May 12, 2003
Another Way To Rank Bloggers

Update and Mea Culpa: (5/13, 6:55 PM)

What was I thinking? Not only had I managed to forget all about the Blog IQ list until I read Amygdala last week, I'd even forgotten that C.G. Hill of Dustbury had already come up with this idea and done some of these calculations almost three months ago, as he reminds me in the first comment here. Readers may now dismiss me as a shameless plagiarist, if they think I'm stupid enough to have done this consciously. (Just call me the Deuteragonist.) All I can say is that I've turned 50 since then, and senility seems to be setting in: I even made the first comment on Hill's post, which should have helped me remember it. At least I did the work of putting together an actual table . . . .

Last week Gary Farber (Amygdala) posted something on BlogStreet's Most Important 100 Blogs or 'Blog IQ' list, not to be confused with their Top 100 Blogs list. The latter counts incoming links equally, while the former weights links from higher-ranking blogs more heavily. (Each is actually a Top 500 list: just change the '100' in the URL to '200', '300', '400', or '500'.)

Almost a year ago, I was already wondering whether it would be possible to calculate in a scientific way who is a 'bloggers' blogger' (as well as who is the most shameless, most populist, most selfish, and so on). At the time I thought the obvious measure would be links vs hits: a bloggers' blogger would be someone who gets a lot of links but relatively few total hits. Of course, hit-counts are quite unreliable for comparing sites. When I read Farber's post, I realized that a useful measure could be devised by comparing a blogger's ranks on BlogStreet's two lists. Someone who rates much higher on the Blog IQ index than the regular BlogStreet index might properly be described as a 'blogger's blogger', 'punching above his/her weight' as it were.

My formula is very simple: I just divided the Top 100 rank by the Most Important 100 rank, and then sorted by the resulting number. I ran the calculations on the Blog IQ Top 100. Here are the Top 35 results, with the ratio in bold (the fact that Gary Farber is in first place is an interesting coincidence):

1. 17.29 21 363 Amygdala
2. 16.18 34 550 AintNoBadDude
3. 14.21 67 952 Balloon Juice
4. 11.04 24 265 Unqualified Offerings
5. 8.64 25 216 Natalie Solent
6. 8.35 20 167 Ted Barlow
7. 8.00 26 208 Matthew Yglesias
8. 7.40 68 503 The Talking Dog
9. 6.91 43 297 On the Third Hand
10. 6.89 62 427 Charles Murtaugh
11. 6.43 28 180 Max Sawicky
12. 6.41 73 468 Nathan Newman
13. 6.33 70 443 Mark A. R. Kleiman
14. 6.18 88 544 Bjørn Stærk
15. 6.06 36 218 Dr. Weevil
16. 6.05 22 133 TalkLeft
17. 5.78 49 283 Eve Tushnet
18. 5.73 64 367 Too Much To Dream
(name subject to change, Andrea Harris' blog)
19. 5.69 16 91 Kausfiles
20. 5.63 81 456 The Blogs of War
(Dr. Frank's, not the other one)
21. 5.45 40 218 Transterrestrial Musings
22. 5.37 41 220 Cut on the Bias
23. 5.32 65 346 Skippy the Bush Kangaroo
24. 5.25 8 42 Ken Layne
25. 5.20 45 234 BuzzMachine
26. 4.96 23 114 Electrolite
27. 4.77 44 210 Body and Soul
28. 4.76 58 276 Matt Welch
29. 4.56 98 447 Brink Lindsey
30. 4.42 38 168 Semi-Daily Journal
31. 4.15 54 224 Nick Denton
32. 4.07 60 244 The Edge of England's Sword
33. 4.00 1 4 InstaPundit
2 8 Andrew Sullivan
35. 3.97 35 139 The Truth Laid Bear

I've only given the first 35 because (a) I'm a lazy lazy man, (b) I figured everyone would want to know how InstaPundit and Andrew Sullivan rate, and (c) rounding off to the nearest multiple of 5 after them makes the list end with someone whose own ranking system is still the best, at least for political blogs. I have not given any links because (a) I'm a lazy lazy man, (b) there are one or two I refuse to link to on principle, (c) most of the others are on my blogroll already, and (d) those that aren't can easily be found through the BlogStreet links at the beginning of this post.

Of course, this is not a list of the best ratios in the whole BlogStreet database, which contains 136,092 blogs as I write this, only those who make the Most Important 100 Blogs. If you're wondering who is at the bottom of the list, that would be Slashdot (2/14=0.14) and Metafilter (7/55=0.13). However, there are quite a few on the Top 100 Blogs list who do not make the Most Important 100 Blogs list at all, and some of them would have even worse ratios.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at May 12, 2003 11:48 PM

Damn. Now why didn't I think of that?

Posted by: CGHill on May 13, 2003 05:29 PM

I was in the blog IQ list (#61, not that i cared :)) until USS Clueless reorged his links. Now I'm nowhere to be found.

Not that I can draw anything from that except that ranking in the blog IQ list may be heavily affected by just one link.

Posted by: bigwig on May 14, 2003 11:23 PM

What no Samizdata? They are far better known that quite a few on this list.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Castel-Dodge on May 15, 2003 03:58 PM

Nice to see Blogstreet rewards for being plagarist. The Agonist should not be on that list. It makes me sick to see that stealing piece of shit listed on that list.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Castel-Dodge on May 15, 2003 04:00 PM

Somehow I've failed to previously note that this is -- absolutely, and to be sure, and, of course -- the most brilliant analysis of numbers and facts that I've ever seen in my life.


Posted by: Gary Farber on May 17, 2003 09:05 PM