Although I prefer to keep away from blog fights, I am tempted to voice my opinion regarding the whole non-issue of “Is Kiruba India’s top blogger?”. Chenthil argued that he was not, and Kaps linked it on DesiPundit . The comments at Chenthil’s blog are nothing short of vitriolic attacks on Kiruba’s blogging style and content, most of which I suspect originate from deep rooted feelings of jealousy or the crab mentality. I do not read Chenthil’s blog that often to question his intent but his post and subsequent comments lend credence to (one of) Neha’s opinions about the Indian blogosphere – we are too insular and more concerned about rankings and hits than we should be.
I guess, we should move beyond petty comparisons and focus on creating content rather than indulging in mud-fights. I believe, we can be more mature than that. We don’t see people pulling down Instapundit or Kottke just because they ‘cut-paste’ weblinks. People don’t lament the fact that personal blogger, Dooce or Stephanie Klein are insanely popular; they either read and enjoy it or simply ignore their blogs.
The ones who are fighting over the issue of Kiruba’s position in the blogosphere are missing the point about blogs. Blogs are a medium of personal expression and the author is free to write whatever he or she feels. If enough people like what they see, they visit it often and even link back to it. Why should it bother us if a certain blogger is considered more popular than others? Are you in it for popularity? If yes, then berating ‘popular’ bloggers isn’t helping your cause. In fact, you could learn from them and I bet they are glad to share their secrets.
On the topic of popularity, instead of going into the issue of why Kiruba doesn’t deserve to be India’s top blogger, it would have made sense to see Technorati rankings and inbound links which I consider one of the better measures of analyzing blog popularity. I am listing the Technorati rankings of few blogs that may be popular in the Indian blogosphere:
Mind you, these Technorati rankings just reveal how many blogs link back to the blog in question. It makes no judgement on quality. Also, this list is by no means comprehensive and feel free to test your blog or the blog that you think might be more popular. The rankings and linkbacks can change overnight. For example, a particular blog makes a popular post that gets linked by a ton of blogs, then it will automatically zoom to the top. The list of blogs above are just off the top of my head and apologies if I missed your ‘popular’ blog. Feel free to tell me so and I’ll gladly add it to the list.
To test blog popularity, just go to the Technorati Search page and type in the blog address in the box on top. It will give you a list of blogs that link to it starting with the most recent one. The little blurb on the top [as shown in the images above] will give you the ranking and number of blogs that link back to it.
The best part about Technorati is that the rankings and linkbacks are constantly updated and record stats for the last six months. So, a dead blog is gradually weeded out. Jivha once a behemoth in the Indian blogosphere now has barely ten blogs that link back; mostly from bloggers who haven’t updated their blogroll.
The India Blogstreet directory is hopelessly outdated and even contains non-Indian blogs like Boing Boing, Instapundit, and Kottke. Heck, I even saw a 404 page listed once. I am guessing Rajesh Jain will be pulling the plug on the service soon. For better measures, I cross-checked all top 25 blogs in India Blogstreet’s directory with Technorati and found it to be misleading and inaccurate. E.g. few of the top 10 listed blogs has less than hundred blogs linking back on Technorati.
So, if you ever feel the urge to compare blog popularity, use Technorati. It is pretty slick especially more so after the recent upgrade and redesign. Better still, don’t waste time fuming over Rin-type behavior (bhala uska blog mere blog se popular kaise). Personally, I wouldn’t berate a fellow blogger with whom I have shared a drink. Navel gazing in the blogosphere is a popular activity and I would rather be positive than negative. But then, that’s your choice and who am I to tell you how to spend your time?
Update#1: Kiruba has a perfect response that underlines the essence of blogs i.e. it is his personal blog and he writes whatever he wishes to; rankings-shankings baad mein aate hai.
Update#2: Holy crappola! I seemed to have missed a blogger who breaks the ‘Amit’ monopoly at the top of the list of most-linked Indian blogs. Ajay D’Souza is a geek blogger (obviously!), as his ‘best friend’ describes him to be. His blog is widely linked due to his ‘Connections Reloaded’ WordPress Theme but a link is a link. That also reminded me of my good friend, Chetan’s awesome Plain Vanilla Theme. He has been linked by more than 300 blogs as well so I have updated my list accordingly. Check it out, he beats Amit A by 225 links: