Sunday, February 12, 2006

Google's Top 20 Powerbloggers

Let's face it -- much of blogging is an exercise in vanity. Look at me! Hear what I have to say! As part of this, every blogger (whether they admit it or not) will Google their own name to see how highly they rank in the listings.

This is not much of a challenge for me, considering there aren't many people named Kaigani. However, I started thinking about the challenge this must pose for people with common names. I also thought it might be an interesting way to discover blogs, aside from the top listed ones that you see on all the blogrolls.

Hence -- The Powerbloggers.

The criteria for being a Powerblogger is to be the active author of a weblog ranked the highest by Google when searching for that author's given name. And their given name must be one of the 10 most common names for a man or woman. I've used an American list of names, because (at the time) I could not find any other list of names based on current census rather than baby names.

So here they are...

Male Powerbloggers

1. James - James Wolcott (#8) (Google ranking)
Interestingly two British bands JAMES ranked #1 and James Blunt ranked #4, but the first actual blogger was James Wolcott.

2. John - John Battelle's Searchblog (#12)
Not surprisingly John Kerry ranks at the top of the list, however he hasn't caught the blogging bug. Senator John McCain (#8) and author John Grisham (#9) also haven't made the most of their pulling power, leaving the first Powerblogger on the second page of search results at #12.

John Battelle was one of the original founders of Wired Magazine, among his multiple projects, his searchblog, which focusses mainly on Google, is the only one carrying his name.

3. Robert - Robert Scobleizer - Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger (#3)
The top Google ranking goes to author Robert Munsch, however the title of Powerblogger goes to Robert Scobleizer. However, this is his old blog, and until people update their links to his new one, Google will continue to promote this one.

4. Michael - Michael Moore (#1)
Michael Moore is the first Powerblogger to be ranked #1. Not surprising considering the popularity of politics and media when it comes to blog topics. He's at the centre of both.

5. William - William Gibson (#8)
William Hung ranks #1, apparently through a comic failure on American Idol. Thankfully, he's not a blogger -- which leaves Cyberpunk genre-defining author William Gibson as the Powerblogger. It's a bit sad that on Google, Gibson, along with authors Faulkner and Shakespeare sit behind William Hung and online sports betting site, William Hill.

6. David - David Weinberger - Joho the Blog (#8)
David Bowie (#1) is worth mentioning for the fact that it enables people to create their own fan-blogs on the site. Also of note is the David Suzuki Foundation (#2), with regular updates, but it doesn't quite qualify as a blog. Nutter David Icke (#3) should win an award for the most annoying webpage, but apparently the he's too busy fighting the Matrix, The Illuminati and Snake-people to write a blog.

David Weinberger's Joho the Blog is the Powerblogger here, with his writings about internet and technology culture.

7. Richard - Richard Stallman (#1)
Stallman gets the coveted #1 Google ranking, as the founder of the GNU Project. His site is a bit old-school, and it takes some poking around to find the Blog under Political Notes.

8. Charles - Charles Stross - Charlie's Place (#39)
There aren't many Charles' blogging. It took some digging to reach this page. Maybe bloggers aren't going by their given name of Charles, but are instead choosing Charlie or Chuck? ... Chaz?

Charlie's Diary is the actual blog, where he writes about his life as an author of Sci-Fi novels.

9. Joseph - Joseph Wu's Origami Page (#1)
Finally -- a Powerblogger who is not a techie or an author. Joseph Wu's blog isn't updated very often, but it's definitely interesting, and useful. It's also a full of practical advice, which is a welcome change from the typical narcissism of the blogosphere.

10. Thomas - Thomas P.M. Barnett (#52)
Again, bloggers don't seem to be using their full name, 'Thomas'. Barnett, who has published political books, doesn't even rank in the top 50. Which makes me think that Tom Coates' should really be listed as the Powerblogger, ranked 4th in a search for 'Tom'.

Women Powerbloggers

1. Mary - Mary Hodder - Napsterization (#31)
The 'Mary' results are predominated by links to colleges and Christian references, so Hodder's blog falls down the list. On Napsterization, Hodder comments on the changing world of media through P2P technologies.

2. Patricia - Patricia Muller - Vanilla Mist (#9)
Brazillian web designer, Muller shows the power of creating your own WordPress templates. Most of the discussion, and popularity of this blog is due to her 'Connections' template, which links back to her website when used by others.

3. Linda - None
Incredibly, I couldn't find a single Linda blogger in the top 100 Google results.

4. Barbara - Barbara Ganley - bgblogging (#34)
Ganley teaches creative writing, and courses specifically about blogging. Writing a blog about blogging is a sure way to become a Powerblogger.

5. Elizabeth - Elizabeth Lane Lawley - Mamamusings (#10)
Finally, another woman blogger in the top 10. Lawley, an information technology professor and Microsoft researcher, her blog is an interesting mix between technology news and personal diary.

6. Jennifer - Jennifer Ledbetter - Geeks Make Me Hot (#3)
Tech-saavy Wordpress support-gal, Ledbetter also knows a bit about branding. With a sexy title to lure in the boys and loads of techie-talk to keep them there. She's also a webdesigner, who I suspect has benefitted from the Wordpress-effect.

7. Maria - None
Like Linda, no Maria appeared within the top 100 ranked sites.

8. Susan - Susan Mernit (#8)
Susan's "writing and news about social media" - has ranked her as a Powerblogger. She doesn't even need to upgrade her blogspot hosted account.

9. Margaret - Margaret Cho (#1)
Margaret Cho is way ahead of her celebrity peers when it comes to the internet -- she's been a blogger since 2003. Like many personal blogs, Cho writes mostly about her life and times.

However, since she's a comedienne, her insights are more entertaining than your typical blog. Cho is the only female Powerblogger to be ranked #1.

10. Dorothy - none
Again, no bloggers named Dorothy ranked in the Google 100.

Falling short on Female Powerbloggers, I grabbed some of the top British women's names for 3 more name searches...

Rebecca - Rebecca Blood - rebecca's pocket (#2)
Author and long-time blogger, Blood provides some interesting web commentary.

Lauren - Lauren Wood - Anyway (#10)
Feministe's Lauren blogged away for 6 years, achieving a Google rank of #9, however since she left the Blog in January, Lauren Wood is our Powerblogger, with her slightly more tech-focussed blog.

Amy - Amy Gahran - Contentious (#10)
Content Strategist, and self-proclaimed 'Info Provocateur', Amy Gahran is our final Powerblogger, with her Contentious blog. In addition to that, she is possibly the top Powerfeeder, offering not only her own RSS feed, but compilations of her favourite feeds reader for import into your browser of choice. The largest one is a mammoth list of 400 feeds! That's enough content to keep you going for a while.

Technorati submit Google's Top 20 Powerbloggers to reddit


At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about chris pirillo? #1 on google for chris.

At 11:30 PM, Blogger Amy said...

Thanks, Kai -- although I'm not sure how meaningful this distinction is in my case. I've Googled "Amy" several times over the last few hours, and I keep moving up and down within the top 10 in those results. Sometimes I'm the first blogger listed, sometimes not.

- Amy Gahran

At 4:41 AM, Blogger Kai said...

Your results do seem to fluctuate. Last I checked you were #6.
Keep up the good work. I'm sure you can secure your position as a Powerblogger.


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