About the top ten UK classical music blogs from Feedspot

There’s a thing that goes around the internet from time to time. I spotted it again on LinkedIn this morning. One classical music blogger posting about a top ten list of UK classical music blogs and his inclusion in it.

I don’t want to be a killjoy. Or bitter (I’m not on the list of UK bloggers). No one likes someone who’s bitter. It’s just not cricket. But … 

The list is meaningless.

It doesn’t represent anything other than the success rates of a piece of software at driving traffic via Feedpost servers. Which means in turn that Feedspot set to generate money from traffic going through their system. Otherwise, what would the motivation be for setting the ‘rankings’ for classical music alongside categories like IT, narcissism, chocolate bloggers, anaesthesia, and disability.

It’s meaningless

Here’s my hunch about Feedspot – an RSS feedreader which seeks to draw users in to pay a monthly dividend for ‘premium’ content reading services.

It’s not a scam by any means, but its credibility is questionable when you consider that the top ten list of UK blogs bears no relation to the figures available on the blogs via Feedspot’s interface

Obviously this point assumes that the measure of ‘success’ in Feedspot’s eyes is number of subscribers over click-throughs. 

BBC Music Magazine comes out on top – but it rarely publishes blog posts as its not part of their strategy (at the moment). Robert Hugill‘s blog in Feedspot reports 178 subscribers ,yet appears above Jessica Duchen‘s blog with 444 subscribers. ClassicExBurns appears with 71 subscribers appears above The Cross-Eyed Pianist with 98 subscribers. David Taylor‘s entrepreneurial blog has 7 subscribers and appears above the Cross-Eyed Pianist. And Corymbus appears at the bottom with 84 subscribers.

If it’s click-throughs measured then wouldn’t you expect Norman Lebrecht’s Slipped Disc site to be at the top of the list given that most read it (even if they profess they don’t or know they shouldn’t)?

Its ranking isn’t qualitative

OK. That might be a stretch for some people to see. And it might still sound like I’m being bitter at not being on the list at all. But how can it be qualitative? Who are the panel deciding on who’s on the list. Given the wide range of subjects can generate top ten lists about, either Feedspot has a massive team of content experts deciding on who writes the best blogs on catering, flowers, and Microsoft Excel, or its an automated process churning out .. well look, let’s cut to the chase, complete bollocks. 

Why does this matter?

In some respects it doesn’t. However, it’s worth flagging that if the accolade is meaningless, and the data-crunching and selection process lacks credibility, advertising it as a sign of achievement shows a lack of research and, in some cases not all, a case of smoke and mirrors being deployed. Given that plenty of us are critical about competitions, events, and various other endeavours which lack credibility endorsing this accolade seems odd. 

If bloggers are to be taken seriously in a classical music world which is already incredibly sneery and dismissive of blogging, then giving credence to a ranking system which lacks credibility itself is helping Feedspot (whoever the person is who’s behind it) instead of the platform you’re crafting (for little or no money). 

It’s not a scam. It’s just meaningless bollocks. 

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