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Infoscapelab releases new study on Canadian bloggers and how partisan they are.

Professor Greg Elmer of Ryerson University, who is also the Infoscape Director & Bell Globemedia Research Chair at Ryerson, alerted me to this new study seeing just how “partisan” bloggers in the Canadian political landscape are. Greg and I first met at the “Bloggers Room” last December at the Liberal Party Convention – he had been invited to the action partially I think to blog about us bloggers who were covering it and for research into the political blogging phenomenon. He had a few good chats with us, and he was also featured prominently in CPAC’s coverage of us at the Convention as well.

I won’t make any conclusions myself on the report; the only thing I will say is that I questioned Greg about how they came to decide who the “Top 20 Most Influential Bloggers” from each political blogging group looked at was, since that’s who they wanted to look at to be able to narrow it down and to use as research. His answer was that “It was an aggregation of three indicators: 1) total number of posts (over 3 months) 2) total number of comments, and 3) recommendations from other bloggers (partisan blogs: Liblogs, Blogging Tories, etc)”.

Of course, you can probably figure out my reply to him was that the research group should have taken into account blogging site traffic – which would have been the best factor of all in determining who was well-read. His reply is fair – blogging traffic is more or less private info and hard to get unless a blog publicizes it or is willing to give it out. I’d be willing to bet that a lot of bloggers would have given the team those #’s if they knew it was for a research project, and particularly since the report they’ve released don’t even mention the blogs in question that they looked at.

Anyhow, the Infoscapelab report and their findings is here. Feel free to leave feedback, as I’m sure he’d like some input back.

6 comments to Infoscapelab releases new study on Canadian bloggers and how partisan they are.

  • Greg Elmer

    A quick response. This brief report is an extract from a larger research project that will be published later this year. This will also include an elaboration of the blog ranking method that Scott noted in his post. In terms of the traffic issue, we felt it was unrealistic to get questionnaires out to the entire liblog, blogging tories, dippers (etc.) rolls (we also wanted to study the entire emembership of partisan blog rolls — meaning we needed a ranking method for the entire list and not just those who returned a questionnaire with traffic numbers). In addition, in our experience, better organized blog rolls — and bloggers —  are more likely to repond to researcher inquiries (thus created a bias in our sample). Given the nature of our research and conclusions (on online politics) we have also faced some partisan scrutiny (from bloggers) in the past. We thus felt a more objective method was warranted.

     We also could not independently verify traffic numbers offered by bloggers. As an aside, it is commonly knowledge that technoratic, Google, and other search engines rank the authority of blogs based on incoming links — we felt our method was more exact as we further narrowed that common practice by explicitly focusing on "blogs that I read" links from bloggers. While not perfect our ranking of comments (as one indicator of influence and authority within partisan blog rolls) would seem to be a better indicator of engagment with writings of a blogger than simple blog visits (reads). But we could argue about that too! thanks Scott.

  • [quote comment=”4793″]Interesting – but I was hoping for more. Oh well…[/quote]

    What else did you want to see TT? I talk to Greg a bit on Facebook… leave a request and I can pass it on to him (that goes for other comments/critiques/suggestions to others as well).

    Perhaps in one of their next studies they can incorporate it.

  • Interesting – but I was hoping for more.  Oh well…

  • knb

    Yikes, did I make that black line?

  • knb

    I’ve yet to go through it, but the title doesn’t surprise me.

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