Congratulations "Other!" Made with the "Create A Graph" page on the National Center for Education Statistics website.
I'll keep my comments brief, and because there are few things more tedious to most readers than bloggers blogging about blogging, I'll use hide the rest of them behind the "Read More" button. You can also see what Kimchi Icecream and Korean Rum Diary had to say.
Clearly 10 Magazine underestimated the response. They should have known that one quick way to get bloggers worked up is to do something that somehow tries to rank them. Nearly two years ago we had a similar to-do when London Korea Links did a post on "Who's who in the Korean blogosphere." It created a list of top blogs based on a "blog juice" formula, and generated a lot of discussion based on how selective and outdated it was, and on its description of The Marmot's Hole as "Undoubtedly the original and best general-purpose blog about Korea."
This wasn't a poll on the "best" blog in Korea, but about readers' favorite, so it wasn't really something you could campaign for outside of directing your own readers to the poll. 10 Magazine's Stephen Revere said as much on Chris in South Korea's post:
Let's make one thing clear: THIS WAS INHERENTLY A POPULARITY CONTEST. You can make fun of a "popularity contest" all you want, but the first pizza joint you visit in a new town will be the most recommended one every time. We asked our readers, "What's your favorite blog?", not what's the best blog, as implied above.
It is obvious to everyone that the top three blogs used some of their leverage with their readers and other networks to increase their votes - and it worked. We wish more had done it. It does not invalidate their numbers, but only shows how avid their fans are.
But by disqualifying people who were trying to use their leverage to gain votes, the magazine ultimately defeated that purpose. Yeah, some of those blogs were going about it the wrong way, and were cursing 10 Magazine because they were too fucking stupid to understand the rules, but still. Everybody was promoting the poll, even if they were playing it diplomatic by encouraging votes for other people, because a vote for one person wasn't a vote for another.
Another response is that the poll was too buddy-buddy, highlighting all the old favorites without making room for lesser-known sites. I guess they're right in that the first blogs listed on the poll were ones we all know, but in the end a lot of blogs nobody's ever heard of got a ton of votes. I got a kick out of what commenter "Gary Norris" wrote on Chris' site:
let's here it for the ad-free blogs that made the list, and the blogs focused on writing about the author's experiences rather than attempting to be a news source. lots of people writing about their travels and most of it is worth reading.
blogrolling shrinks a reader's possible experience. we all know that you don't get on most bloggers' rolls unless you reciprocate. everybody's rolls end up looking exactly the same without at all being anywhere near representative of the actual writing community. it creates a community of like-minded, friendly sameness rather than a diverse, multi-discourse community. just my opinion, but i gave up popularity polling, crush lists, and blogrolling years ago. ad-free blogging is the way to go.
Well, I have ads on my site, and I try to be a news source at times, so I'll take some exception to his comment. Funny, because in a post I did on May 5, 2008 based on the "blog juice" crap I said basically the same thing, criticizing the uniformity of blogrolls, how they never seemed to change, and how many of the blogs considered among the best in the country weren't even updated anymore. But now I'm on the other side, being considered a "big" blog, and taking shit from people because I'm selective about my blogroll. I say "no" to link-swaps for a lot of reasons, but mostly because a lot of the new blogs people tell me about don't stay around long enough to deserve a place next to Gusts of Popular Feeling and Page F30. Hell, one of the guys who emailed me in 2010 about link-swapping already stopped updating. I'm interested in blogs that are informative, interesting, and original, ones that don't simpy regurgitate news or piggy-back on other bloggers, and ones that demonstrate staying power. I'm not averse to new[ly-emerged] blogs, though: I added Seoul Suburban to my sidebar after getting an email from him because I think the site's got a good idea, and I learned about Ruby Clicks from the poll. I'm not doing an exhaustive list of Korea-related blogs---there's one right here---but rather listing a few dozen I think my visitors might want to read. I've been good about sharing new sites, so I don't owe anybody an apology and won't given an explanation, um, beyond the one I just gave.
I'll also just say that you shouldn't blog purely for numbers. You won't get a lot of hits to your K-blog anyway, but as your readers increase you find yourself increasingly beholden to them. Just look at all the "angry" bloggers that became trendy late last year. They spend all their time defending themselves and justifying their positions, to readers who don't give a damn anyway, that they alienate the people who appreciated what they were doing in the first place. My site has a decent readership compared to many K-blogs---but still about 1/4th that of The Marmot's Hole---but along the way I've made some adjustments to accommodate them. People used to hate me for being angry, but now people complain because I've gone soft. Both camps are welcome to go fuck themselves, and to check out the beautiful azalea festival on Yeosu's Yeongchuisan starting tomorrow. I'm happy with where I am now, but it's easy to get too big for your own good.
In his post, Chris looks at the Alexa ranking of the blogs in the poll, and many others that weren't. There's one important thing we all can take away from that list: really, nobody cares. I mean, I'm ranked 80,522nd in the world, hardly something worth writing home about. But, I'm reminded of something reader Nik Trapani said when I met him for a few beers in February. We were talking about numbers and he said something like, I'd be happy to have 1,500 people a day listen to what I have to say. I'd be lying if I wrote I wasn't upset about finishing