Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Top 100 Tweeting Bloggers

Ever wondered who the top 100 political blogging tweeters are in these fair isles? Ponder no more:

Alastair Campbell (12,270 followers)
John Prescott (10,717 followers)
Iain Dale (6,993 followers)
Tom Watson MP (6,977 followers)
Guido Fawkes (6,300 followers)
The Wardman Wire (5,698 followers)
Kerry McCarthy (4,451 followers)
UK Progressive (4,399 followers)
James Cleverly (3,600 followers)
Enemies of Reason (3,412 followers)
Cllr Phil Briscoe (3,342 followers)
Green Girls Global (3,101 followers)
Labour List (2,991 followers)
Paul Waugh (2,972 followers)
Tim Montgomerie (2,968 followers)
Tom Harris MP (2,637 followers)
Stuart Bruce (2,628 followers)
18) Kevin Maguire (2,421 followers)
19) Cath Eliott (2,356 followers)
Gideon Rachman (2,240 followers)
Obnoxio the Clown (2,147 followers)
Lynne Featherstone MP (2,058 followers)
A View From the Public Gallery (1,955 followers)
Tory Bear (1,884 followers)
The Stilettoed Socialist (1,810 followers)
Pickled Politics (1,795 followers)
Think Politics (1,758 followers)
Benedict Brogan (1,655 followers)
Jess McCabe (1,540 followers)
Cllr Tim Blog (1,497 followers)
Bloggerheads (1,478 followers)
Mark Pack (1,467 followers)
LibDem Voice (1,449 followers)
Jon Worth's Euroblog (1,429 followers)
Next Left (1,368 followers)
Nadine Dorries MP (1,354 followers)
Plenty to Say (1,321 followers)
Daniel Hannan MEP (1,319 followers)
Cllr Lisa Northover (1,265 followers)
Kirklees Unity (1,193 followers)
Andy Reed MP (1,183 followers)
Shane Greer (1,180 followers)
Adam Smith Institute Blog (1,173 followers)
Liberal Conspiracy (1,172 followers)
FT Westminster Blog (1,169 followers)
Ed Vaizy MP (1,164 followers)
House of Twits (1,162 followers)
Douglas Carswell MP (1,137 followers)
49) Eric Joyce MP (1,114 followers)
Greener Leith (1,111 followers)
Oberon Houston (1,100 followers)
Byrne Baby Byrne (1,092 followers)
The Baillieu Blog (1,081 followers)
Dizzy Thinks (1,078 followers)
The Tory Troll (1,067 followers)
No Geek Is An Island (1,054 followers)
Bray's Duckhouse (1,018 followers)
58) Tory Politico (1,008 followers)
Politics Cymru (988 followers)
spEak You're bRanes (971 followers)
Andy Reeves' Running Blog (966 followers)
Political Scrapbook (957 followers)
Will Straw (947 followers)
A Very Public Sociologist (936 followers)
Boris Watch (936 followers)
Left Foot Forward (932 followers)
Labour Matters (927 followers)
Frank Field MP (909 followers)
James O'Malley (904 followers)
Mark Reckons (890 followers)
Dan Wilson (873 followers)
Philippa Latimer for St Ives (873 followers)
The Daily Quail (871 followers)
Grace Fletcher-Hackwood (867 followers)
75) Martin Bright (867 followers)
Stephen Allison (863 followers)
Local Democracy Blog (861 followers)
78) Stephen's Linlithgow Journal (848 followers)
Byrne Tofferings (837 followers)
Martin Tod (798 followers)
Labour of Love (788 followers)
Liberal Burblings (785 followers)
Bethan Jenkins AC/AM (770 followers)
Chicken Yoghurt (769 followers)
Rob Fenwick (764 followers)
Caron's Musings (761 followers)
Tory Teenager (744 followers)
Cardiff Blogger (740 followers)
Angry Mob (737 followers)
Penny Red (735 followers)
Quaequam Blog! (735 followers)
Nick Pickles (733 followers)
Mayor Watch (713 followers)
Charlotte Gore (696 followers)
Luke Bozier (689 followers)
David Ottewell (685 followers)
Devil's Kitchen (673 followers)
Boris Watchers (671 followers)
Shot Across the Bow (662 followers)
Cynical Dragon (641 followers)

Time for a couple of notes. The basis for this list has been the
Total Politics blog directory, with some of the gaps filled in by my own knowledge. Not perfect by any means but the TP listing is probably the largest catalogue of UK-based political blogging in existence. So there is a chance one or two blogs have been missed. All the blogs on this list should be political in some way - if not then put it down to oversight (it took quite a while to rake through the directory!) Also, all the blogs should be active. I've applied my 45 day rule - I don't care if you spend every moment of the day tweeting about your tea and tiffin to thousands of followers: if you haven't blogged in the last month and a half, you're not included.

Then there is the ordering. I've used the simplest measurement - number of followers. Of course this is problematic in itself as the numbers can be easily gamed, which explains why a number of bloggers without much of a profile can appear so high in this list. Nevertheless, if you're following 6,000 people on Twitter and have 5,000 followers, your tweets are still reaching a wider audience than someone who only follows 100 but has 1,000 followers. The ratio of followers to the listed figure is a good indication of the depth of twitterly influence.

And there we have it. Did you make the list? Any surprises?

Thursday edit: The list has been modified to include Tory Politico and Martin Bright.

12th January edit: A few more additions to the list in the shape of Eric Joyce, Cath Elliott and Kevin Maguire. This will be the last time I update the list until I do another next December, so if anyone's missing let me know and I'll keep a note of them for when the new one is compiled.


Dave Semple said...

My respect for the political Right just couldn't be lower. I mean at least Guido can break stories and be amusingly vindictive; a bit like a Rightie Tim Ireland. But people like Oberon Houston are both stupid and boring. How, like so many sheep, they all follow his mutterings is beyond me.

Phil BC said...

Yeah, it's a mystery how so many who are, let's say, not known for their blogging prowess manage to attract so many followers on Twitter. The lesson there is gaming your numbers works - at least as far as lists of this ilk go. I'll also say that submerging myself in the TP directory was an experience - I'm just amazed how so many bloggers plod along with next to nothing to say.

Also interesting to note how the upper echelons are dominated by "professional" bloggers (by that I mean people like Guido or Iain Dale who make a living from blogging AND politicians, journalists, etc.)

Pete Shield said...

The only time I ahave ever agreed with David C was when he said too many twits make a tw*t. That said I have around 1,500 followers and find it a useful source of traffic, and source of new stories fresh from gthe keyboard.

Anonymous said...

Look, can someone explain to me again how this tweeting bollocks works? I know its about short messages, and you can follow people. But does everyone who follows people then get followers themselves? And if you follow 6000 people on twitter how the hell would you ever get time to eat, sleep etc?

midland swper

luna17 said...

Just had a look at Guido Fawkes for the first time - prompted by your list - and it's certainly grim. But of course it serves an audience, which is people actively interested in the Westminster village. A great many of those people will themselves be inside that world, part of the professional political class. The likes of Alistair Campbell and Will Straw are the same in this respect, just more liberal and with different party loyalties.

Clare Solomon said...

Not surprised but very glad to see #60. An excellent, meticulously researched, thoroughly entertaining, educational blog. Written by a very nice, non-sectarian person. Very impressed.

U can send a postal order this time :-). (I'm gonna be rich v soon if I continue at this rate)

Happy new year and all that. Keep up the good work.

Phil BC said...

Midland, Twitter is like blogging - you put in as much as you want to get out of it. There are plenty of 'how to' user guides on the internet, but the best way of getting into it is finding out for yourself (some thoughts on my early experiences here, here, and here).

Re: followers, they don't come automatically. You select a group of people you fancy following (when I started it was a mix of other lefts and bloggers) and some might follow back. You will build an audience if you have interesting things to say, disseminate news and info, have a blog behind you, and have friends on Twitter who would recommend you.

Phil BC said...

At this rate Clare, you'll be clearing out my already meagre bank account!

I agree with you Alex. Where Guido differs from Will Straw and Alastair Campbell is that our pretend libertarian friend grew "organically" - though no doubt assisted by existing friendships with Tories and others in wonk land. The other two however entered blogging with a certain amount of political capital behind them - though to be fair to Will Straw his Left Foot Forward does an excellent job providing ammunition to anyone who doesn't want to see the Tories return to power.

Guido Fawkes said...


Phil BC said...

Good point ... but I purposely excluded him and "blogging" ministers (I just neglected to mention it).

Phil BC said...

I should also add I've excluded "blogging" political organisations too. So no Compass Youth, Tory Radio, regional CFs and Labour students, etc.

Paul said...

Interesting to see Ed Vaisey MP in there are #44. Dave and I had a bit of fun with him back in the summer at http://thoughcowardsflinch.com/2009/08/31/in-praise-of-conservative-blogs/

I see he made the 45 day rule cut by 1 day, this being the last of his grand total of 9 posts, only one of which can really be regarded as political in content and that one simply copying a letter from a constituent.

I'm not sure he's really a blogger.

Phil BC said...

Probably not. If I do this again next year (a big if because it took a long bloody time!) I will be more stringent with the 'activity' time scale and definition of a blogger (I'm not sure you can call anyone who does not allow comments a "proper" blogger).

Tory Politico said...

Good work, but Im disappointed you left me off the list as by my calculation I should be placed between Bray's Duckhouse at number 54 and Politics Cymru at 55 - after all I have 1010 followers. Oh well better look next time.

Phil BC said...

Sorry about that, it wasn't intentional. I remember looking at your blog but couldn't find your Twitter feed - and I wasn't really minded to hunt through yet another blog after sifting through hundreds of others! I'll amend it come the morning.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

"Did you make the list? Any surprises? "

I was pretty surprised to find myself in there.

Martin Bright said...

Cough cough! Excuse me!

Do my followers count for nothing?

rich_w said...

I did make the list (in 100th place), which is the most surprising thing of all. Hundreds of people far more deserving of a place, but I'll take it.

Thanks for compiling.

Matt Wardman said...

A very useful post. Thank-you.

There are quite a number of significant non-blogging Twitterers - perhaps because Twitter is a more accessible service for people in paranoid organisations with firewalls.

I'm thinking of the likes of @gsdog7 who is a connector on Twitter but has <1000 followers.

I'm not sure that Tory Radio is an organisation - I have it down as Jonathan Shepherd's bedroom.

There are also quite a few people who twitter politics/political questions who are outside the "politics" blogging niche - I tend to notice legal people who are weighing in on libel reform and the anti-terrorism / anti-paedo-next-door bonkers, and also media people.

Examples: @CharonQC (27 on this list).

And one suggestion:

@markreckons (897)


Stephen Glenn said...

I have 841 followers and blog at Stephen's Linlithgow Journal. Not only am I on the Total Politics Directory but I conributed a chapter to this years TP Guide to Political Blogging.

Matt Wardman said...

>Look, can someone explain to me again how this tweeting bollocks works? I know its about short messages, and you can follow people. But does everyone who follows people then get followers themselves? And if you follow 6000 people on twitter how the hell would you ever get time to eat, sleep etc?

The best explanation I have seen is here:

I distinguish between people I am associated with such as blog contributors - who I set up as groups, and more general "people I am interested in" - who I treat as a stream of chat that I notice from time to time.

This is a quote from the link above. Joseph Addison - Twitter in 1711:

"I have passed my latter Years in this City, where I am frequently seen in most publick Places, tho’ there are not above half a dozen of my select Friends that know me; of whom my next Paper shall give a more particular Account.

There is no place of Resort wherein I do not often make my appearance; sometimes I am seen thrusting my Head into a Round of Politicians at Will’s and listning with great Attention to the Narratives that are made in those little Circular Audiences.

Sometimes I smoak a Pipe at Child’s; and, while I seem attentive to nothing but the Post-Man, over-hear the Conversation of every Table in the Room. I appear on Sunday nights at St. James’s Coffee House, and sometimes join the little Committee of Politicks in the Inner-Room, as one who comes there to Hear and Improve. "

luna17 said...

One advantage of Twitter for bloggers is as a source for new material - there's been a fair few occasions now when I've picked up on something via Twitter. This is helped by following loads of people, including various news organisations and campaign groups, so there's a stream of potential material for blogging. If you want to be able to deliver a quick response to something, it's especially useful as you're likely to learn about it as soon as it's reported.

Caron said...

Thanks for taking the time to do this - it must have been quite a job.

One ommission I can see is of Stephen Glenn http://linlithgow-libdems.blogspot.com and twitter.com/stephenpglenn should be in at around number 75 as he has 845 followers.

Phil BC said...

Cheers for pointing out the folk I've missed off, it certainly wasn't deliberate! Will amend shortly.

Phil BC said...

I agree with you Matt - some folk who are absolutely crucial to the ecology of political twittering are missed off. Sadly, this was unavoidable - for instance, like you I follow @gsdog but there are loads of others I don't follow who play a similar role. Such a list would be impossible for me to compile.

That said, who counts as a 'blogging tweeter' is problematic. I've used the simple definition of political bloggers with a twitter feed, but does someone like Frank Field really count as a blogger? Does Alastair Campbell and Nadine Dorries?

Btw Rich W, you are on the list - like everyone else you're listed under your blog name.