1. Blue Virginia: 47,587 visits (NOTE: Blue Virginia also has 740 Twitter followers, plus I have 1,333 Twitter followers and 809 Facebook friends)
2. Not Larry Sabato: 45,782 visits (NOTE: NLS also has 3,504 Twitter followers and 1,058 Facebook friends)
3. Bearing Drift: 34,066 visits (NOTE: JR Hoeft has 520 Twitter followers and Brian Kirwin has 253 Twitter followers)
4. Moonhowlings: 22,619 visits
5. BVBL: 18,464 visits (NOTE: Greg Letieq has 50 Twitter followers)
6. NOVA Townhall: 12,225 visits
7. NOVA Commonsense: 7,621 visits (NOTE: Brian Schoeneman has 380 Twitter followers)
8. The Green Miles: 3,988 visits (NOTE: Miles also has 2,866 Twitter followers and 1,472 Facebook friends)
9. The Richmonder: 2,703 visits (NOTE: The Richmonder has 50 Facebook fans and JC Wilmore has 305 Facebook friends)
10. Red NOVA: 1,567 visits
Now, if we could just get Sitemeter stats for a few others, particularly Too Conservative (my guess is that they'd be in the BVBL/Moonhowlings range, maybe a bit higher) and Vivian Paige (based on the # of blog posts and local focus, I'd guess the middle of the pack somewhere, but hard to say), we'd have a pretty comprehensive idea of the major political blogs (not counting corporate media or politicians' blogs) in Virginia.
P.S. As we've discussed, Technorati and Alexa are almost completely unreliable proxies for "traffic." They also have other serious problems which make them essentially unusable for the purpose of tracking blog traffic. What I'd urge is for every Virginia political to get Sitemeter or Google Analytics and display the stats publicly. Then, we can all compare "apples to apples" and get as accurate a read of the most "popular" Virginia political blogs as possible.
P.P.S. Waldo Jaquith hasn't been blogging much for the past couple years, but his blog used to be (back in 2005, for instance) the leading progressive blog in Virginia in terms of influence, by almost all accounts. However, Waldo never displayed a public Sitemeter, so I have no idea how much traffic he received.
Virginia Right has been posting "rankings" for Virginia political blogs. What I've always found weird about attempts at ranking blogs is how little they have to do with actual postings & traffic. Just cherry-picking a few of the alleged big movers among the lefty blogs:
- Armchair Generalist, who hasn't posted since May 2nd, is up 9% this week
- Mosquito Blog, who hasn't posted since May 31st, is up 17% this week
- And somehow the rankings have X Curmudgeon, who hasn't posted since May 11th, improving an amazing 27% this week
Meanwhile, that big loser Progressive Dem, who clearly ruined the blog by doing 12 fresh posts in the last week alone, is down 33% this week.
If you want to know how many people are reading your favorite blogs, check out their Sitemeter rankings, which sites like Blue Virginia, Not Larry Sabato, The Green Miles, NOVA CommonSense, Moonhowlings & Bearing Drift happily share publicly.
If every blog used Sitemeter and made their statistics available, we'd be in great shape on this front. Unfortunately, not all blogs - for whatever reason - make their Sitemeter stats publicly available. This leads people to use seriously flawed, proxy-type metrics like Alexa's "incoming links"-based rankings. The problem with "incoming links" is that they often have little (if any) correlation to actual traffic. Comparing Sitemeter and Google Analytics to Alexa, for instance, leads to all kinds of weird, counterintuitive, or completely nonsensical results. For that reason, I don't use Alexa at all.
Anyway, in my continual search for "apples-to-apples", reliable traffic statistics across blogs, the other day, I stumbled across Compete.com, "a web traffic analysis service operating in the United States that publishes the approximate number of global visitors to the top 1,000,000 web sites in the world." Compete.com purports to compute its traffic stats "by sending the URLs that users visit to Compete.com. Compete.com then sends back the trust scores and internet ranks from its database to the users." I found this intriguing, so I decided to see what results it produced for Virginia political blogs and compare, where available, to public Sitemeter stats. See after the "flip" for a listing of key results (note: all the statistics are from February 2010).
UPDATE: Too Conservative provided with me with their traffic statistics for February 2010 -- 20,954 visits according to Google Analytics, which would rank that blog slightly ahead of Bearing Drift (using Sitemeter, which tends to be fairly comparable to Google Analytics).