Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Quantifying the threat

Aye, so t'other day whilst the rest of the blogosphere was gazing in the mirror admiring their part in the downfall of MacBride, I tried to talk up the threat to mainstream politics of the BNP.

There's a problem with talking about the BNP, cos they're a bit of a taboo, if a big cheese even mentions them they get free publicity. Luckily I'm a very small cheese so I can say what I like safe in the knowledge that only my 12 regular readers will know.

So the graph on EU Referendum has it that based on information from Alexa the BNP website gets more traffic than Guido Fawkes. And here in a comment on David Otterwell's blog, Matt Wardman explains that Alexa data isn't very reliable when comparing sites.

Luckily, we have a whole host of measuring devices on the internet, Alexa is just one. There's Wikio, which lists top UK politics blogs. Their top twenty looks like this:-
1. Iain Dale's Diary
2. Order-Order
3. Liberal Conspiracy
4. ConservativeHome's ToryDiary
5. politicalbetting.com
6. Liberal Democrat Voice
7. The Devil's Kitchen
8. Dizzy Thinks
9. Harry's Place
10. Labourlist
11. John Redwood's Diary
12. Old Holborn
13. Labourhome
14. Bloggerheads
15. Chicken Yoghurt
16. Stumbling and Mumbling
17. Archbishop Cranmer
18. Telegraph Blogs - Daniel Hannan
19. Benedict Brogan's political blog
20. EU Referendum
No great surprises there, its a pretty accurate list, and shows nothing of the BNP menace.

Total politics lists 13 BNP blogs and they're way down on the wikio rankings.

However, usually I get my ranking data from Technorati, it gives me numbers that I can put into graphs and stuff.

You can enter any web address and it gives you several numbers:-
  • 'blog reactions' - How many links there are to that site from other blogs
  • 'Authority' - How many different blogs link to the site
  • 'Rank' - How the authority compares to all the other blogs in the world.
So technorati is good for ranking blogs, and you can also use it for other types of website.

If I run wikio's top political blogs into it, I get roughly the same top ten twelve, neatly validating technorati as a means to gauge website ranks.
1. Iain Dale (7749 reactions)
2. Conservative Home (7367 reactions)
3. Order Order (6732 reactions)
4. Liberal Conspiracy (4206 reactions)
5. Harry's Place (3178 reactions)
6. Lib Dem Voice (3175 reactions)
7. Political Betting (2433 reactions)
8. Devils Kitchen (2152 reactions)
9. Dizzy Thinks (1826 reactions)
10. Old Holborn (1065 reactions)
11. Tim Worstall (794 reactions)
12. Labourlist (790 reactions)
So what does this mean about the thread from the BNP to mainstream politics?

Well, there's no big BNP blogs out there, the most popular one from Total Politics is nowhere near the top fifty. But, if I sling into Technorati the websites of a few of the biggest political parties, I get this top five
1. Conservatives (3429 reactions)
2. BNP (3297 reactions)
3. Liberal Democrats (2207 reactions)
4. Labour (965 reactions)
5. Green (616 reactions)
6. Libertarian (518 reactions)
7. UKIP (293 reactions)
Bearing in mind that UKIP have 12 MEPs, the BNP have an order of magnitude more blogosphere momentum behind them.

What does it mean, what does it mean?

I think it means the mainstream blogosphere is really unrepresentative of support for the BNP, and the typical BNP supporter doesn't really do blogs.

They are under the radar, beware.

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the BNP get so many reactions cos so many sites link to them with the warning, they are eevil, and so all is good in the world.

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