Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Blog ranking and the MessageSpace distortion

Iain Dale reports that Archbishop Cranmer has climbed two places in the UK’s Top Political Blogs.

He is now ranked No.12, which is beneath all of those to whom he is undeniably inferior (possibly excepting Tom Harris MP, who is a gentleman and a scholar so we will let it pass), but inappropriately above the likes of John Redwood MP, Douglas Carswell MP, Hopi Sen and the infinite worth of Dr Richard North at the EU Referendum blog. His Grace is even above the principal ‘grassroot’ blogs LabourList and LibDem Voice.

It is, of course, a delight to find oneself more highly ranked than The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Mail, the BBC’s Nick Robinson, Alastair Campbell and some of the more media-savvy MPs of all parties.

But it remains a mystery to His Grace why this should be.

Especially given the manifest distorting effects of some high-profile MSM linking to their select favourites; the unofficial patronage bestowed by the main political parties who provide links to their favoured few; and the exponential growth of mutual-back-slapping advertising networks.

For example, it appears that 10 of the Top 11 Wikio blogs are supported by MessageSpace revenue, and benefit from this community’s links and heightened profile.

Liberal Conspiracy is the exception, but the list establishes a direct correlation between Top ranking blogs and MessageSpace.

Of course, there are those who will say that MessageSpace makes use of these blogs precisely because they attract a lot of traffic, not vice versa.

But the benefits are manifestly mutual. MessageSpace says: ‘We work with some of the best, high traffic and most influential news, politics and current affairs websites in the UK. We work with these sites to help them earn revenue to sustain them and the important role they play in their political spheres, and also within the wider political debate.’

So, MessageSpace ensures financial subsidy to sustain these sites. During the fourth quarter of 2008 (the last figures quoted by the company), the income of bloggers broke down as follows:

• The single highest paid blogger had sales on average of £3,872 per month.
• The top 10% of bloggers had monthly sales averaging £2,861 in - a rise of 64% from £1,741 last year .
• The middle 40% of bloggers had average monthly sales of £351.
• The remaining 50% had average monthly sales of £54.

Jag Singh, MessageSpace’s CIO says: “What the numbers show is that for our leading bloggers it is now possible to be a full-time professional. For the semi-professional bloggers it provides a few thousand pounds a year, earning them the enough for a family holiday. For the rest it certainly pays their internet bills and enough to upgrade to a new lap-top annually.”

Cranmer would rather have liked his recent holiday to have been paid for. He wrote to MessageSpace (three times) to enquire about community membership. When he finally received a response, it was a rejection. Though they assured him that he was ‘at the top’ for future consideration. But this was months ago, and other blogs have since joined who were clearly more ‘at the top’ than His Grace ever was. He is evidently not deemed to be an acceptable site for their advertisers, despite having reached in excess of 60,000 absolute unique visitors, and despite being far more highly ranked than many of the sites which are deemed to be acceptable.

And the reason can hardly be because His Grace caters for a small and insignificant religio-political niche. Pink News is part of the MessageSpace network, and one is left to observe once again that the political concerns of the Christian majority are subsumed to those of vocal minorities.

Surely the ‘pink pound’ cannot be worth more than the holy one.

What is interesting to note is that Labourlist and LibDem Voice feature prominently in Wikio’s Top 10, but ConservativeHome (not part of the MessageSpace network) comes in at No17, beneath His Grace.

It is, of course, ludicrous to believe that ConservativeHome is in any sense less influential or informative or less widely read that either Labourlist or LibDem Voice.

Blog lists are increasingly discredited as a means of assessing popularity, influence or connectivity. Even Technorati has changed the way it calculates how many sites link to a certain blog, such that Cranmer’s ranking now swings anywhere between 123 and 277 in the space of a few hours.

But the MessageSpace distortion appears to be incontrovertible.

Perhaps someone with a lot of time on their hands might develop the appropriate algorithm so that yet another list might be produced to negate the effect.


Blogger Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Algorithm", not "logarithm". ;o)

15 September 2009 at 15:51  
Blogger Tory Bear said...

It's all a Papist conspiracy your Grace.

15 September 2009 at 16:12  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Obnoxio,

Thanks and corrected.

It just goes to show how much of a geek His Grace is not.


15 September 2009 at 16:13  
Blogger Guido Fawkes said...

Papists innit; Guido, Harris, ToryBear all from the one true church.

Think Wikio algorithm is better than it used to be. The fact is Westminster focused bloggers link to each other a lot. If you got a load of religious nutters to link to you you'd be fine.

15 September 2009 at 16:31  
Blogger Demetrius said...

The web moves in mysterious ways.

15 September 2009 at 16:45  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Tory Bear, Mr Fawkes,

His Grace begs you to grasp the incontrovertible truth that he has always been a part of the One True Catholic and Apostolic Church. He never left it, and never will.

And he is clearly winning some of the Papists over to his indisputable reasonableness, if the recent comments of Tom Harris are anything to go by.

15 September 2009 at 16:46  
Blogger Arden Forester said...

Sounds a bit like a one-way street to me. I think I'm far better off ploughing my own furrow. You haven't done too badly with this approach so far, Your Grace.

Give 'em a wide berth and sail on to better seas!

15 September 2009 at 18:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can stand the pig-Latin:

Nil desperandum.

Nil illegetemi carborundum.

15 September 2009 at 21:01  
Blogger UKViewer said...

Your Grace,

You are to good for them.

If you keep up your good work, I am sure that you will be elevated to the pinnacle of success.

15 September 2009 at 21:08  
Anonymous Morus said...

Your Grace,

Forgive my glibness in noting (light-heartedly, I promise) that your comment sounds just like those who defect to a new political party: "I didn't abandon the party - it abandoned me"!

Congratulations on your continued success - I have no doubt that your growing readership and influence will see you pulled into the MessageSpace stable in the not too distant future.

Best from afar,


16 September 2009 at 02:16  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace,

There is no need to win Papists over.

Remember La Rochelle!

16 September 2009 at 09:13  
Anonymous McKenzie said...

Personally, I think that most of these other blogs you speak about are 'shit'. The Fawkes blog appeals to wallies (read the comments), it is simply vogue to be commenting on it. Some of the comments on here (my own including) leave a lot to be desired for, but I get the impression that the comments are mostly on topic, and usually your topical grasp outclasses any of the other 'shit' by a long shot.

Sometimes you get on my wick with your overt Tory bias, but in all fairness you do fisk the nonsense of everyone, which is more than can be expected from the likes of Dale, who simply talks a load of bollocks for the most part. Basically, you make for refreshing reading in a world of spin and queer BS.

I feel that my world is finished. The world for me used to be so incredibly simple and straightforward, but all this has faded into black. It used to be that my sort would get born, go to school and be educated, then get a job. If you lacked the minerals for anything majorly academic, then you found something more leaning to your abilities and persona in general. Then you got a girlfriend, fiddled around for a few years and got married, for one reason or another.

Then, all of a sudden, the people who run the country decided that my kind are no longer important. They filled the country with all manner of alien filth who get priority over everything. We are made to pray to their god, eat their sacrificial meat; they crush our grave yards, they turn our cities into eastern barbaric slums. We are not allowed to speak out against this. We have become like mentally sick sheep. We get slapped down by every department that there is by people who have worked out the equation which helps them to get on in the new mixed up and mentally sick world. They have learnt the new language, which generates the desired short term results, at the expense of future annihilation.

This is what makes all the other blogs you speak of 'shit'. Where at least here, some of these concerns are recognised, if only in a minor way.

16 September 2009 at 09:29  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...


Hmm, interesting comments, some of which I agree with.

wv: mingss

16 September 2009 at 15:33  
Anonymous sydneysider said...

McKenzie I liked you much better
before you attended the Betty
Ford clinic.

17 September 2009 at 11:34  

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