Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Blog Awards 2011

I'm fascinated by the whole blogosphere. According to the blog monitoring website Blogpulse, there are as at today's date (the site keeps a running, live-time total) a total of 170,836,331 identified blogs in the world. That is some source of traffic available across the world.

What amazes me is how something like my wee, unpretentious blog gets viewed throughout the world. Search engines of course allow someone to stumble across a particular blog, and quickly realise it's not what they're looking for. But hey, it's still called a page view, and I won't mock any avenue that adds to blog statistics. I'll come back to these in a moment, as they pale into insignificance alongside those blogs that have just been featured in the 2011 Blogs of the Year Awards, and it may be worth pointing out (for what reason?) what these were.

The Total Politics website runs these awards every year, and the votes are cast by readers of the website. Now you may, or may not be interested in awards; I'm not particularly so, but then I never win anything. If I did, I might shamelessly glory in the fact, and place the award as a banner headline on my site. Yes I have no shame.

There are a host of blogs, blogging and bloggers awards sites, so if you fail in one, try another. Mind you, doing this makes you come over as very sad. I'll stick to the Total Politics awards, and give you an insight as to what's 'in' this year.

There is a long list of categories, the winners of some of them have yet to be announced. As for blogs, the list is, in no particular order; top green blogs; top non-aligned blogs; top media blogs; top left wing blogs; top right wing blogs; top Welsh blogs, top Scottish blogs, top Northern Irish blogs; top Libertarian blogs, top Labour blogs; top Lib Dem blogs; top Conservative blogs; top Councillor blogs; top MP blogs, and top group blogs. I would have liked to have seen, "Top talking about nothing in particular blogs", or "Top talking about everything in general blogs", but you will have to look elsewhere for these.

Let me give you the top 5 placings in five of the main categories that have been announced. You can get the full lists by clicking on the Total Politics link above. The numbers in parenthesis indicate last year's placing.

Top Green Blogs
  1. (2) Bright Green Scotland
  2. (5) Another Green World
  3. (-) Viridis Lumen
  4. (8) Rupert's Read
  5. (-) Suitably Despairing
Top Media Blogs
  1. (1) Spectator Coffee House
  2. (2) Paul Waugh
  3. (-) The Staggers
  4. (18) Bagehot
  5. (5) James Delingpole
Top Non-Aligned Blogs
  1. (2) Political Betting
  2. (-) Dale and Company
  3. (1) Paul Waugh
  4. (3) FT Westminster
  5. (5) UK Polling Report
Top Right Wing Blogs
  1. (1) Order Order
  2. (3) Conservative Home
  3. (4) Spectator Coffee House
  4. (26) Archbishop Cranmer
  5. (81) Crash Bang Wallce
Top Left Wing Blogs
  1. (1) Left Foot Forward
  2. (8) Political Scrapbook
  3. (5) Liberal Conspiracy
  4. (11) The Staggers
  5. (2) Labour List
These, and millions like them are specialist blogs that focus on particular subject matters. Many other people use their blogs as diaries, while still others are like mine; a misellony of subject matter, where you don't know what the next blog is going to be like. There is a benefit in, and a place for all types of blogs, and with over 170 million of them, that's surely what we have.

All of the blogs mentioned above have a huge readership, that many of us can only dream about. However, it is surprising how many page views a small blog like mine can get. I'm not interested in comparing my blog with anyone else's, as that's a bit fatuous. I'm just pleasantly pleased for myself to look at the statistical page on my blog site (given that I'm reading it in the correct way).

Since I started the blog, I have created 121 posts, and these have generated 5,553 pageviews. I've had 21 views today (up to the time of printing it out); 45 yesterday, and 720 last month. The most viewed post was "Hugh Laurie Sings the Blues" with 403 pageviews. I was also astounded to see the audience breakdown by country. These were, UK (2996); USA (893); Germany (206); India (100); Singapore (87); Canada (80); Australia (70); France (66); Spain (46), and Ireland (28). As I've said, I don't want to compare with your numbers, and if they're higher, well done. It just fills me with child-like delight, that a blog of random thoughts is read by anyone.

A sobering thought to finish with. When Total Politics were compiling their list of categories a few months ago, someone wrote in with this contribution. "Would suggest some sort of recognition of Twitter, as it is now an integral part of blogging coverage. That is, any decent blogger ought to have a good engagement with Twitter".

Now I don't use Twitter, I don't understand Twitter, and I have no desire to become a part of Twitter. If the writer is correct, then I have no chance of becoming a 'decent blogger', but in spite of that, it's a hell of a lot of fun isn't it?

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