Influential Authors

Bill Hobbs mentions that BlogRunner has changed the formula whereby it ranks “The most influential reporters and bloggers on the web.”

Their original formula–which is still being used–is based on total references and rewards prolific posters. I’m currently ranked #8–I’ve been at least as high as #6– ahead of some much more popular bloggers but also ahead of the likes of Tom Friedman and George Will.

In response to criticism about this listing I’ve added a revised listing that uses a different methodology. The original listing counts the cumulative number of inbound links to unique blog postings and articles for each author. This methodology favors industrious bloggers and underrepresents the influence of reporters and columnists who only contribute one or two pieces a week. The new listing averages out the number of inbound links over the number of posts contributed by each author. In turn, this probably puts bloggers who post frequently- such as Instapundit- at a disadvantage. What this all means, if anything, I don’t know. I’ll let you figure it out.

Under that formula, I’m an anemic #148, with no Big Media authors below me.

In terms of my relative ranking, the latter is more accurate than the former. I’ve yet to be offered a spot on a Sunday morning talk show, for example. On the other hand, Glenn Reynolds is only #100 on the “revised” version, with Steven Den Beste that top blog author at #21. Indeed, some bloggers I’ve never heard of are ranked ahead of Reynolds. That doesn’t make much sense either.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. melvin toast says:

    I think that list is a worthless piece of statistical non-sense.
    Mickey Kaus isn’t even ON the list.

    While I would argue that Dowd and Krugman HAVE influenced bloggers at least, bloggers tend to comment a lot on their comments, where’s Fisk?

    The methodology doesn’t add up to influence. It adds up to linkage or industriousness. Why confuse the reader? Just give the reader 3 lists. Most linked to blogger, most linked to columnest and most industrial blogger. You might want to throw in most popular/most hits but I don’t believe there’s a systematic way to collect that info.

    I would assert that the only way to measure influence is by performing some kind of social study. A poll wouldn’t work as well because people tend to be dishonest about who influences them.

  2. There’s also the question of where this influence is seen: are we talking overall, or only within the “blogosphere”? Makes a difference.