Okay, you're gonna think I'm a jerk for saying this …
… but now that I’ve actually had some time to puruse the “top 15 web analytics blogs” on Avinash’s list I can only say his criteria is massively flawed. Clearly there are more important criteria than a numerical ranking based on linkages from sites, something that recognizes A) authority, B) quality of content, C) uniqueness of content and D) overall value to the general web analytics community.
And no, I’m not whining because I come in near the 10th slot in Avi’s ranking system. See for yourself.
I don’t mean to be rude but:
- Marshall Sponder doesn’t really post very much about web analytics, he just posts a lot and happens to have a nom-de-plume of “WebMetricsGuru”
- I like what Neil Patel has to say, especially his RSS wish list (Neil call me, we should talk!) but only six of his hundred-odd posts are about web analytics and they’re all really about RSS-based analytics more or less
- Travis Staut hasn’t posted anything since April 24th and the only web analytics content I can find on his site is really about Google Analytics dashboard views
- I used to work with Frank Spillers and Frank doesn’t do “web analytics”, Frank is a usability guy. Plus, before his April 21, 2006 post on usability, Frank hadn’t posted since October of 2005!
- I don’t know Ed Schipul very well (he’s educating me about microformats) but again, not very much on his site is really about web analytics (although I do like the picture of Jeffery pitching “Waiting …”)
- Clint, okay, Clint is a web analytics blogger but even he might blanch at that assessment since he’s more about how the information is communicated, not so much the data content, etc.
- Casanova’s like Clint, sort of web analytics but he renamed the blog “Coffee, Sun, Technology” and is as likely to post about shooter as he is web analytics topics.
Notice I’m not picking on the European bloggers. Obviously I don’t read enough French to understand what the hell is being said but the fact that Aurelie and Rene aren’t on the list is quite suspect …
Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, where are Eric Butler, Steven Jackson and Blackbeak, Matt Jacobs, the guys at ROI Revolution … these and a few others I don’t actually read seem to be obviously missing from the list when you consider authority, content quality and overall contribution to the larger analytics community.
Pat McCarthy at Conversion Rater sums it up best I think when he says:
- “Amazingly the results show this blog as #1 in the field, which is another sign that using Technorati ranking alone is probably not the best way to measure, as I know there are some other web analytics blogs which have more authority in the industry than this blog.”
Again, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Avi isn’t onto something neat with his idea of using metrics to “satiate [his] curiosity and also to create a handy list of resources for people interested in web analytics.” I just think that the using Technorati rankings is the wrong way to go about it.
I would propose that any “top 10” list of any type of content should be derived from a slightly more complex equation than one’s ability to get inbound links to their site. How about an equation that would include:
- Number of external citations relevant to the topic of web analytics
- Blogger tenure
- Author tenure in the web analytics arena
- Traffic volume to the weblog (subscribers and post reads, both in the blog and in RSS readers)
- Volume of comments generated
I’m sure we could come up with other criteria but in this regard I do disagree with Avinash’s comment “Simplicity always wins over complexity, because what people understand better they are more likely to action” regarding the generation of any such list. Not everyone understands exactly how books are added to the New York Times Bestsellers list (okay, Bryan and Jeffery do) but largely we still respect that list. Few people truly understand how analysts rank technology and companies financial health but those reports sure do seem to have an impact on the marketplace. Nobody really understands how the Bowl College Series (BCS) ranks football teams but, well, okay, maybe that’s a crappy example …
Anyway, I skipped Jon Stewart to rant and rant I have. To Avinash’s credit he’s getting people talking about the subject of web analytics, something I absolutely condone. I just think that when you start ranking and filing, especially given our general prediliction towards analysis, more work could be done on his list (now that I actually took the time to read the thing, my bad.)
And have no doubt, Avi is the number one web analytics blogger out there today far and away … he’s killing it! Congrats again to Avinash for stirring up the hornet’s nest. Avinash Kaushik for one is no Fred McMurry!
Agree? Disagree? Hate me for questioning Avinash? Comment away …