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June 01, 2007

SciFi Essentials + Soliciting Data for Update of Top 50 Personal SF/F Blogs List

First off, congratulations to Tobias Buckell, whose book Ragamuffin is this month's SciFi Essential book. It's a nice accolade to have, and in my experience it does drive sales, and driving sales is a good thing (it doesn't hurt that Ragamuffin is a hella fun book, too). The book itself is slated for release on the 12th, which is coincidentally the same day Jay Lake's novel Mainspring hits the stores. You're going to want to get both, I assure you.

For myself, I will note that today is the official release of the UK version of Old Man's War; previously it had only been available as a US import. No longer! Now the book has the price in pounds right there on the cover. OMW is also the Science Fiction Book of the Month for Waterstone's, which is the UK's largest bookstore chain. Excellent.

Second off, some time later this month I'm going to update my list of the top 50 personal SF/F blogs, in which I rank the most popular blogs from SF/F lit pros and fans, as ranked via Technorati (here's the last update, from December 2006). This list is generated through blogs I know about, which means that there are probably some SF/F blogs which should be on the list but are not. I want to make the list as accurate as possible.

So: I am actively soliciting data on SF/F blogs for inclusion into this list. If you are an SF/F literature pro (this includes writers, editors, copy editors, artists, book designers) or SF/F literature fan, and you want your personal blog (details coming) to be considered for the list -- or are just someone who thinks a particular blog should be on the list -- here's what you do:

1. Take the URL of the blog (or, for those with blogs on their own domains, the domain URL, which is likely to have a slightly higher Technorati ranking) and enter it into Technorati's search bar.

2. When the result pops up, look at the "Rank" number (not the "Authority" number)

3. If the rank number is above 50,000 (1 - 49,999), let me know either in the comment thread below, or by sending me an e-mail with the words "SF PERSONAL BLOG RANK" in the header (this will help me sort e-mails). If the number is below 50,000 (50,000 -- infinity), the blog's not going to be on the list. Sorry.

4. If you're already on the most recent list, you don't need to send me the information -- I'll check your current ranking when I make up the new list.

5. Please get me your data by 6/15/07, so I can update the list a week or so later.

6. Don't freak out or get competitive about it. It's just a silly list, for God's sake.

Now, for those who need clarification on what I define as a "SF/F personal blog", it's this:

* A blog/journal written by a single individual or partnered couple (i.e., not a group blog)
* A blog/journal not primarily intended as a commercial endeavor and/or a general SF/F news site
* The blog/journal is written by someone who works professionally in the SF/F publishing (as opposed to working primarily in TV/movies/comics/videogames) and/or personally identifies strongly with SF/F fandom.
* The blog/journal itself does not have to be primarily about SF/F.

Let me know if you have any questions.

When I have all the data collected, I'll combine it with the data I am collecting myself, review the sites and publish an updated list, probably in the third or fourth week of June. Should be fun.

Naturally, since I am seeking data, feel free to tell people about this and to link back to this entry. Thanks.

Posted by john at June 1, 2007 09:35 AM

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Richard Campbell | June 1, 2007 10:22 AM

Should Making Light be on the list? In the posts on the front page (most of May, if not necessarily all), the authorship breakdown:

Teresa Nielsen Hayden: 12
Patrick Nielsen Hayden: 9
Jim Macdonald: 9

That looks more like a (3-person) group blog than a single individual or partnered couple blog...

John Scalzi | June 1, 2007 10:27 AM

As I noted in the intro to the previous list, it was grandfathered in.

Richard Campbell | June 1, 2007 10:33 AM

A comment well down in the thread does not equal an "intro to the previous thread," except in the way that "in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'" equals "on display."

Caveat 1: Unless my reading comprehension skills have dropped significantly, and I missed it in the intro to the previous thread.

Caveat 2: Or, of course, the previous thread was edited after your memory of the intro-disclaimer and before I checked it again before posting.

Steve | June 1, 2007 10:39 AM

Hmm ... how can I get my blog over 50,000 in the next two weeks? :P

John Scalzi | June 1, 2007 10:45 AM

Richard Campbell:

You're right, my apologies. Regardless, it's grandfathered.

Jess Nevins | June 1, 2007 10:50 AM

My blog is here at Livejournal; its Technorati rank is 102,227.

Bearpaw | June 1, 2007 10:55 AM

Here's a question for all you book-lovers out there:

Is there a way to easily track new paperback releases? Ideally, I could go to some bookseller's web site, put in my email address and check categories (say "Science Fiction" and "Mystery") and maybe add a few fave authors outside of those categories, and every week I'd get an email letting me know what's new in paperback that meet my criteria. But heck, even a specific "What's new in paperback" web page to go look every so often would be nice.

The few services I've seen like this -- like Amazon's, unsurprisingly -- focus on hardcover releases, and I'm too much of a cheap bastard to buy hardcovers very often. (Plus, I've loathed Amazon ever since their customer service was taken over by corporate zombies.)

Steve | June 1, 2007 11:01 AM

John, I think you should rewrite your criteria to "below 50,000" ... it'd be less confusing ...

John Scalzi | June 1, 2007 11:17 AM

I put in some clarifying numbers. If people can't figure out that "above" means "a number less than" after that, I'm not going to help them.

Natalie | June 1, 2007 11:24 AM

What, SF/F reviewers don't count? See if I give you a good review ever again! ;) (I don't actually care--my LJ is where I talk about SF and it's friends-only.)

John Scalzi | June 1, 2007 11:29 AM

Who says reviewers don't count? You're an SF publishing pro, Natalie!

Dr. Phil | June 1, 2007 12:08 PM

Just for you, John, I'll look up my Technorati ranking. Urk -- it's 522,021. That means it is probably subject to wild bounces up and down due to minor changes in the viewers. (grin)

I am assuming that being just over an order of magnitude off from your cutoff doesn't cut it. (double-grin) Guess I'll just have to plug ahead and eventually get that Big SF Novel published... that'll show 'em!

Dr. Phil

cherie priest | June 1, 2007 12:11 PM

Well, since LJ changed my URL twice on me -- my rankings went from around 3,000 down to 28,028. Le sigh.

Still, not that bad, I guess.

tobias s buckell | June 1, 2007 12:16 PM

Thanks for the props John! I'm really psyched to see it up on the Essentials page :-)

Technorati has been hiding and showing my rank randomly with its new design, it flits around just under 20,000, if it doesn't show up when you next check, FYI.

Amanda | June 1, 2007 12:27 PM

I know I'm not going to make the list - I don't blog about SF (or even coherently) enough to make anyone's list. Between blog and my LJ, I just ramble.

Since I was curious, I dropped my blog's address into Technocrati's search bar and found out that my rank is: 3,322,782.

Thhat is so funny to me, and I have no idea why.

Steve Buchheit | June 1, 2007 01:01 PM

Amanda we have the same ranking! 3,322,782. I wonder if that's a binary fix or something. And it says I have no authority. Obvisouly, Technocrati doesn't know me well.

Ah well, I'm no threat to anybody (he said, sharpening his knives).

Ken McConnell | June 1, 2007 01:41 PM

You guys (Amanda and Steve) make me look good sitting at 2,126,329. We should get all of Scalzi's viewers to come to our sites so we can get on his list. LOL

Good for Tobias being a Sci-Fi Essentials, I like his blog too!

Alex S. | June 1, 2007 02:13 PM

So, does that mean that stuff in the comment thread from before is already included in the next list?

Steve Buchheit | June 1, 2007 02:13 PM

Ken McConnell, okay, I can't overtake Scalzi, but you're in my blog's sites now. :)

"Avast ye scurvy dogs, Bank of America goes belly-up."

Tapetum | June 1, 2007 02:38 PM

Wow do I feel insignificant. My blog (admittedly only about 1/3 - 1/4 SF stuff, the rest karate, knitting and life) is ranked 832,429. Fortunately for my ego I write for another site (not SF at all) that ranks 1012.

Stephen Granade | June 1, 2007 04:09 PM

As an occasional SF reviewer and talker-about-SF, I crush you all with my Internet-meme-driven rank of 2,614. Now, talk to me in six months....

Demosthenes | June 1, 2007 04:34 PM

Well, I'm not sure if I qualify. I'm below that 50,000 mark, at about 70,000, but my blog has been around since pretty much the start of this whole thing.

As for the SF link, well, my nom de plume is Demosthenes. Draw your own conclusions. ;)

Amanda | June 1, 2007 05:02 PM

Steve: Woohoo! Go team 3Million!

Ken: I aim to please!

Paul Raven | June 1, 2007 06:13 PM

Velcro City Tourist Board (velcro-city.co.uk), being the blog of a self-identified sf fan, reviewer and critic, and having a Technorati ranking of 30,725 as of 1 June 2007, respectfully requests inclusion in your calculations.

Have you considered factoring in Feedburner subscription numbers*? Not that I think it would do me any favours (exactly the opposite, TBH), but in this age of RSS readers, feed subscriptions probably tell you as much (if not more) than T'rati rankings.

[* Because, you know, you've got all the time in the world, right? ;)]

Ken McConnell | June 1, 2007 07:34 PM

Steve and Amanda, you're linked to my Blogroll now. I'll be reading both of you.

I just purchased Crystal Rain today, so I'll be reading that this weekend. Well, after I finish The Ghost Brigades. :)

Ron Hogan | June 2, 2007 12:51 AM

Dang. I'm never going to make it in with these restrictions, what with my old personal blog having gone group-style so I could make time to spend writing the commercial endeavor blog.

cofax | June 2, 2007 05:39 PM

Coffee and Ink comes in at 43,470.

cofax | June 2, 2007 06:00 PM

Which is, I should note, not mine.

Amanda | June 3, 2007 11:28 AM

Ken: That probably means I should update it more, then. :)

mike harrison | June 4, 2007 07:41 AM

Does Uncle Zip's Window fit your parameters ? If so its present Technorati ranking is 32,024.

Steve | June 4, 2007 06:40 PM

Woohoo! This morning I've hit 49,644! This whole "zombie apocalypse" thing has been good for me :-)

marty | June 5, 2007 03:58 AM

Only a few days after the UK release, and I finally find copies of Old Man's War in the local Borders: Adelaide, South Australia.

Some pictures are at my blog

Steve | June 7, 2007 07:02 AM

I just hit 39,305. Do I count if I only broke 50,000 in the last two weeks?

John C. Wright | June 7, 2007 09:24 AM

http://johncwright.livejournal.com/ comes in at rank 61250. Ah, well.

Jeff | June 7, 2007 02:36 PM

I'd wait a week before adding Steve to the list. With only a 43% chance of surviving a zombie attack, he's not likely to be around past next Wednesday! :) With a ranking of only 359,172, it doesn't matter if I get zombified.

Steve | June 12, 2007 11:13 PM

Haha, Jeff. I've survived thus far. And hit 27,659 today!

Steve | June 13, 2007 09:23 PM

I survived the apocalypse ... and have hit 1,674. I'm gobsmacked.

Steve | June 14, 2007 04:10 AM

Uh ... my ranking is now 774 ... that means I'm more highly ranked than everyone but Neil freaking Gaiman.

John Scalzi | June 14, 2007 07:58 AM


Actually, at the moment it's 576. This is what you get for hosting the end of the world.

Neth | June 14, 2007 10:49 AM

Hell, Steve riding your coat tails moved me up a a few tens of thousand - though I'm still outside the 100,000 rank, so not in consideration here.

Andrew Wheeler | June 14, 2007 02:48 PM

My blog, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent. was on your first list, but fell off the second time (alas!)

This time around, my ranking is 43,289 right this moment.

James Nicoll | June 14, 2007 04:31 PM

More Words, Deeper Hole is sitting at 26,556.

Kameron Hurley | June 14, 2007 07:59 PM

Brutal Women clocks in at 41,389 today, down from 38,800, but hey, that's less than 50! Whoo!

Steve | June 16, 2007 04:44 PM

Quick! Compile the list while I'm just above Neil Gaiman! :P

Jeremy Lassen | June 17, 2007 05:00 PM

Ack... I've fallen off the wrong end of the rankings, at 132K... Grrr. This is a competition, and I'm losing, dammit. No more funning around with my blog. Time to get series.

Matt Jarpe | June 18, 2007 10:40 PM

I'm nowhere near getting on this list, but I'm happy to report that after an intensive effort to get reciprocal links with other bloggers, my Technorati score just dropped under 1 million.

Anyone else wants to hitch their wagon to this star give me a buzz.

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