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Guest Post: The Rise and Fall of the New Zealand Christian Blogosphere

October 24th, 2009 by Madeleine

ScrubOne has gone back through the  New Zealand blog rankings over the past year and documented the rise and fall of the Christan blogs to see if the launch of the MandM Top 10 NZ Christian Blog rankings has had observable impact. (This guest post is part of open mic week(s))

A lot of people have noticed that the top 10 Christian blogs here on MandM are ranking higher in the general rankings over time. It’s been suggested that the rankings themselves might be responsible themselves for this phenomenon, by making more people aware of the Christian blogs out there.

So I thought I’d put that hypothesis to the test.

I used Tumeke! Ranking data to trace blogs over the past year. I noted the rank of the blogs included in the MandM rankings, from the time they were first used in those rankings, not when they first appeared on Tumeke!.

I used Tumeke! for several reasons.

  1. It’s more respected
  2. It’s been operating longer
  3. Halfdone rankings have tended to favour Christian blogs for some unknown reason. Thus the Tumeke! Rank becomes a “tougher” test of popularity
  4. Basically, I’m too lazy to do both!

The first issue we have is that the data is problematic. New blogs come on the scene, old blogs fall off. So I tweaked the data a bit.

  1. Removed MacDoctor – he scored very highly before being placed on the “Christian” list. I think most people would agree that him being a Christian isn’t the primary reason why people read his blog. So he’s not really
  2. Removed Backchat Café and NZ Debate, both of whom started and ended within the survey period.

Charting what’s left, we come up with this (I’ve divided the Max score by 10 to keep it in the scale).

Total Christian Blogs

So the number of Christian blogs has increased. Also, as the blog rankings have grown the lowest ranked blog has pushed out lower and lower – i.e. if 300 blogs are ranked, clearly the lowest ranked Christian blog is likely to be in the 200s. No surprises with either of those. The average looks interesting, but we need to dig further.

Here’s the 11 blogs that averaged the highest score.

Note the highest score in a Christian blog that didn’t make it onto this chart is 62. That was by Samuel Dennis back in November, so our method didn’t eliminate any good starters thus making the trend look better.

Improvements Over the Year

The most impressive improvements over the year have been MandM and the Beretta blog. Both have come from very uninspiring rankings to sweep into the top 40.

Contra Celsum also made some good gains. I’ve highlighted these blogs to make their movement easier to see.

Not all blogs gained during the year. Kiwi Polemicist slipped after almost making it to 60. The Briefing room dropped right off after February.

But what has really gotten the attention of those watching the Christian rankings is the number of blogs that are now in the top 50/60. This can be clearly seen in this chart, with a mere 3 in the top 40 at the beginning. Now however, there are 8, 5 of those being in the top 40. That’s all in spite of TBR’s dropping off the pace.

Some of us have suspected that this is due to improving scores. That’s partially true, with Beretta and MandM improving drastically, but mostly it’s been due to already good Christian blogs getting included in the stats, and other blogs such as MacDoctor and Keeping Stock identifying or being identified as Christian.

Speaking of MacDoctor, in spite of his exclusion from the analysis, he is the only one who consistently makes it into the Tumeke! top 20.

Something for us all to work on, eh?

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7 responses so far ↓

  • The MacDoctor notes he appears to be slowly falling out of Tumeke!’s top 20. Fame is fleeting… 🙂

  • Backchat Cafe is still there, the name has changed, not the blogger, I blog when I can, still learning on the job! Good post, by the way. Christian Lass.

  • Can someone explain the graphs to me? What is the max, min, avg and count?

    Are the lines good if they are going down with the second graph?

    Sorry, maths isn’t my thing.

  • MacDocter – you seem to rate consistently high in rankings based solely on visit stats (see blog ranking tool).

    Tumeke is effectively using a mix of visit stats and Alexa ranking. The later is 3 monthly and seems rather irrational. Some people suspect it is easily manipulated.

    That’s why I have switched to rankings based just on actual visit stats. Another advantage is that it can be done automatically in displayed in real time. There are currently over 120 on the list – but that is only 20% of the NZ blogs I have identified.
    .-= My last blog-post ..The Galileo Lectures =-.

  • I agree Ken

    Some styles of blogs/post dont develop much interaction and therefore dont have alot of comments.

    Getting back to the post. I actually think that most of the Christian blogs have excellent content based around a topic that people like debating about. This makes the perfect recipe.
    .-= My last blog-post ..Is there humour in the Bible? =-.

  • Yes, the first graph is wrong, I’ve sent a correction to Madeline. The “average” line is actually the “minimum” line – it’s actually on top of it because it accidentally used the same formula.
    .-= My last blog-post ..Woops! =-.

  • Thanks ScrubOne, the replacement graph is now up.