Blogebrity have an anlysis of popularity; looking at the the top 5 on the Technorati lists.
The list phenomenom got some focus in the backchat yesterday. Comments included:
The general concensus was that the popularity of a blog is ignored when people are looking for things of interest. Search tools allow you to lookfor blogs that are writing about your favourite topics. As Blogebrity says, the most popular blogs are often multi-author, and they write about lots of things. They pull together snippets from all over and they act as a good starting point to find other things. When I started reading blogs, I did start with what are called A-list blogs. they link to a lot of things (and get lots of links back) They are a jumping off point to the rest of the environment, the head of the trail. I got asked the other day how I found a blog; I have no recollection, I followed a trail, read something new that I liked and added it to the list. I’m doing the same from the Blogher listing. Reading the new links, saving the ones that have some resonance. Finding new voices is a joy.
But lists won’t go away; and they’ll be most easily driven from things that are easily measured – technorati uses incoming links. Other measures get into subjectivity, looking at peoples votes etc. And there’ll always be arguments and dissension whatever the measure.
Update 2: here’s some more links that discuss listings. Mary Hodder talks about the discussion and about her proposed community algorith to add more context to any popularity stakes (because any listing is some measure of that). She also links to a wiki list that has been created since Blogher, of women of authority who are prepared to talk at conferences.
Against listings is Halley. She comes down against ‘a’ list – that’s old media but makes this statement which lies closest to my own take onthe matter
If lists exist to give you a fast way to find other blogs you like, then there should be many many lists — best female blogs, best Spanish language blogs, best food blogs, best blogs on hybrid cars; etc.
One list won’t do; there’ll always be a matrix of lists. Whilst someone may be top of one person’s list, be a favourite, they could be way down another person’s list, someone who they never, ever wnat to read again. Tastes differ. Trying to find one way of recognising such tastes is futile