


  31. homepaddock says:

    No – I’m the party’s Southern regional chair – which I state with my name on the about page.


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