October 1, 2007

Woohoo! I'm number between 21 and 51!

Meredith Farkas has published the results of her survey of her readership's favourite blogs. Check out the list; there are certainly some surprises, most notably that the Annoyed Librarian came in as #1.

CoaSL finished in the 3-6 Votes aggregate, a result with pleases me quite a bit. When the survey was announced, I figured I would get between 0 - 5 votes so I'm quite happy to poll in the upper part of that range. I would like to thank those of you out there that voted for me; I appreciate your support and will continue to blog about things that interest me and, I hope, you as well.

What does the survey mean? First of all, the number of people who voted is quite small, only 218. For the top 10 or so, it probably fairly represents people's true preferences. Beyond that the numbers of votes per blog is quite small so the results are vulnerable to the vagaries of readerships, linking and the way the survey was publicized and are therefore probably much less indicative of anything in particular.


  • The fact that the Annoyed Librarian finished a convincing 1st probably means that the more deadly serious, self-important bloggers out there could probably lighten up a bit. The Librarians Guide to Etiquette also had a strong showing.

  • Such a small sample probably favours blogs that linked to Farkas's original survey post. After all, if you were just reading a particular blog, you must be somewhat more likely to vote for it than some other blog, if only because it will be at the top of your mind. (Note: I did link to the survey with a somewhat self-mocking post.)

  • Posting about tech stuff a lot certainly doesn't hurt.

  • It's possible to make a significant impact in quite a short time. The Academic Librarian is a very new blog and it showed quite respectably.

  • Everyone will say that the survey is meaningless or not an important measure of a blog's importance or impact but everyone who did better than they expected will be pleased and everyone that did worse will be disappointed. It's an honour just to be nominated.

  • There's no such thing as bad publicity. The OEDb list has so far sent around 300 visitors my way; weeks after the list was published I'm still getting one or two hits most days. If something like this lets us B/C/D list blogs find a new audience, expand our communities a bit, then that's a good thing.

  • The fact that only 218 people bothered to vote probably tells us something as well. Presumably Farkas has a far larger readership than that; as well the non-overlapping readerships of the people that linked to the survey is probably also quite large. It seems that most people didn't feel the need to vote. Too reminiscent of high school, perhaps? (I voted although, frankly, I can no longer even remember who I voted for.)

  • The exercise is probably most useful as a way to encourage people to check out blogs they've never read before. I know I certainly will and I welcome those that are visiting here for the first time.


Christina said...

I think talking about sample size and numbers are really not appropriate for this particular survey.
Personally, I'm tickled pink that I'm in someone's top three.
I think that some people didn't vote because they couldn't decide their top three -- it would have been an entirely different survey if there had been a list to pick from.

John Dupuis said...

In one sense I agree: a survey this informal and this off-the-cuff probably doesn't really stand up to a detailed analysis of sample size and such. On the other hand, I think that precisely for that reason it helps to mention that beyond the top 10 or so, the number of votes per blog is so small as to not be statistically significant.

I linked to the original survey and I did quite well (for me, at least). It's hard to say if I hadn't linked if anyone would have remembered to vote for me. Or even how many of Farkas's regular readers are regular readers of CoaSL. I'm not sure how much our readerships overlap even though hers is probably orders of magnitude larger.

Three votes could easily be my mother, sister and wife (although I'm 99% sure none of them voted ;-).