Tag Archives: Wikio

Can you drink beer and stare at your navel at the same time?

I did try to promise myself I wouldn’t return to the subject of the Wikio beer blog rankings again. Frankly, there aren’t more than 50 people in the country interested in them. If that. (Of which navel gazing, more later.) But I indicated, I believe, when I raised the subject before that Wikio’s presentation of its rankings as being properly meaningful, rather than simply an artefact of the way it fixes the measurements, is actually harmful to those rated lowly by its methodology, who deserve much better.

Wikio’s methodology statement says

The position of a blog in the Wikio ranking depends on the number and weight of the incoming links from other blogs. These links are dynamic, which means that they are backlinks or links found within articles. Only links found in the RSS feed are included. Blogrolls are not taken into account, and the weight of any given link increases according to how recently it was published. We thus hope to provide a classification that is more representative of the current influence levels of the blogs therein.

But does Wikio’s methodology really reflect blogs’ influence, and blogs’ importance? I have serious doubts. They’ve decided that recent links from other bloggers are far more meaningful than numbers of links or numbers of visitors, without giving, as far as I’m aware, any rigorous justification for this: it’s just their opinion. Which is not necessarily any better than your opinion, or mine. And the result is that the three British beer blogs that Alexa says come one two and three for highest number of visitors come 37, one and 65 in Wikio’s rankings. Now, any system that ranks the blog with the third highest number of hits as only the 65th most important is, you might think, curious. But only if your dictionary defines “curious” as “a crock of shit”.

As you can see from the table below, there are currently at least four beer blogs in the Alexa top 20 that Wikio reckons aren’t in the top 40 and two in Alexa’s top 10 that aren’t even in Wikio’s top 60. Wikio’s top 10 and the Alexa top 10 have just four blogs in common. Blogs such as Beermerchants, BarBlog, Beer Reviews, Lager Frenzy, Real Ale Blog and TTBOOB (and I am going to be SO in trouble for turning Melissa’s “Taking the Beard out of Beer” site into an acronym there) are damaged by Wikio’s rating system, because it makes them look much less popular than they really are. Continue reading Can you drink beer and stare at your navel at the same time?

So who IS the most popular beer blogger in Britain?

How do you measure popularity in the blogging world? Wikio believes it has the answer: take each blogger and assess “the number and weight of the incoming links from other blogs”. It then produces a ranking of “the most influential blogs in the UK and Irish blogospheres”.

But having seen my own Wikio ranking bwoing wildly up and down over the past three months on the basis of what I know (because I track the links into my blog) are tiny, tiny differences in the numbers of links being made from one month to the next, I don’t believe Wikio rankings are actually reflecting anything meaningful. And yes, because I have a big ego (or I wouldn’t be a blogger), I do look at people higher than me in the Wikio listings, and think: “I can’t believe HE’S more influential than I am …” (Incidentally, if you believe you may be the “HE” referred to there, don’t worry, chances are it’s someone else. Or not.)

Is there a better way of measuring blog popularity? Well, sheer numbers of visits is a good one: and you can gather that information for any website, by entering its url at Webdatah here and within 60 seconds or so out will pop your global website rank courtesy of Alexa (which is part of Amazon). Now, Ron Pattinson is not the only nerdy number-cruncher who can whip up an Excel spreadsheet around here, so after some tedious data-gathering, I can now present to you the Z-A league table (that’s Zythophile-Alexa, not Zak Avery) of British beer bloggers, as ranked by Alexa’s measurement of average daily visitors and pageviews for the past month.

(Update: indeed, now I’ve checked even further down through Wikio’s listings, a site it reckons is only the 22nd most influential beer blog in these islands IS ACTUALLY THE FOURTH MOST VISITED. Which downgrades Wikio’s methodology even further, to me: because if you’re the fourth most visited, you ain’t merely the 22nd most influential …)

So here is the (updated)

British and Irish Beer Blogger Popularity League Feb 2010 Continue reading So who IS the most popular beer blogger in Britain?