Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Looking out for #1

Inspired by John Scalzi's list of the top 51 SF/F personal blogs, I decided to compile a list of the top 51 classical music blogs. I decided not to count aggregators like Jeff Harrington's New Music reBlog or BlogNoggle, and used rather arbitrary lines on whether a blog wrote enough about classical music to count. I did not include any blogs that have been defunct since the beginning of 2006. I note that being a professional writer does not guarantee a high ranking, nor does the musical output of the blogger. I have decided to stick with 51, to continue a tradition that will befuddle e-archaeologists in centuries to come. The technorati ranking is listed, and a designation of Academic Musicologist or Theorist (A), Composer (C), Critic (Crit), Operablog(O), Listener (L), or the instrument of the author. It is amazing how many opera blogs there are, justifying their own category. Please let me know if I missed any blogs that have a higher ranking than 285,000. Update: Marc Geelhoed pointed out that I misranked his blog. Rather than correct every single number after his, he gets a special ranking of 21a.
Update #2: ANABlog, a group blog of the Analog Arts Ensemble, holds the coveted 20a slot with a ranking of 89,361.
Update #3: Two more blogs brought to my attention: Dr. Dick's Blog (180,464 Dick Strawser radio director) and ClassicallyHip (264,567 John Clare violin). Please also let me know if there are any mistakes with name, rank, or designation. In fact, I've decided to renumber the list, cutting off the bottom ones to stay at 51. ClassicallyHip just misses the cut now, but I'll definitely keep this blog in mind. I'll do a new list after the spring semester, perhaps a regular feature.
Update #4: NewMusicBox would be in the #2 position if I included it (22,637). Should I include these e-magazine types of blogs?

1 The Rest is Noise: 6,577 Alex Ross (Crit)
2 Sequenza21: 23,260 Jerry Bowles (C)
3 On an Overgrown Path: 25,137 Bob Shingleton (producer)
4 Ionarts: 27,639 Charles T. Downey (A)
5 PostClassic: 31,123 Kyle Gann (C)
6 Sandow: 36,793 Greg Sandow (Crit)
7 Sounds and Fury: 44,607 AC Douglas (L)
8 La Cieca: 45,144 James Jorden (O)
9 The Rambler: 50,718 Tim Rutherford-Johnson (A)
10 Adaptistration: 54,276 Drew McManus (orchestra management)
11 Night after Night: 56,128 Steve Smith (Crit)
12 Think Denk: 57,134 Jeremy Denk (piano)
12 Jessica Duchen: 57,134 (Crit)
14 Aworks: 58,196 Robert Gable (L)
15 Oboeinsight: 59,315 Patty Mitchell (oboe)
16 Terminaldegree: 60,452 (kazoo)
17 Musical Perceptions: 78,160 Me (A)
18 The Well-Tempered Blog: 80,219 Bart Collins (piano)
19 Red Black Window: 84,277 Roger Bourland (C)
20 The Concert: 86,494 Anne-Carolyn Bird (voice)
21 ANABlog: 89,361 Analog Arts Ensemble
22 The Standing Room: 97,231 Monsieur C (L and voice?)
23 Deceptively Simple: 97,392 Marc Geelhoed (Crit)
24 Classical Pontifications: 100,373 Professor Heebie McJeebie (C TANDY)
25 Listen: 100,373 Steve Hicken (C and Crit)
26 Meanwhile, here in France: 103,674 Ruth (cello)
26 Soho the Dog: 103,674 Matthew Guerreri (C)
28 The Iron Tongue of Midnight: 107,080 Lisa Hirsch (Crit)
29 Sieglinde’s Diaries: 110,824 Leon Dominguez (O)
30 Dial “M” for Musicology: 114,825 Phil Ford and Jonathan Bellman (A)
31 My Favorite Intermissions: 119,158 Maury D’annato (O)
32 Wellsung: 119,158 Alex and Jonathan (O)
33 Eric Edberg: 123,899 (cello)
34 In the Wings: 128,993 Heather Heise (piano)
35 Renewable Music: 134,457 Daniel Wolf (C)
36 Classical Music: 134,457 Janelle Gelfand (Crit)
37 Kenneth Woods: 154,184 (conductor)
37 Trrill: 154,184 Nick Scholl (O)
39 Twang twang twang: 161,853 Helen Radice (harp)
40 Fredosphere: 170,319 Fred Himebaugh (C)
41 Opera Chic: 170,319 (O)
41 On a Pacific Aisle: 170,319 Josh Kosman (Crit)
41 An Unamplified Voice: 170,319 JSU (O)
44 Vissi d’Amore: 170,622 Ariadne Obnoxious (voice)
45 Felsenmusick: 179,647 Daniel Felsenfeld (C)
46 Dr. Dick's Blog: 180,464 Dick Strawser (radio director)
47 Tears of a Clownsilly: 190,048 PWS (student?)
48 NY Opera Fanatic: 201,435 Roy Wood (O)
49 Campbell Vertesi: 228, 958 (voice)
50 Café Aman: 244,758 Anastasia Tsioulcas (Crit)
51 Tomness: 245,375 Tom Meglioranza (voice)

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm flattered!

One small change: My address is now www.terminaldegree.net

Anonymous said...

I suppose I ought to be gratified that my blog is among the Top Ten, so to speak, classical music blogs, and I perhaps would if Technorati's data were not such an abject joke for other than the most trafficked blogs, almost all of which are political or cover issues of mass or popular appeal. If you doubt my word on this, check on the data Technorati has for my blog, for instance (e.g., "Updated: 40 days ago" !!), or check on the data for any blog with which you're fairly intimately familiar.

How Technorati ever got to be recognized as some sort of authoritative source is well beyond my meager powers of comprehension.

ACD

Anonymous said...

ANABlog's technorati ranking is 89,087, putting it in this list's top 20.

Scott Spiegelberg said...

I've fixed TD's address and added ANABlog. As for ACD's complaint, I don't know of any other source for blog linking stats. I also don't know of any universal traffic stats for blogs. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be happy to hear it. In acoustics we often have to compromise, pretending that the time resolution is 5 msec when it is really 40 msec windows that overlap by 35 msec. I regard technorati to be of that same ilk, pretending that it is current stats when it could very well be 40 or even 340 days old.

Gert said...

That's a good list of some very good blogs, but it omits some other excellent blogs such as Opera Today, Counter/Point, and Primi Divi which for whatever reason are not listed by Technorati.

In a blatant exercise in whoring I would point out that my own blog, which is about many aspects of my life, including a great deal of opera, has a ranking of 49, 241, which would be top ten - but most of those links are from non music/opera blogs.

(Sorry if this is posted twice: I closed the comments box w/o checking whether it had taken)

Anonymous said...

Scott: My "complaint" was not directed at your list, but at Technorati which is a sham; something I made note of merely to put things in perspective. And, sorry, I know of no other source for blog stats of the sort Technorati purports to be.

ACD

Scott Spiegelberg said...

Gert, I completely agree that this list does not equate with quality. I found that several of the blogs I read are not listed by Technorati either. The list is also limited by my knowledge of music blogs. The good thing is that I'm now learning about more good ones, including yor own. As for whether the blogs link to other classical music blogs, I don't think that matters. The general measurement of a Technorati ranking is the amount of influence a blog has in the blogging world. Having links from non-music blogs can be just as influential, if not more so, as having links from specialist blogs.

AC, you really overuse scare quotes.

Anonymous said...

Scott wrote:

AC, you really overuse scare quotes.

Rubbish. I use them when and where they're appropriate as they were in the instant case. If you're offended by your own words being quoted back at you, be more careful in your use of them in the first place.

ACD

Scott Spiegelberg said...

Perhaps I misunderstood why you used the scare quote. I read it as an indication that you found "complaint" to be a mischaracterization of your first comment. If this is indeed the case, I'd appreciate an explanation as to how that is a mislabeling. If you used the scare quote for a different connotation, I'd also appreciate a clarification of your intent.

Anonymous said...

I of course enclosed your "complaint" in scare quotes precisely because it was a mischaracterization of my initial comment. It was no "complaint" at all as I made perfectly clear in the very same comment in this comments section in which I enclosed your "complaint" within scare quotes. If it's an explanation of why your use of "complaint" was a mischaracterization of my initial comment that you want, simply reread -- carefully this time -- what I wrote in that comment in which I first enclosed your "complaint" within scare quotes.

ACD

Scott Spiegelberg said...

Looking again at that second comment, your correction was on the target of the complaint/critique/criticism/
expression-of-disagreement made in the first comment. I see nothing, other than the scare quotes, that explains why the label itself doesn't fit. As I read th first comment, with clarification from the second comment, you made a complaint about the quality of Technorati's statistics and the use of same. How is this wrong?

A.C. Douglas said...

As I read th[e] first comment, with clarification from the second comment, you made a complaint about the quality of Technorati's statistics and the use of same.

I did no such thing. As I've already explained to you, my comments about Technorati (and Technorati only) were no "complaint"; merely something I pointed out to put things in proper perspective, as I've already stated. You're the one who insists on characterizing what I said as a "complaint" even after I've now twice corrected you. You were dead wrong. Accept the correction gracefully as you should have done the first time, and desist your childish quibbling on this point.

ACD

Scott Spiegelberg said...

ACD, I'm saddened by your lack of interest in engaging in respectful dialog. I'll perhaps attempt it again with you in another year.

Chris Foley said...

A notable omission from your list: Kim Witman's Wolf Trap Opera blog, which should occupy 45th position as it is ranked 171,541 on Technorati.

Anonymous said...

Blogshares is a handy and fun reference on these things.

Scott Spiegelberg said...

Blogshares is fun, but unreliable.

Anonymous said...

Hi Scott--great list. I just found your post through oboeinsight. Jason Heath's Double Bass Blog (www.doublebassblog.com), which is my blog, has a Technorati ranking of 84,992, which seems to be in line with the ranking of other blogs on your list. It is mostly about classical music.

Anonymous said...

It's always frustrating to drop a couple of spots in the polls when you haven't even played a game.

nonsense said...

Truth Laid Bear is a pretty detailed breakdown of blog traffic, but it's not universal. You have to sign up to have your blog measured.

The bottom line is that none of these sites generate reliable statistics. While you could certainly establish a general ranking, you can't reliably split the difference between Sequenza21 and An Overgrown Path and rank one #2 and #3 definitively.

I understood this list to be in that kind of general spirit, anyhow. After all, it appears to be using the Technorati link ranking, right? This isn't a measure of how much traffic each of these sites generate, which would totally alter the list.

Scott Spiegelberg said...

Jason: thanks for letting me know about your blog. I will keep track of it for the next ranking (and for general reading).

Steve: yes, it is frustrating! Now you know how those BCS contenders feel.

Nonsense: Not only do you have to sign up with Truth Laid Bear, it will only count the links made from other blogs registered with it. And any traffic stats from TLB are really lifted from the blog's own SiteMeter stats. As for statistical significance, you are absolutely correct. This is for fun rather than for science.

(My word verification almost makes sense: BoneFM)

Anonymous said...

Fun list. You realize, don't you, that Jerry Bowles is not a composer, but a listener. But his site has individual blogs for a number of composers, which complicates things.

How did you find this info on technorati? I found the listing for Alex Ross, but not for Sequenza21.

Scott Spiegelberg said...

Here is the technorati listing for Sequenza21. I listed it as Composer as it is geared towards composers, regardless of Jerry's actual profession.

Janelle Gelfand said...

Scott, thanks so much for listing my blog here. It's an interesting list. I've been blogging in earnest since Sept. 05, and before that on symphony tours to Japan and Europe. At the moment, I'm the only performing arts writer at the Cincinnati Enquirer who is blogging, so it feels a little lonely out there. So far we can't link to other sites/blogs from ours, which is unfortunate, but I'm glad to have this list. Thanks and Happy '07.

M. C- said...

hi scott,

thanks for including me in this list. note that TSR started out in 2004 at thestandingroom.typepad.com, but for more than 2 years the main address has been at www.thestandingroom.com. a number of blogs still link to the old typepad address (which also works), but all of the permalinks to individual posts for the past couple of years have been to thestandingroom.com/etc.

that said, technorati tracks both urls in their directory, and www.thestandingroom.com is at 59,480, which would place it around 15.5 or so. I don't know how it would deal with combining both rankings.

Rob said...

Meanwhile, Here In France (# 26 in the list) is an excellent blog by a cellist playing mostly baroque and early classical material, who also writes very entertainingly about food, France and other things.

May I also recommend Gert's blog Mad Musings of Me? Mostly about opera, and well worth a look.

Ajcurtis said...

When I need to get to a classical music website,I'l definaetly know now where one".

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