More blogging lists, and the ultimate Lib Dem Golden Dozen headline

by Stephen Tall on August 27, 2007

Even in the three weeks I was away, the lust for lists continued unabated:

  • James Graham, over at the essential-reading Quaequam Blog!, has been totting up which Lib Dem bloggers appear most regularly in Lib Dem Voice’s top-of-the-blogs Golden Dozen feature (I came second) – to which I shall return;
  • and my fellow Oxford city councillor Richard Huzzey (who has, frankly, done too good a job of keeping my Lib Dem Voice Golden Dozen seat warm in my absence – a little more mediocrity would have been, y’know, polite, Richard) has compiled a comprehensive list of all elected Lib Dem bloggers in preparation for the second Lib Dem blogging awards in September.

So here’s my list. Like a lot of people I’m registered with Bloglines, which alerts me when new posts appear on blogs to which I subscribe. I didn’t check it while I was away, and here are the top five most frenetic bloggers during that period:

  1. Tim Worstall – 200
  2. Comment Central (Daniel Finkelstein & co.) – 105
  3. Dizzy Thinks (Phil Hendren) – 96
  4. Liberal Democrat Voice (Mark Pack & co.) – 88
  5. Iain Dale’s Diary – 72

(I don’t subscribe to many Lib Dem blogs, as we have the Aggregator for that… so apologies to Jonathan Calder, Paul Walter or Nich Starling – the most ubiquitous Lib Dem bloggers – if you’ve missed out as a result.)

Returning to James’s post… this gives me an opportunity to confess a couple of misgivings I have about the Golden Dozen.

When I started it, I deliberately split the dozen into two unequal halves. The first seven postings are always the most popular stories of the week, according to click-throughs from the Lib Dem Blogs Aggregator. (And as the list is compiled at the weekend, this generally means the best day to post something is Tuesday or Wednesday. A brilliant, popular post which goes up on Friday or Saturday is unlikely to attract enough hits to make it into the Golden Dozen.)

The second half of five postings is my personal choice, which was my attempt (i) to make compiling the list more enjoyable for me; and (ii) to highlight articles which might have slipped under the radar, or which – owing to the vagaries of the ratings system – wouldn’t otherwise have made the top seven. I’ve also tried, not always as well as I would have liked, to introduce new blogs to a wider readership pour encourager les autres.

But the most important reason for balancing the Top 7 with My 5 is that those stories which are most popular in the Lib Dem blogosphere tend to be more introspective, even cliquey.

This is not a criticism: it’s inevitable that the stories which rise to the top of the Aggregator, with its primarily Lib Dem readership, will tend to be about Lib Dem concerns – whether that’s party personalities, internal rows, or barracking our opponents.

There are seven stories pretty much guaranteed to catapult any Lib Dem blog posting to the top of the ratings:

  • Attacking Ming Campbell’s performance as party leader
  • Defending Ming Campbell’s performance as party leader;
  • A defection to/from the Lib Dems;
  • Any party selection infighting;
  • Taking the piss out of David Cameron;
  • An opinion poll, good or bad;
  • Any mention of top Tory blogger, Iain Dale.

If we feed all this into my interweb scrambulator, we get the ultimate Lib Dem blog headline, guaranteed to top the Golden Dozen:

Ming Campbell should resign and force leadership contest, as new poll shows David Cameron’s defection to Lib Dems will send our ratings plummeting – what will Iain Dale say??!!

A bit long, and it lacks something in the scansion, I admit.