More Wikio Ranking News

After last month’s call to arms for wine bloggers to collaborate more to avoid being relegated to the second rank of sites in the Wine & Beer category on Wikio, not a great deal has changed (yet) but there are a couple of bright lights.

First, the news at the top is that Pete Brown joins us Dirty Rascals as he is toppled as king of this particular castle and Pencil & Spoon takes his top spot.

Lower down, and there is an 11-place rise for Mr Simon Woods and his “Drinking Outside the Box” after a concerted blogging effort this month (his ASUS Transformer must have energised him) and a stonking 15 place rise for Bibendum Wine, in part thanks to what must have been an exciting Americas Most Wanted Tasting I think.

There are now 4 wine blogs in the Top 20 (compared to 3 last month) so maybe the tide is turning? 

Well done all!

1 Pencil & Spoon
2 Pete Brown’s Blog
3 Zythophile
4 Beer Reviews
5 Woolpack Dave’s beer and stuff blog
6 Drinking Outside The Box
7 Are You Tasting the Pith?
8 Bibendum Wine
9 The Good Stuff
10 Tandleman’s Beer Blog
11 Master Brewer at Adnams
12 The Pub Curmudgeon
13 Ghost Drinker
14 Raising the Bar
15 The Wine Conversation
16 Rabid About Beer
17 the beer monkey
18 Called to the bar
19 Spittoon

Ranking made by Wikio



I feel I should add an addendum to this post, as the discussion comes up each time rankings of this sort are mentioned.

I am not subscribing wholeheartedly to the Wikio concept and algorithm, and I do not think that making this list should be the goal or target of a blogger. On the contrary. What is a “Top Blog” in any case? Everyone’s is different.

Just like the discussion of individuals’ “influence” by the likes of Klout, PeerIndex and so on, blog rankings are always going to be very limited interpretations of a niche of content on the web.

But what else is there?

Not everyone has the luxury of time and experience to know what blogs they might like to read, or people they should follow. There are still those who are joining the social web every day, looking for places to start their discovery, or expand their horizons. I know I still feel that way.

In the case of wikio, the rankings have been criticised because they do not take into account a site’s traffic. There are very well read, very well written, blogs out there that do not get to the top of this list. Is that a reason to dismiss them entirely? 

Not in my opinion. Traffic is not the best way to judge a blog. Traffic can be ‘gamed’ by attracting a lot of useless visitors passing through with no interest in the subject but lead there by misleading links or other dubious practices. How do you differentiate those sites who spend years building their traffic through solid effort from those who simply pay spamming organisations? Getting around this issue in a fair and general way, has tested cleverer people than me for years.

Every blogger or reader can give you THEIR list of top blogs, but are these any better or less arbitrary than the automatically generated ones that use rules and the few publicly available measures to rank sites?

Wikio looks at the links to, and from, other sites (including twitter) to decide which sites other content creators consider worth linking to. As a guide to ‘interesting’ sites, I think this is as good as any. It means that bloggers need to encourage other bloggers, and their readers, not only to come and read their content, but make the effort to link to it in their own writing. This is a whole lot more of a challenge than getting people just to visit the site for a second or two.

The focus, therefore, is not on the raw numbers of visitors or readers someone might get, but the interaction that blog or post has generated among the social community, after all, we are supposed to be breaking down information silos and encouraging sharing.

Of course this method IS flawed. It focuses too much on other bloggers and not the value to readers in general. It gives extra weight to links from the existing ‘leaders’ and so creating a self-referential A-list. It doesn’t look at the value of the interaction, only the raw numbers of links. I could go on.

All these rankings are a guide to the performance of a blog or group of blogs, and if treated as a sign or ‘health report’ and not as gospel, they can add value and help bloggers create better, more engaging content, and readers to find new voices to explore.

I have no affiliation with Wikio, they simply asked me if I wanted to publish this sneak preview.

My interest in the ranking is only to see whether the wine blogging community is doing a good job of supporting each other in a way that helps them, and their readers, to create and enjoy better wine content. In my view we are not doing as good a job and promoting each others best materials as we once did, but we are committing to improve this, and so I monitor our performance as best I can.