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What the blogs have been talking about this past week.

Some of the academia out there are interested in what bloggers are saying during the Ontario Provincial Election – interested enough that they’re researching it and posting their findings. One group in particular that is doing this is Infoscape Research Lab, which originates from Ryerson University and is led by Professor Greg Elmer, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Liberal Convention last December in the “Blog Room”.

They’ve released their report for what occurred this past week here; what interests me is that they based their findings on the Top 100 blogs as “determined by Google”. I’m kind of curious how they used Google to determine that. Furthermore, did they look at individual blogs only, or did they look at the Blog Aggregates out there (both for the specific political party supporters out there – ie Liblogs/Blogging Tories etc, and the multi-partisan/non-partisan aggregates – Progressive Bloggers and The Blogging Alliance of Non-Partisan Canadians). The various blog aggregates would be up there for traffic if looked at a a whole (which is the reason they were all formed in the first place), and conveniently has all the blogs in the world that they could use to base their research on.

I’d also have been interested to see a breakdown of who they found the Top 100 bloggers to be – not naming them individually necessarily, but specifically grouping how many belonged to a certain political affiliation (if any), because it would have aided in seeing why their pie charts (for who was the winner and loser of the Ontario leader debates as an example) came out the way they did.

Anyhow, I note from my perspective that MMP and its referendum was #3 on topics, and that the Vote For MMP group on Facebook is by and far the leader in membership, as well as having the largest spike in new members the past week. I also note the astounding spike in people viewing Green Party related Youtube videos.


2 comments to What the blogs have been talking about this past week.

  • Greg Elmer

    Scott, as always intrigued by our methods! We’ve had many debates about  constructing samples of bloggers, using blog partisan aggregators (Liblogs, blogging tories, etc.), or scraping results from technorati/google blogs. We have done all three of these methods, for various reasons, which would take me far too long to explain. But this last study was done using google because of the simple fact that google and technorati are the industry standards in term of ranking algorithms (that is determining which blogs/blog posts are the most relevant and authoritative). We did a sample of 100, immediately after the debate – and "hand" coded all the comments. A very lengthy and time consuming process (which also more than not explains choices in methods!). That said, we can go back and do as you suggest — that is figure out the affiliation of the top 100 results. But for this one-time study we were not as much interested in that question. We were more broadly interested in gauging a quick, timely picture of what the most influential blogs were discussing in relationship to the leadership debate. -Greg

  • Interesting questions Scott.  Good post.  To be honest I do search  youtube videos for Green Party vids.  I have enjoyed many of the speaker/ commercials I have seen in the past so I keep coming back.   Not just the Green Party in Canada though but across the world. They are informative and entertaining.

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