Noodging that “top 25 list” a little more

So I had a little fun with the somewhat nonsensical notion that this blog has the 8th highest reach of any librarian blog. (Let’s just ignore the fact that I’m not a librarian, shall we?)

A fair number of people have pointed out various flaws in OEDb’s methodology–and in the whole idea of an objective list. Having done “reach” metrics in the past, I’m acutely aware that they are, at best, SWAGs–statistical wild-assed guesses.

But they’re also a little irresistible if you’re looking at lots of blogs. I do have a “visibility” metric in Public Library Blogs: 252 Examples and I’ll have the same metric in the Academic Library Blogs book I’m working on. The visibility metric bears a vague relationship to the OEDb metric, but uses fewer measures and different ones.

I’ve toyed with the idea of doing a lateral study of liblogs once the current project is done–seeing how the blogs in both of my previous studies (and those that could have been in the first, but weren’t) are doing a year or 18 months or two years or 30 months later. I even put together a spreadsheet containing all of the blogs that would be part of that study (359 of them, as things stand now). And, at some point early this summer (I think), I ran my “visibility” metric for those 359 blogs.

So today, just for fun, I sorted that spreadsheet by descending visibility, printed out the first 25, and checked to see how many of those are in OEDb’s top 25. What would you guess? Half? Two-thirds?

Four. Count them, four. Certainly not including this blog!Part of that–maybe most of that–is that I used entirely different methods to prepare a list of candidates, mostly relying on self-nomination in one of the two wikis that contain lists of liblogs and library blogs, and adding a few that I was aware of through other means. DMOZ (“DMOZ?”)? Not so much.
Here are some of the ones that would place high on my list–but, of course, if I do the study I’ll redo the metric and might find a way to refine it, and it’s quite possible that I’ll avoid a “top 25” list:

MaisonBisson, ResearchBuzz,, Tame the Web, beSpacific, Information Wants to be Free, Archivalia, Text & Blog, ALA TechSource Blog, Library Stuff, Catalogablog,Stephen’s Lighthouse, blogwithoutalibrary, Lorcan Dempsey’s weblog, Kids Lit…

As to which four are on both lists? No great surprise: The top four on the OEDb list–but they’re not the top four on my list, although two of them are among the top three and all four are in the top, oh, 16.

The moral to this story? Rankings are fun, we’re going to get “graded” whether we like it or not, and it’s also all a little silly. But fun.

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