Monday, August 18, 2008

Usenet vs blog linking in the 2004 election

As a historical study, I've taken a subset of the political Usenet links and compared to blog links in the same time period. I took links from October-November 2004 and made "A lists" for both political and conservative blogs, and compared with the A-lists found by Adamic and Glance in 2004.

Conservative A-List

Liberal A-List

I did little in the way of pruning the list, while Adamic and Glance were careful to only include traditionally-formatted blogs, but I have removed ones they explicitly mentioned omitting. As in their study, I've left off drudgereport (originally #2 in conservative) and democraticunderground (originally #1 in liberal), as they were not "weblogs" in the traditional sense-- drudgereport is an aggregator and democraticunderground is a message board. is also message board-like, so that might have warranted removal from the list as well, but it was not mentioned in the paper. Bluelemur also claims to be the liberal version of drudgereport, (ETA: and realclearpolitics is another news aggregator) so those might also have been eliminated from the original study., #2 in Liberals, is no longer in existence, which is interesting in itself, considering its popularity just a few years ago. But it is also notably missing from the Blog A-list, either by the numbers or by classification.

It is perhaps curious that blog-message boards democraticunderground and freerepublic have topped both lists in Usenet, which is closer to message board format. I wonder where they actually ranked on the pre-pruned blog list.

My overall impression from looking at this data is that Usenet is "edgier"; we more commonly see conspiracy theories and wingers getting a lot of attention. Given that, and the apparent popularity of message-board-like blogs, I wonder if we could consider the Usenet to be even more "democratic" (or "ruled by the mob", to be more cynical) than blogs.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You have to express more your opinion to attract more readers, because just a video or plain text without any personal approach is not that valuable. But it is just form my point of view