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.
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.