As a cartoonist, I’ve always been more interested in connecting with an audience than with impressing other cartoonists. Similarly, as a blogger, I never really understood the point of all these various ranking systems which determine one’s status by the number of links to and from other bloggers a process which, it seems to me, gives new meaning to the term “echo chamber,” not to mention “circle jerk.”
Well, finally someone has tallied up one of these ecosystem charts based on the only ranking that really matters: audience size. (And not to be disingenuous: I am, of course, happy to see that this space is high on the list despite the reduced posting of late.)
Now, this only ranks sites which use SiteMeter and which make their stats public, so some of the big names are conspicuously absent I suspect because they don’t want people to know just how unimpressive their stats are. Right now, on “energy saver” mode, I’m averaging about 12,000 visitors a day. And I’m grateful to each and every one of you, really.* But this is a miniscule audience compared even to what I reach with my little alt-weekly cartoon, which and I don’t mean this as false modesty, I’m just being realistic is not exactly Garfield, or even the Boondocks. Let alone the kind of numbers a nationally syndicated columnist, or even the lowest-rated talking head on MSNBC, reaches. Even the Ur-blogger, the Instant Pundit himself, is only averaging about 40,000 unique visitors a day and given his frequent updating, I think it’s not unreasonable to assume that most of his audience is checking in on a daily basis. Which means that the most widely read blogger out there is reaching an audience significantly smaller than the population of the small midwestern town in which I grew up. Admittedly a targeted audience, which makes all the difference, but still I just think it’s good to keep these things in perspective, lest our sweaters no longer fit over our heads.
But hey, as long as we’re on the topic, I can’t resist noting that of the top five bloggers, the four after Instant Pundit are comprised of three liberal/lefties and one tech site.