A flaw in the Golden Dozen?

Not sure if anyone’s mentioned this before, but a thought occurred to me that there might be a flaw in the way the Lib Dem Voice Golden Dozen, specifically the seven most popular links, is compiled.

Those top seven are based on the seven posts that receive the most click-throughs from the Lib Dem Blogs aggregator, which purportedly reveals the seven most popular Lib Dem blog posts of the week. However, having noticed the sort of posts that get included in those seven, I’m not sure it’s an accurate reflection of what’s popular.

Consider this – as bloggers become more popular and well-known with consistently good posts, they’re more likely to become a regular read for people. Thus, their sites are more likely to find their way into people’s bookmarks and their RSS feeds are more likely to be subscribed to. However, that means that when a blog becomes popular and well-read, no matter how good a blog post is, it’s less likely to be clicked through to from the aggregator because it’s already been read before the reader visits there. While taking the top 7 from the aggregator may help give a boost to blogs that are otherwise little-read, it’s not necessarily showing the top reads amongst Lib Dem bloggers.

(By the way, this isn’t intended to denigrate any of the work the LDV team or Ryan at Lib Dem blogs do, it’s just a thought I wanted to put out there, no doubt entirely as a justification for why I’ve never featured in the Dozen…)

4 thoughts on “A flaw in the Golden Dozen?”

  1. We discussed this quite a lot when the G12 was created. My view is that it’s a
    weakness, but in the end is fine – because it means there is a bias towards
    highlighting less established blogs, which is a good thing.

  2. I totally agree, it ends up being on the whole the same few people with a very random splattering of others, now and again.

    I am with yu on not knocking the team at LDV as they do a great job, but I do wish they would include some random spots into the golden dozen, say the top 6 how it is done now, 4 via LibDig and 2 random newbies who wouldn’t normally get a look in.

  3. What you say is totally true, Nick, and I think I/we at LDV have acknowledged it on the site before – as you say, bloggers with an independent readership will not rely on links from the Aggregator to be read widely.

    However, the top 7 in the Golden Dozen is an objective measure of what Aggregator readers have found interesting in the last week.

    It’s also a great equaliser: even the newest of ‘newbie’ bloggers has a chance of topping the charts if their post is interesting enough. If the Golden Dozen featured those bloggers who were the most popular, it would probably get boringly repetitive and self-reinforcing.

    It’s also the case – probably a bigger flaw – that the most clicked-on posts are more likely to be of parochial interest (eg, stories about LD personalities or flame wars between bloggers). The more thoughful posts about non-LD matters, with honourable exceptions, are often less read – which is why we reserve five places in the Golden Dozen for readers’ choices.

    cheers, stephen

  4. There are lots of flaws with the Golden Dozen which, to be fair, Stephen Tall is the first to point out.

    I’m not sure this is a “flaw” as much as a happy accident though as it alerts people to new and upcoming blogs.

    The real problem with the GD is that it is so easy to game – and yes I do admit to being guilty of that from time to time. It is also a problem that posts made at the start of the week have an advantage over ones that are made at the end. Perhaps it should cover the past ten days so as to minimise this?

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