Monday, May 31, 2004

Blog Studies

I wasn't going to post today. Not only is it a holiday, but it's our 7 year anniversary, and I didn't want to be like that loser who blogged in the bathroom during his anniversary. But here I am posting. Why? Because I'm a loser.

There are now three blog studies currently underway. One by Dan Drezner, one by Eszter Hargittai, and one by myself and my co-author, Toni.

Dan's and Eszter's papers relate to blogging and the media. Ours is on blogging and political participation. We've got a short, sweet survey completed, and ready to be sent out next week. More later on the paper itself.

But like Eszter, I've been having some difficulties coming up with a list of the top 50 political blogs. For us, the actual order of the 50 is not important, just that we don't miss any of the biggies.

The Truth Laid Bear has a list of the bloggers with the most links and a list of the bloggers with the most hits. But links doesn't always translate into hits. And their hit list only includes those who use sitemeter. The Technorati list includes too many items that aren't really blogs.

Also, sometimes it is difficult to decide who is a political blogger and who isn't. For example, is Lileks a personal blogger or a political blogger?

The group blogs are also causing us some difficulty.

I've been using the ecosystem of the Truth Laid Bear and weeding out all the obvious non-political blogs, like Blogshares and the mormon web ring. The survey will have a filter question that will double check that the blogger considers his/her blog to be political. Now, I'm thinking about crosschecking the list with Technorati to double check that we're including the most important. Any other suggestions?

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