Social Bookmarking Sites Love Blogs, After All

By Daniel Scocco

If you wander around Digg and other social bookmarking sites, you will notice a slight discrimination against blogs (or so it appears at first glance). Many blogging-related stories get buried automatically. The ones that make it to the front page often receive harsh comments along the “who cares about blogs anyway” fashion.

socialbookmarking.gifThose episodes made me curious, so I decided to dig a little deeper. The question that I wanted to answer was: how popular are blogs within social bookmarking sites? More specifically: what percentage of “popular” stories are coming from blogs? The results were surprising.

The Methodology

First of all I selected three social bookmarking sites to include on the research: Digg, Delicious and Stumble Upon. The next step was to actually define what would be considered a blog, and what would not.

In order to be considered a blog, the website needed to meet 2 out of the 3 criteria that follow:

  • It runs on blogging-specific software
  • It has a comment section
  • Its content is structured chronologically

Obviously there were some gray areas. Some mainstream publications, for instance, are starting to adopt comments on their websites. They also structure the content chronologically, meaning that they could be considered blogs. But they were not.

That said, blogs of mainstream publications were considered as such. While anything coming from www.wired.com, was not considered, stories coming from blogs.wired.com were considered to be blogs.

diggcount.gif

The actual research consisted of monitoring the top stories (front page stories from Digg, popular stories from Delicious and “stumbled” pages from StumbleUpon) for 10 days. All the URLs of the counted stories were saved.

The number of stories counted each day is variable for the first two social bookmarking sites (since you can not control it) and fixed for StumbleUppon (since you can control how many pages you “stumble” daily). Below you will find the results.

Digg

Surprisingly enough (at least for me) Digg revealed itself to be the most blog-friendly social bookmarking site among the three. Throughout the 10 days, over 54% of the front page stories came from blogs.

This could be explained by the large number of popular blogs (e.g., Gizmodo, Engadget, Lifehacker and TechCrunch) that have a readership very active on Digg.

Alternatively, since Digg is the site that generates more traffic for featured stories, one could argue that bloggers “aim” for Digg when creating and promoting their content.

Day Total Stories Blogs Non-Blogs % of Blogs % of Non-Blogs
1 44 17 27 38,6% 61,4%
2 47 21 26 44,7% 55,3%
3 52 32 20 61,5% 38,5%
4 54 36 18 66,7% 33,3%
5 45 21 24 46,7% 53,3%
6 43 28 15 65,1% 34,9%
7 44 24 20 54,5% 45,5%
8 43 26 17 60,5% 39,5%
9 48 23 25 47,9% 52,1%
10 42 22 20 52,4% 47,6%
Average 46,2 25 21,2 54,1% 45,9%

Delicious

Delicious was the most balanced site. Consider that 3 days out of 10 presented more stories coming from blogs. On average, 45,7% of the stories that appeared on the “Popular” page of the social bookmarking site were coming from blogs.

Again, even if this number is not as big as the Digg one, we can say that blogs represent a corner-stone for Delicious users.

Day Total Stories Blogs Non-Blogs % of Blogs % of Non-Blogs
1 40 15 25 37,5% 62,5%
2 34 16 18 47,1% 52,9%
3 35 15 20 42,9% 57,1%
4 39 25 14 64,1% 35,9%
5 32 17 15 53,1% 46,9%
6 43 14 29 32,6% 67,4%
7 31 14 17 45,2% 54,8%
8 31 12 19 38,7% 61,3%
9 29 18 11 38,9% 61,1%
10 36 14 22 38,9% 61,1%
Average 35 16 19 45,7% 54,3%

StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon had unexpected number as well, but in the opposite direction as those of Digg. There was no single day where the number of “stumbled” pages coming from blogs surpassed the the number non-blog ones.

On average, 32,7% of the served pages were coming from blogs. Maybe the results are biased due to the fact that they are coming from my personal stumble activity, and not from the Stumble Buzz page. I am working on the latter and will update the results shortly.

Day Total Stories Blogs Non-Blogs % of Blogs % of Non-Blogs
1 30 10 20 33,3% 66,7%
2 30 9 21 30,0% 70,0%
3 30 11 19 36,7% 63,3%
4 30 6 24 20,0% 60,0%
5 30 8 22 26,7% 74,3%
6 30 8 22 26,7% 74,3%
7 30 12 18 40,0% 60,0%
8 30 11 19 36,7% 63,3%
9 30 13 17 43,3% 56,7%
10 30 10 20 33,3% 66,7%
Average 30 9,8 20,2 32,7% 67,3%

Final Considerations

Bear in mind that these results might deviate from the actual popularity of blogs within the mentioned social bookmarking sites (even because said popularity changes over the time). I am already working on extending the period of the research to 30 days in order to confirm the results.

On average, 54,1% of Digg‘s front page stories were coming from blogs, 45,7% of Delicious popular stories were coming from blogs and 32,7% of StumbleUpon stumbled pages were blogs.

Regardless of the peculiar characteristics of each social bookmarking site, the numbers were higher than what I was expecting. There are 15 million active blogs in the world, which is a fraction of the active “traditional” websites.

Perhaps there is a widespread misconception regarding the popularity of blogs. In this case, it seems that the facts trump opinions; blogs are more popular and credible than people think.



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29 Responses to “Social Bookmarking Sites Love Blogs, After All”

  • Maki

    Daniel,

    The info on Digg was most interesting though as you’ve mentioned, a large portion of the front-page material seem to come from the larger tech blogs like Arstechnica and Engadget. I still don’t really see them showing love for the smaller, non-established blogs though one or two may get promoted occasionally.

    I think that including data from Stumble Buzz would make it more ‘accurate’ because Stumble Buzz is the only built-in popularity measure that SU offers from their side.

    Assessing a blog’s popularity in relation to other websites is quite difficult because of the lack of knowledge concerning how SU’s algorithm actually works.

    For instance, any blog that you come across might be an sponsored stumble and not legitimately a website that is stumbled or loved by the community of SU users.

  • Daniel

    Maki, I agree, both regarding Digg and Stumble Upon.

    Thanks for the “consultancy” you gave on the StumbleUpon part, I will definitely gather the data for the Stumble Buzz page and update the results.

  • Alwitt

    But I guess it’s so hard for new blogs to get to digg’s front page. I would prefer to use StumbleUpon…

  • Sam

    While i understand where your original observation comes in, one thing you didn’t take into account is the fact that many blogs go out and search the internet and bring information to the blog setting. Not many blogs are original thoughts. Lifehacker for instance links out 99% of there posts. I use Delicious but wouldn’t tag a Lifehacker post when i can tag and keep what the post was in reference to.

  • James

    Does including Stumble Upon make a fair comparison? The Digg and Delicious stories turn over very quickly, compared with Stumble Upon websites that can hang around forever. I assume it depends on a person’s stumbling history as much as what is new today. I’ve tagged humor on Stumble Upon and have discovered a lot of “oldie but goodie” web pages, but not a lot of fresh content.

  • wu zhiyong

    This is an interesting study, I translate it into Chinese.

  • Melt du Plooy

    This reveals some interesting percentages Daniel. It will be good to view the updated results after you’ve reviewed the Stumble Buzz page.

  • Business Education

    Wow, excellent research you have made. I wondering why don’t you include technorati as well? Technorati seems created for blog. however i still interested to see if this website include non-blog as well.

  • Daniel

    Sam, I dont think the fact you mentioned will erode the results. You almost never see Lifehacker or any other blog going in the the front page of digg with a mere reference to another post.

    Usually they only go for their original stuff, otherwise people will Digg or Stumble the original thing.

  • Daniel

    Technorati is a blog search engine (they are trying to expand that, but still), therefore it would not make much sense to compare technorati with digg, stumble and delicious.

    There are other stuff that one could research around Technorati though, like the percentage of active blogs to non-active ones and so on.

  • Everton

    Nice analysis, but personally I don’t think Gizmodo, Engadget, Lifehacker and TechCrunch etc are blogs anymore-they’ve gone way beyond being mere blogs.

    I think you need to add more criteria to determine what a blog is, as most online newspapers would meet your criteria as they now allow comments and newspapers are naturaly chronological.

  • Daniel

    Everton I think this issue raises a completely new question: what are blogs after all?

    I think Gizmodo, Engadget and TechCrunch are blogs.

    Newspapers that adding comments are not.

    It is not easy to highlight the single factors that create the borderline, though.

    I guess it is something to be discussed on an individual post!

  • Shaun

    Excellent reasearch. I had no idea that blogs accounted for such a high percentage of the top dig/stumble/delicious stories.

  • Inderjeet

    Great post Daniel for a newbei like me.
    Keep enhancing such stats.
    and expand there reach for other bookmarking sites also.
    Good job.

  • Razvan

    With http://www.socialmarking.com you can easily bookmark any site to 130+ social bookmarking services. It also have buttons and blog plugins.

  • Free Traffic

    Great Post!

    Excellent reasearch. I had no idea that blogs accounted for such a high percentage of the top dig/stumble/delicious stories.

  • Val

    Have a look at http://www.entopica.com/, a new social bookmarking web site
    Entopica is an online system that allows you to easily access, categorize, share and store your bookmarks online.
    It is free to join and registration is both quick and easy.
    Discover a whole new world of social bookmarking. It is user friendly and easy to use.

  • Val

    Take a look at http://www.entopica.com/, a new online system that allows you to easily access, categorize, share and store your bookmarks online.Its free to join and registration is both quick and easy. Discover a whole new world of social bookmarking.

  • Val

    Take a look at http://www.entopica.com/. It is an online system that allows you to easily access, categorize, share and store your bookmarks. Its free to join and registration is both quick and easy. Discover a whole new world of social bookmarking.

  • jacobmatthew

    Self Improvement and Success Tips for Marketers, Small Business Owners & Entrepreneurs!

  • lee

    Thanks for the insights.

    How do you get listed on these?

  • Bang Kritikus

    I’ve been made delicious and digg’s member

  • Swapna

    Wow nice list.These links are really helpful.

  • Cinematography

    Thank you very much for the information you posted on your blog. it really helps me for some social bookmarking list and submissions manually.

  • anurag

    Here is new social bookmarking site just check it

    http://www.social.infoeduindia.com/

Comments are closed.