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Biblioblog Top 50 is #13?

June 2, 2009

I was just perusing the top 50 biblioblogs for May and noticed that the blog itself came in at number 13. Is it just me, or does it seem odd that the blog The Biblioblog Top 50 is calculated into the biblioblog top 50? Maybe I’m just not enough of a fan of recursive systems (I never liked WINE when I ran Linux, either).

  1. June 2, 2009 11:16 pm

    Hi James. It’s not just you — I made a similar comment over on the NT Blog earlier ( Something quite amusing about the aggregator itself being so high in the chart! Cheers, Mark

  2. June 3, 2009 1:29 am

    Plus, the statistical basis for the ratings seems flawed in more than one way. On the other hand, I don’t know how to improve matters.

  3. June 3, 2009 9:40 am

    Last time I checked, the Biblioblog top 50 was calculated using Alexa ratings, which are next to useless for a community as small as the biblioblogging one. It would be interesting to hear how many people who visit biblioblogs actually have the Alexa toolbar installed.

    Of course, as John points out, there isn’t a better system at the moment–other than perhaps creating a counter software of some type and having blogs “opt in” by placing the biblioblog top 50 counter on their blog somewhere. If it was done right, the counter could even distinguish between unique hits and returning viewers.

    • June 3, 2009 5:37 pm

      So wait, the only way to register a hit is to have the Alexa toolbar installed? That’s odd.

      While I’m all for coming up with a homegrown (and locally coded) solution, the problem with creating a software counter is coming up with one that would be allowed on all the different hosting sites on which bibliobloggers dwell.

      For example, many of use are being hosted by WordPress, and they tend to be quite Spartan in the code they allow.

  4. June 3, 2009 6:22 pm

    The issue of compatibility is one of the reasons I haven’t attempted a proof-of-concept on my own. It would be a major headache to actually make it work on hosted WordPress, Blogger, self-hosted wordpress, and I’m sure several other self-hosted blogs.

    As for Alexa–yeah, my understanding is that Alexa tracks stats via the use of their toolbar. As you can imagine, this hardly produces a representative sample of Internet users. A quick Google search will give you more information on the matter than you really want. What this means for the biblioblogosphere is that most of the hits to a site aren’t tracked via Alexa. If you don’t use their toolbar, you don’t count.

  5. June 4, 2009 9:03 pm

    Calvin – That’s incorrect. Alexa does not require an Alexa toolbar in its measurement of website hits. This has been the case since 2008.

    In addition, Alexa is currently heading the ratings for the best free statistics provider. It is the best available. If a better one turns up, we would switch. Those criticising the ratings often base their criticism by placing faith in their own website statistics, which are often inferior. That, and they are humorless wretches.

    Jim – The decision was originally made to exclude the Biblioblog Top 50 from the stats, and then it was pointed out that other ‘meta-biblioblogs’ such as are included. So, for consistency, and to provide full information, the Biblioblog Top 50 has been included. The ratings were probably higher this month for the Top 50 site, because of the advertising received from John Hobbins’ blog.

    Ramesh Patel

  6. June 4, 2009 9:29 pm

    I stand corrected. It would be interesting to know how Alexa is able to gather statistics on website visitors who do not use their toolbar.

    • June 5, 2009 12:21 am

      Alexa just mention that they employ a number of different methods. They’re not giving their secrets away.


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