Britain’s blogging A list

BritainbloggingalistEarlier this week PR company Edelman, in conjunction with the blog search engine Technorati, published a list of the top British blogs.

It’s a cracking list especially as Tech Digest made number four, but we did notice a few key omissions. So we have put together our very own top ten UK bloggers A list. This is a mixture of the Edelman list, Technorati figures, information from internet data collection agency Hitwise and some qualitative data of our own.

Like the Edelman list it is no way definitive, but I think it might be a good conversation starter. It is interesting to note that the top British blogs mirror the top US ones in that they are dominated by politics and gadgets. It is also interesting to note that most of the bloggers have been blogging for several years now, ironically though with the exception of one of the very biggest.

There is also a discussion about what actually constitutes a British blog. Does it have to have content that is UK focussed? And what if the writer is British but lives outside these isles. That would propel Andrew Sullivan and maybe Nick Denton to the top of the list.

Anyhow we have kept to blogs that are largely written in the UK. Like Edelman we have left out the blogs from the BBC and The Guardian and any other large media company.

Here then is the UK’s blogger A list:

Gaping Void
Blogger – Hugh Macleod
Technorati rating – Rank: 144 (9,060 links from 2,896 blogs)

Indisputably the most popular British blog, Gaping Void is a fantastic collection of cartoons and observations from the wonderfully creative mind of Hugh Macleod. Over the past 3-4 years it has built up a huge following.

Mashable
Blogger – Pete Cashmore et al
Technorati rating – Rank: 400 (12,266 links from 1,867 blogs)

Incredibly Pete has only been writing Mashable for a year or so, but in that time has built up a huge audience who love his news and reviews of the latest social networking sites and other web 2.0 wonders. A massive favourite at Tech Digest, we were shocked when we discovered that the site’s author lived not in Silicon Valley but Aberdeen. 

eureferendum.com
Blogger – Richard North et al
Technorati rating – 611 (5,249 links from 1,545 blogs)

Richard North plus a select group of writers have been blogging about European politics for about two-and-a-half years. It started as a blog "to rehearse and discuss the issues relating to one of the most important political issues of the day – the UK referendum on the EU’s constitutional treaty." but has expanded to cover a wide variety of topics with in-depth writing, analysis and wit. It obviously hits the spot for many as it’s highly ranked and well commented.

Tech Digest
Blogger – Dave Walker, Andy Merrett et al
Technorati rating –  975 (5,434 links from 1,221 blogs)

One of Shiny’s original blogs, running for over 3 years, it’s the UK’s definitive guide to a huge range of gadgets and technology. Since taking on extra writers earlier this year its range of topics has expanded and its popularity continues to grow massively. Informative but not taking itself, or the technology, too seriously, it mixes hands-on reviews with up-to-date tech news.

Shiny Shiny
Blogger – Katie Lee, Susi Weaser et al
Technorati rating – 1,464 (5,711 links from 975 blogs)

Quite simply the UK’s premiere girl’s guide to gadgets (though I reckon quite a few blokes sneak a read too), Shiny Shiny has a great female authorship reviewing the latest female-friendly gadgets and tech accessories – and no, not everything’s in pink.

coolest-gadgets.com
Blogger – Al Carl et al
Technorati rating – 1,547 (4,394 links from 944 blogs

As well as the usual suspects on this gadget site, there’s some great out-of-the-ordinary gadget finds that’ll make you wonder how some people dream up such weird ideas. A popular and well-linked blog.

PlasticBag.org
Blogger – Tom Coates
Technorati rating – 1,467 (2,219 links from 973 blogs

Tom has been writing at PlasticBag.org for over seven years and has built up a loyal following to his mix of technology articles and links along with a fair dose of politics, music, religion, politics, and more besides. Great writing and interesting links make this a popular stop on the web.

samizdata.net
Blogger – Adriana Cronin-Lukas, Perry de Havilland et al
Technorati rating – 1,404 (3,166 links from 999 blogs)

I’ve not read this blog before, despite it’s high ranking, so I didn’t know what to expect. Whether their description: "The Samizdata people are a bunch of sinister and heavily armed globalist illuminati who seek to infect the entire world with the values of personal liberty and several property. Amongst our many crimes is a sense of humour and the intermittent use of British spelling." helps at all? Written mainly by Brits with the occasional Australian or American thrown in for good measure, this is a mix of politics, celebrity talk, science ‘stuff’, and, well, all sorts really. It really needs to be seen to be appreciated, as indeed many do.

c h r o m a s i a
Blogger – David Nightingale et al
Technorati rating – 2,633 (1,746 links from 679 blogs)

Chromasia is a fantastic UK photoblog and deserves its high rank. Amazing photography of people, landscapes, buildings and abstracts cleverly taken and manipulated by David Nightingale. Well worth a visit to this highly commented site.

hecklerspray
Blogger – Stuart Heritage et al
Technorati rating – 5,196 (843 links from 416 blogs)

Hecklerspray, recently affiliated with Shiny Media, may not have the highest Technorati ranking yet, but has become a well-linked and highly trafficked blog in its relatively short year-and-a-half life. Plenty of entertainment news from TV, film, music and video gaming keeps over half-a-million people happy each month.

Tips for getting to the top

If you’re a blogger and want to appear on a future UK ‘A list’ of blogs here’s our Top 5 tips to get you started (what do you mean you wanted ten?):

1. Write funny, interesting, useful, or just plain zany content that gets noticed, dugg, bookmarked, linked, commented on…
2. Stay regular: write quality content… often
3. Write lots: see 2
4. Write in a group: Many large, popular blogs are written by a collective of bloggers. It makes it easier to publish more articles, more often, on more subjects, and is more interesting (usually)
5. Become an expert: Know what you’re writing about and who’s reading it.






About the Author

Andy Merrett

Andy MerrettBritain’s blogging A list