USC Annenberg Online Journalism ReviewUSC

Bloggers Rate the Most Influential Blogs

It's been a breakout year for Webloggers as they've taken on Trent Lott and The New York Times, as well as put their own stamp on the war in Iraq. So. Who's who in the blogosphere?  

I have to admit I hate lists. I gag and gurgle at the end of the year, when people come up with the Top 10 R&B Albums, the Top 10 Horror Flicks or the Top 10 Reasons to Read this News-Free Magazine. But that hasn't stopped me from doing this again and again.

So here we go again. This column is an attempt to show which Weblogs are influencing the media the most. That's really a vague idea, but that gives me latitude to be wrong just enough to bring your catcalls and counterarguments (please click the "Speak Up" button to the left).

This past year has seen the world of Weblogs, aka the blogosphere, grow in power and stature, if not to the general public, then to the other media. On Iraq. On Trent Lott. On The New York Times scandals. So we've created a graphical depiction of what I believe are the most influential blogs, pushing the direction of media coverage and perhaps even public policy. These blogs are either focused on the business of media, current events, politics or some combination of the three. They cover the media or have been covered by the media.

While the final decision on what made the list was up to me, I did do some semiscientific research, looking at Daypop's Blogstats, Blogdex, and canvassing many of the bloggers who made the cut. I also asked them to provide their own Top 10 lists of the most influential blogs on the media, and a selection is included. (When I let them include themselves in the list, almost every one of them did.) Finally, as an added bonus, I've tried to list some of the most blogged media outlets online -- that is, the news sources that bloggers love to link (usually tearing them to shreds).

Note that the bigger the mouth, the more influential the Weblog. The position of the mouth shows its political orientation (left or right) and whether it's doing more blogging (top) or more journalism (bottom).  "More blogging" means a focus on linking, summarizing and quips. "More  journalism" means more original commentary, reporting and perhaps a journalism background.

I realize that the conservative/liberal labels and continuum are old-fashioned and there are more dimensions to most people. And the definition of blogs and how they intersect with journalism are open questions at this moment in time. Those concerns aside, I really just wanted to create something thought-provoking and perhaps useful and fun.


Please click image to see the full chart.

And gosh-darnit, if the Chicago Tribune can pick the best 50 magazines, why can't I pick the top Weblogs?

Andrew Sullivan
01. Andrew Sullivan
02. Instapundit
03. Lileks' The Bleat
04. Talking Points Memo
05. NRO's The Corner
06. Romenesko
07. Kaus Files
08. Volokh Conspiracy
09. Altercation
10. SpinSanity
Dave Winer
01. Romenesko
02. Instapundit
03. Drudge Report
04. Scripting News
05. Andrew Sullivan
06. Talking Points Memo
07. Dan Gillmor
08. Doc Searls
09. David Weinberger
10. Slashdot
Jeff Jarvis
01. Instapundit
02. Talking Points Memo
03. Kaus Files
04. Drudge Report
05. Romenesko
06. Gawker
07. Salam Pax
08. Command Post
09. Dan Gillmor
10. Andrew Sullivan
J.D. Lasica
01. Romenesko
02. Instapundit
03. Scripting News
04. Dan Gillmor
05. Slashdot
06. E-Media Tidbits
08. Andrew Sullivan
09. J.D.'s New Media Musings
10. Ken Layne
Josh Chafetz
01. Instapundit
02. Andrew Sullivan
03. Talking Points Memo
04. Kaus Files
05. Volokh Conspiracy
06. Atrios
07. NRO's The Corner
08. Lileks' The Bleat
09. Oxblog
10. Stephen Den Beste
Brendan Nyhan
01. Andrew Sullivan
02. Instapundit
03. Talking Points Memo
04. Altercation
05. Kaus Files
06. Lileks' The Bleat
07. Tapped
08. Media Whores Online
09. NRO's The Corner
10. Atrios
Joi Ito
01. Lawrence Lessig
02. Scripting News
03. Dan Gillmor
04. Boing Boing
05. Slashdot
06. The Scobleizer
07. Doc Searls
08. Meta Filter
09. Technorati
10. Joi Ito
Elizabeth Spiers
01. Romenesko
02. The Drudge Report
03. Instapundit
04. Kaus Files
05. Andrew Sullivan
06. James Taranto's Best of the Web
07. Altercation
08. Dan Gillmor
09. L.A. Examiner
10. Gawker
Top Media Outlets Linked By Bloggers
01. The New York Times
02. The Washington Post
03. BBC
04. U.K. Guardian
05. Wired
08. CNN
09. Reuters
10. (U.K.) Register
11. Los Angeles Times
12. ABC News
13. (U.K.) Independent
14. The National Review
15. WSJ. Opinion Journal
16. The New Republic