Notes from underground

يارب يسوع المسيح ابن اللّه الحيّ إرحمني أنا الخاطئ

Ranking blogs by Twitter followers

I recently came across a list of the top 100 Christian blogs ranked by Twitter followers — Top 100 Christian blogs ranked by Number of Twitter followers

…a Top Christian Blogs list with a difference. This list is ranked by another measure of influence that as far as I can see the other lists dont measure: Number of Twitter followers. Interestingly I found almost nobody in the top blog lists who didnt also Tweet, and the vast majority of them post all their blog posts as links to their Twitter feed (usually automatically). If you run a blog and don’t do that yet, its time you sort that out!

I find that rather odd, because I’ve never found a blog that tweets. Bloggers tweet, yes; but blogs, no. At least not in my experience.

And then someone I follow on Twitter tweeted this:

“People you may know” from @twitter is pointless. I don’t use Twitter that way; I don’t think many people do. I follow ppl I DON’T know! :p

And that made me wonder how people use Twitter.

I do follow a number of bloggers on Twitter, because I read their blogs, and want to know when they have posted something new. Similarly, I sometimes, but not always, tweet when I’ve posted something new on one of my blogs. But I tweet about lots of other things, and I’m sure a lot of people who follow me on Twitter never read my blogs at all. So I find it strange that one could measure blog popularity by the number of Twitter followers.

And what makes a “top Christian blog” anyway?

According to Amatomu (when it works), the “top” South African religious blog is a thing called Discerning the world which seems to specialise in venomous attacks on people and churches that the blogger doesn’t like. What she never bothers to tell us, though, is what she does like. Oh, and Adrian Warnock mentioned the absence of female bloggers in many “Top Christian blogs” lists. Well adding Discerning the world should help to remedy that deficiency!

I’m not sure how Amatomu calculates top blogs either. One that ranks consistently high is Dion Forster’s old abandoned blog, Dion’s random ramblings, which his current blog, An uncommon path, somehow never quite manages to catch up with.

Unlike @grahamdowns, whom I also quoted above, I don’t follow people on Twitter because I don’t know them or because I do know them. I follow them because I think they might tweet about stuff that interests me, whether I know them or not. And I often keep caught up by means of the daily digest of tweets, though its criteria for what is interesting don’t always coincide with mine. But that was how I found Adrian Warnock’s post in the first place.

What I find interesting, and use Twitter to help me to find, is not so much blogs as blog posts on topics that interest me. And for that Twitter is most useful if the tweets use hash tags. Adrian Warnock recommends Twitterfeed as a way of automatically notifying Twitter etc of new blog posts. But does Twitterfeed know how to use hash tags? (And, incidentally, that’s one reason I find blogs that ask you to log in before letting you comment annoying. Having to register to post one comment on one post that you find interesting seems a waste of time).

I use hash tags a lot to find tweets by people I don’t follow on subjects that interest me, and some of them, like #missiology, even produce a daily paper if enough people tweet on it.

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5 thoughts on “Ranking blogs by Twitter followers

  1. Thanks for writing, I guess its just one way of looking at things, and for me I definitely use Twitter to follow blogs, cant remember the last time I opened Google Reader like I used to! But people use it in different ways for sure

  2. I’ve never used Google reader and I do use Twitter for finding interesting blog posts — I’m just not sure that Twitter is an adequate measure of blog popularity, much less of blog excellence. I checked one of the other sites you mentioned and they seemed to use the Alexa toolbar as a measure, which seems even stranger as a measure. I dislike having toolbars foisted on me!

  3. Google Reader for showing me what’s being posted on blogs I find interesting and then following links from those blogs. That’s how I usually find new blogs.

    The problem with using Twitter for new material is that it doesn’t work in your time. Items scroll off the twitter feed never for anyone to bother reading them. Whereas an RSS feed reader is ready and waiting for when it’s convenient.

    Twitterfeed is an interesting tool but not for me. I prefer to manually tweet from my blog only if I think it’s worth it. Sometimes I post just for myself and don’t necessarily think people will find it interesting.

    Agree with toolbars Steve.

    • Yes, I definitely prefer the manual tweets if I think a blog podst may be interesting to others, but I don’t include every post. I used to feed all my Tweets to Facebook, but don’t do that any more either.

  4. Graham Downs on said:

    Thanks for the mention, Steve! (I posted the tweet you quoted).

    I wanted to respond here, but I figured my response might be a little off-topic, so I wrote a new blog post in reply: http://musingsbygraham.blogspot.com/2012/09/twitter-is-not-social-network.html

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