Monday, September 1, 2008

Wade Blogs

I strive with every post to become a better blogger. Lately, I strive to even consider myself a blogger. I guess that in the truest sense, I am posting fairly often, just lately not in the vein of what we're all here to read and write about.

I'll be honest, I've struggled a little bit with finding the motivation to post simply due to losing my momentum from taking off a week. For some strange reason it just hasn't come back to me like I want it to. I promise, once I get my groove back, I'll let you call me Stella.

Ok, maybe not

Also, the promotion I've been waiting on for over two years finally came last week and I've been beyond exhausted when I have had the time post. I'm sure I dumped some of that motivation to write into my restaurant this week.

But, in an effort to become better at blogging in general, this week I've focused mainly on researching blogs in other genres. While researching other blogs, I found 36 established "writer's" posts that I added to Google Reader and, hopefully, some of the things I learn at these sites will help to make TNB even better than it's been in the past.

From time to time I'll inform you guys of other sites that you might find interesting. But for tonight, I wanted to point out something about our own blogs.

Over the weekend I spent some time helping Mario update the Sports Card Directory he's maintained for months. While setting up a folder to keep track of the card blogs still updating in September, I noticed something in Reader that I had not seen before.

Now, take this entire post with a grain of salt. I know Google Reader is not the only Feed Reader out there. I know it's probably not the best and if anyone uses something that they like better than Google, please let me know. I haven't invested any time in the other Readers simply because there hasn't been any time to invest.

For anyone familiar with Google Reader you might find this information trivial. I found it quite interesting.

Directly under the Feed Settings box you'll find a link to hide or show details:

I accidentally clicked to show details tonight and found the above information about Treasure Never Buried. Google Reader will apparently tell you how many subscribers there are for any blog that you subscribe to along with the average posts per week.

I'm a little concerned that these numbers could be inaccurate due to a glitch or a "misread" by Google in this software. But, assuming these numbers are right, I set out to find the top 20 blogs by number of subscribers. This is what I found out:

Site Link Subscribers Posts per week
The Ugly Baseball Card Project 154 1.2
Cardboard Gods 109 2.3
A Pack A Day 78 27.1
The Baseball Card Blog 77 2.8
Wax Heaven 66 25.7
Cardboard Junkie 64 18.4
88 Topps Cards 61 27.8
Stale Gum 58 4.9
Sports Cards Uncensored 48 15.4
Thorzul Will Rule 29 6.1
Dinged Corners 29 14.5
Beckett Behind The Scenes 29 7.9
Awesomely Bad Wax 28 14.9
White Sox Cards 28 16.1
Things Done To Cards 23 3.7
Treasure Never Buried 23 7.9
Fielder's Choice 22 5.6
John's Old School Box Breaks 22 0.5
The Fleer Sticker Project 22 1.9
Oriole's Card “O” Of The Day 21 7

Like I said before, this doesn't reflect data from any other source than Google Reader. When coupled with the subscribers at different feed readers, the list could change dramatically. But, even still, there's no science to the figures.

But, doesn't it make you wonder about some of the trends displayed here. You have sites that update on average 3 times a week yet still have a massive amount of subscribers. But, then you have a site like WaxHeaven that posts 25+ times per week yet still doesn't have the highest overall subscribers. I think it would be impossible to sit down and try to map the mentality of those subscribing.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this doesn't paint a fair and accurate picture of the reality of our work but it does make me question alot of things.

For me, this opens up a whole new world of consideration for what makes a good blog. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Personally, I don't look at this and fret that I only have 23 subscribers. I look at it as I have 23 readers using Google Reader. Who knows how many don't use a Reader of any sort that come back daily to check for updates. There is a million possibilities of where you could take the information. I'm not advocating, complaining or praising the findings. I just think it's curious the way it stacks.

Anyways, congrats to everyone on the list. 20+ people subscribing is plenty enough reason for me to keep going on the days I wanna quit. I hope other's feel the same.

Take the data for what it's worth. You might not be interested and you might disagree with some of the numbers. These are simply the findings of one controlled effort to research the reasons behind those numbers.

Hope this comes in handy for someone. Maybe I'll post some of my opinions on why these numbers are what they are.

Until then...


Wax Heaven said...

I think the Ugly Baseball Card Blog was featured on Deadspin which would explain the huge amounts of readers.

Ben, well he was here before us and a APAD, as dull as it is sometimes is his baby and heavily promoted on his blog.

I am surprised about '88 Topps Cards, though. Wow.

mmosley said...

If judging blogs by number of posts or readers compared to other blogs is the way to rate them. then I should have quit long ago.

My little blog has a small audience that includes my brother and even my mom. I like doing it and a few people are mildly amused.

I'll keep rolling out my 1-2 posts per week, losing the "blogger contest" but having a blast doing it.

jv said...

Not knowing much of the back story of the guys here before me, I wasn't sure. I didn't know that about Ugly. That makes sense. So, does Ben Henry's stuff...

But, I too am amazed at 88 Topps Cards having so many subscribers. Not that it's a bad site, I actually love it personally. It's just that there are other "card a day" and set specific blogs out there and it made me question why this was the most popular of the bunch.

And when you look at all of the blogs and their writing style and content in contrast to 88 Topps it makes me even more curious.

88 Topps was actually the site that made me want to go and see who the top 20 were.

KEEP IN MIND, everyone! This is one instance from one service of how the various card blogs stack up against each other. It's not a definitive "study" (if you could even call it that) of who's the best, most read, most subscribed, or most popular.

I think that there are some demographics and maybe even some stereotypes that play into this and make it what it is.

I just thought that this info alone was interesting enough to note...

jv said...

Hey, Mark...

Oddly enough, Stat's on the Back was the 21st on the list and I took it off to make it an even 20.

Initially I took everyone over 20 subscribers to put on the list and there were 21 total that I found. I should have left it as "a study of blogs with over 20 subscribers" rather than coming across as a "20 best". I'm sorry if this post sounds that way.

I didn't mean to offend you if I did. Like I said, this isn't by any means a list of the best, I just wonder why certain blogs stacked up the way that they did.

I have no idea the amount of traffic that 99% of the blogs listed receive. Therefore, for all I know, Stats on the Back could be the most read blog on the net or could be the most subscribed to in Feed Reader or another reader.

This is in no way a "who's better" post.

I just question things like why Mario's site doesn't have as many Google Readers as other sites when his is clearly the "most popular" by amount of traffic he produces.

How a site like 88 Topps, which is a great site for collectors, could have so many readers. I would think WaxHeaven would have more "mainstream" sports fan readers than a site like 88 Topps that caters only to a specific and small section of the hobby. Not that WaxHeaven is better or that 88 Topps isn't good, just that WaxHeaven speaks to a larger audience.

And that's just one example. There are sites that update twice a week that have more Google subscribers than a site that updates at least once a day.

It all just makes me question what factors play into the numbers presented. Geographical location of author and readers, update frequency, content, publicity, etc, you name it and it affects it to some degree.

I really hope no is taking offense to this and that everyone understands that this isn't to point out who's best or most read.

And, please, if you're not on this list, don't take it as your blog is unsuccessful. It simply means that other blogs are more subscribed to in Google Reader.

Gellman said...

The subscriber link on google reader is about as wrong as it can be. Ill give you an example - it says fire joe morgan, a site with thousands of visitors per day, has less subscribers than I do. That is wrong as I know my whole office pretty much subscribes to that site and they still arent above me. I would take those numbers with a grain of salt.


mmosley said...

Hey, if take offense to any card blog stuff, I'll quite reading and writing about cards. It's all good fun to me.

I definitely think our little corner of the web has some one-upmanship from time to time. I don't have the energy for that. I just think it's cool we have a community to with which to interact.

Thanks for letting me interact!

jv said...

That's what I was most afraid of is that the numbers in Reader weren't accurate.

Maybe I'll contact Google about it at some point to get clarification.

The fact of the matter is that I'm a numbers fanatic. I spend my days at the restaurant crunching them like corn flakes. Accrued, budgeted, sold, spent, bought, given, labor, you name it.

I always find statistics interesting, it just frustrates me that there are so many stats out there that you can't fully trust.

Thanks for the heads up, Gellman. I had a feeling someone was going to say that.

PerfectMomentProject said...

thanks for the reminder about google reader... I also use google analytics... which seem pretty precise... although checking them out is like checking out the bags under my eyes in the mirror of a Target dressing room. ... just a little too honest.
numbers are a rabbit hole that's easy to fall into... and lost a whole Saturday.
Lately, I've been finding value in comments, not numbers. Nevermind the width, feel the quality.

Dinged Corners said...

Stats on the Back is an absolute necessity of life.

jv said...

Totally! Plus, Mark's got 2 more Copper Refractors coming my way... He gets brownie points...haha...

Thanks again, Mark!!

On that note, I'm still working on the Copper set so if you have any lying around, I'd love to trade you for them...just let me know...

--David said...

Remember, this shows how people are "subscribed" to a blog. I don't subscribe to anyone's blog. Why? I am old school, and perfer to actually visit each site to read the posts. So, even though I am a reader, I am not a subscriber, if that makes sense... I agree with MMosley's take on it, "I like doing it and a few people are mildly amused." That's why I do it... :-)

Lonerstarr said...

All I've got is an AJ Burnett Copperfractor (I think that's who it is anyway... too tired/lazy to check for sure at the moment :P). All yours of you want and/or need it though.