The attempt of this rudimentary study is to determine which topics are most popular with blog readers. The limitations of this study are numerous and so cannot be enumerated here. They include the small N of blogs, which were chosen at random (i.e., those that came first to my mind), the importance or pace of currents news, and of course, the assumption that the comments of a particular post indicate that the post itself is popular with readers. However, I think that most bloggers determine the success or failure of a post based on both their comments boxes and their inboxes. Since I do not have access to their inboxes, I have chosen their comments boxes as the sole variable of post popularity. Other than that, I’ve used my best judgment and many Greek symbols to come up with a mathematical formula (or Microsoft Windows XP Calculator) of post popularity, whose *p, **p, ***p, and ****p should be relevantly significant on at least some level.
The following list comprises the random sample and results of my test:
Right Wing News
(1) A Terrorist Thanks to the Anti-War Movement. Comments (43), Trackback (1). Topic: Terrorism.
(2) America Should Get Rid of Their Nukes. What Could Happen? Comments (32), Trackback (2). Topic: International.
(1) Meanwhile, In Gallia Transalpina . . . Comments (105), Trackback (2). Topic: International.
(2) A Lone Idiot With a Keyboard. Comments (98), Trackback (3). Topic: Other Bloggers.
The results of my test indicate that almost half of the successful posts (of the last 10 on each of these sites) dealt with religion, terrorism, or other international defense issues, respectively. The latter two may be combined, as they are very closely related, with the 11% figure for Iraq, which would make roughly 44% of successful posts regarding the topic of national security (percentages are rounded to whatever I think best illustrates my point). This is not surprising considering the blogosphere rose to prominence (i.e., with the regular media) as a countermedia for honest information on war and national defense in the wake of September 11.
Religion, perhaps, is an unexpected popular topic; however, the numbers here may be skewed because of the passion that most have concerning this topic (equally on the pro- and anti-religion side — actually, probably more on the “anti” side all in all). Regardless, it seems that God still has a fairly important place in cutting-edge forums.
The other topics are mostly concerning personal blogger issues (however, Moxie’s Spongebob Square Pants problem is a concern for all — this cannot be allowed to go on! Or one day we might all be walking around humming cartoon jingles in our heads like that movie Demolition Man in which Arnold Schwarzenegger is president and . . . uh oh). This indicates that the audience likes to relate to the blogger on a personal level and that the blogger-audience relationship is a good thing to keep going.
Ultimately, this post is probably not valuable or significant in any way, shape, or form. But I provided some cool links and kept it pretty brief.
Suggestions for future research: “What Bloggers Like to Write About.” It would be interesting to compile a list of most popular posts based on blogger topics rather than on reader response. I know, I know, the suspense is killing you. Adios.