I had a look at NZBlogosphere this morning; this is a site curated by Tim Selwyn where he ranks the local blogosphere and something jumped out at me – the massive popularity DPF enjoys over all of his competitors.
In the latest survey he gets about 10,000 unique visitors per day; the second most popular site is The Standard who get about 2000 – an audience a fifth the size of DPF’s.
Twas not always thus; the first survey was back in December of 2007. DPF was on around 2000 readers, Russell Brown’s Public Address was on 1500. If the survey stats can be believed (and some of them might have been sourced from Alexa, in which case they should NOT be believed) over the last 14 months DPF has increased his readership by 400% at the same time Public Address has halved their audience. (Over the same period The Standard has gone from ~300 unique visitors/day to 2000, so they’ve gone up a massive 600%, but in terms of absolute numbers they’re still way behind Kiwiblog.)
I imagine the decline of Public Address (if the numbers are right) has to do with Russell moving his career towards TV; the Hard News blog used to be very topical and political but now it’s mostly about technology and new media, and promoting his show (‘we had the best Media7 ever last night!’) while DPF generally posts about politics, crime, general news stories and the world’s sexiest female politicians, all of which have a much broader public appeal.
I think that three of the Public Address writers – Kieth Ng, Graeme Edgeler and Damian Christie – are amongst the most consistently interesting voices in the blogosphere, but they all blog very infrequently, and DPF’s runaway success suggests that quantity is a big factor in bringing eyeballs to your site.
Interestingly, the third most popular site after Kiwiblog and The Standard is NotPC, a libertarian blog. This makes sense when you think about it – the number of libertarians on the internet is inversely proportional to the number of libertarians that exist in real life. Maybe it’s just my impression but I do feel that NotPC kind of exists outside the rest of the blogosphere in a bubble of it’s own, which again is very appropriate for libertarians.
The NZBlogosphere rankings don’t include the commercial blogs on Stuff, and based on the volume of comments I get the feeling the audiences for some of these are very large.