Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Top 100 Independent Tweeting Bloggers 2013

It's the list no one has been waiting for. We've had the list of bloggers who dominate the Twitter feeds of folk interested in UK politics. And, as we know, it has grown progressively colonised by professionals. The list below is of the normal bloggers, of those political people who write independently of any media organisation, think tank or party. It's the list without most of the superstars and Twitter celebs.

A couple more caveats to send you off to sleep with. I've been very picky with MPs in ways I weren't with the original list. The established definition of what counts as a blogger applies. But most MPs aren't really bloggers, even if they do tick the boxes. Therefore I've excluded MPs who use their blogs to write solely about tea mornings and bus shelter refurbishments, and kept those who write proper political blogs. That means guys like Tom Watson, Douglas Carswell and Eric Joyce. Unfortunately, there does not appear to be any women in the House that blog politically. Shame.

I've also taken LabourList and ConHome out of the running this year. While they have their own stable of bloggers, some of whom are independent, both are professional outfits with employees and are basically arms-length extensions of the parent party. However, I've kept LibDem Voice in solely because it's a voluntary effort.

There are a number of blogs here that do have paid employees - I'm thinking primarily of Guido, Left Foot Forward and Political Scrapbook. Do they really qualify as independent blogs any more, or should 'indie' refer solely to people who maintain their site in their own time? I'm interested to hear readers' views.

Enough jaw-jaw. How did you do in the Twitter war-war?

1. (><) Alastair Campbell (259,289 followers)
2. (><) Tom Watson MP (136,212 followers)
3. (><) Guido Fawkes (120,836 followers)
4. (NE) Louise Mensch (80,425 followers)
5. (-1) Iain Dale (46,181 followers)
6. (><) Left Foot Forward (40,999 followers)
7. (+1) Political Scrapbook (30,236 followers)
8. (+2) Harry Cole (29,616 followers)
9. (+2) Eoin Clarke (26,487 followers)
10. (NE) Caroline Criado-Perez (24,130 followers)
11. (+6) The F-Word (23,658 followers)
12. (+1) Open Democracy (21,266 followers)
13. (+2) Richard Murphy (20,146 followers)
14. (NE) Jim Murphy MP (18,656 followers)
15. (+6) Douglas Carswell MP (17,381 followers)
16. (+9) New Left Project (14,527 followers)
17. (+5) Labour Uncut (14,354 followers)
18. (+27) Labour Left (13,579 followers)
19. (+5) The Commentator (12,291 followers)
20. (NE) Dan Jarvis MP (12,287 followers
21. (+6) Archbishop Cranmer (12,147 followers)
22. (+6) LibDem Voice (11,500 followers)
23. (+12) Mike Smithson (11,240 followers)
24. (NE) Mark Thompson (11,149 followers)
25. (+16) Another Angry Woman (10,847 followers)
26. (NE) Boycott Workfare (10,776 followers)
27. (+30) Bella Caledonia (10,638 followers)
28. (+27) Libcom (9,920 followers)
29. (+8) Jon Worth (9,877 followers)
30. (-1) Cath Elliott (9,631 followers)
31. (+1) Diary of a Benefit Scrounger (9,517 followers)
32. (+6) Lenin's Tomb (9,391 followers)
33. (-7) Angela Neptustar (9,338 followers)
34. (+13) Carl Gardner (9,311 followers)
35. (NE) Kate Gilson (9,217 followers)
36. (-2) Benefit Scrounging Scum (9,140 followers)
37. (-4) Boris Watch (8,986 followers)
38. (NE) Eric Joyce (8,660 followers)
39. (+21) Pride's Purge (8,613 followers)
40. (+9) Paul Flynn MP (8,258 followers)
41. (-1) John Redwood MP (8,085 followers)
42. (+26) Disabled People Against Cuts (8,004 followers)
43. (NE) Coppola Comment (7,977 followers)
44. (+2) Hopi Sen (7,877 followers)
45. (-2) James Cleverly AM (7,718 followers)
46. (-4) Mark Pack (7,692 followers)
47. (NE) Kate Belgrave (7,346 followers)
48. (+18) Michael Meacher MP (7,160 followers)
49. (+2) Obnoxio the Clown (7,159 followers)
50. (+12) CiF Watch (7,088 followers)
51. (NE) Unlearning Economics (7,019 followers)
52. (NE) Chris Williamson MP (6,889 followers)
53. (+3) Big Brother Watch (6,819 followers)
54. (NE) The Enlightened Economist (6,726 followers)
55. (-1) Adam Ramsay (6,498 followers)
56. (NE) Wings Over Scotland (6,451 followers)
57. (+5) Luke Akehurst (6,130 followers)
58. (+5) A Dragon's Best Friend (5,991 followers)
59. (><) Jess McCabe (5,739 followers)
60. (+1) Tom Scholes-Fogg (5,508 followers)
61. (+8) A Latent Existence (5,472 followers)
62. (NE) David Hencke (5,469 followers)
63. (NE) The Void (5,085 followers
64. (NE) Scriptonite Daily (4,900 followers)
65. (NE) Feminist Times (4,866 followers)
66. (NE) #teacherroar (4,720 followers)
67. (-3) The Blog That Peter Wrote (4,707 followers)
68. (NE) Derek Wall (4,690 followers)
69. (NE) Lallands Peat Worrier (4,567 followers)
70. (-1) Counterfire (4,382 followers)
71. (NE) Zelo Street (4,460 followers)
72. (NE) Euro Rights Blog (4,339 followers)
73. (+10) Chris Dillow (4,148 followers)
74. (+10) Left Futures (4,142 followers)
75. (+4) A Burdz Eye View (4,020 followers)
76. (-4) Heresy Corner (3,929 followers)
77. (><) Emma Burnell (3,863 followers)
78. (-4) James MacKenzie (3,784 followers)
79. (NE) Welsh Not British (3,776 followers)
80. (NE) The Cornish Republican (3,639 followers)
81. (+6) Stephen Tall (3,638 followers)
82. (NE) Lisa Ansell (3,524 followers)
83. (-3) A Very Public Sociologist (3,511 followers)
84. (-5) Liberal England (3,468 followers)
85. (-9) Laurence Durnan (3,361 followers)
86. (NE) James Bloodworth (3,171 followers)
87. (-2) Caron's Musings (3,097 followers)
88. (-6) The Third Estate (3,076 followers)
89. (NE) Flip Chart Fairy Tales (3,012 followers)
90. (NE) Anna Chen (3,000 followers)
91. (NE) Bright Green (2,919 followers)
92. (NE) Tea and Solidarity (2,616 followers)
93. (+7) Ceasefire (2,546 followers
94. (+2) Rob Marchant (2,504 followers)
95. (NE) Raised on a Diet of Broken Biscuits (2,453 followers)
96. (-8) The Way I See Things (2,425 followers)
97. (NE) Mum V Austerity (2,288 followers)
98. (-11) Liberal Burblings (2,242 followers)
99. (-5) Ed Simpson (2,197 followers)
100. (-11) Jeff Breslin (2,188 followers)

Here's last year's indie list, if that sort of thing floats your boat.

The first thing that strikes you is how much more volatile the independent list is. Over a quarter of the list is new, and those who clung on since last year are jumping all over the place. Some of it is partly my fault - doing an indie list is more difficult simply because the "scene" is larger. It's very easy to overlook people you've never heard of, so some of the new entries will reflect that. Yet there has been a high casualty rate. A lot of people have simply stopped and shut up shop. I guess it's to be expected. For most independent bloggers brushes with truly mass audiences are few and far between. It can feel like you're spilling words into a place where no eyes will catch them. Hence the greater propensity to jack it in. Therefore while there is some consolidation near the top it's more likely the independent list in future years will continue churning, allowing for a relationship between position and "length of service" to kick in.

There's loads of other things that could be said I haven't got the time to write about. For instance, women are underrepresented. Tories are relatively thin on the ground. There's no UKIP knocking about. Scottish nationalists are in but there's no Plaid Cymru bloggers flying the flag for Wales. There's few "movementy" blogs too.

Lastly, the most annoying thing is stumbling across three blogs that qualify for the other list too, arrgh! If you know of any that should be on here and aren't, please let me know in the comments below.

Update 5th January
Okay y'all, so listen up. This has been updated now to include Kate Belgrave, Lallands Peat Worrier, Euro Rights Blog, Welsh Not British, The Cornish Republican, Bright Green Scotland and Tea and Solidarity. And that's it for this year. If there are still folk missing let me know and I'll note them down for inclusion in 2014's list at the start of next year.


Lazorbill said...

Wha about 'Think Left'?

Adam Ramsay said...

Thanks for this - must be a lot of work.

A few wee things (as there will be inevitably, as you say):

you list me as Bright Green, which is one of the blogs I co-edit. But this is a little confusing, as Bright Green has its own account @brightgrn, and I now also co-edit and write more for @OurKingdom, the UK section of opendemocracy.
to make it more confusing, @brightgrn has 2917 followers and so would qualify for this list in its own right, as would two of my co-editors there - @petermccoll, @garydunion (though they are lazy bastards who don't actually blog that much, so maybe they don't count?).

Anyway, good work compiling this - always interesting.


Phil said...

Arrgh! I do intend on updating tomorrow.

Mike Harris said...

I have 2300 followers but only blog 2/3 times a month at do I count!? ;-)

Rob Simmons said...

Good list and an immense undertaking. But what about Welsh not British @welshnotbritish with 3700 odd
Also @TheCornishRep (3, 600) with Yes Kernow

Welsh not British said...

Diolch yn fawr Rob a Phil, thanks both. :)

There are more Welsh blogs, some very good ones but they don't tend to focus on social media. To be honest they get very high numbers simply by providing very good content.

If anyone is interested there is a list here of Welsh blogs, not comprehensive but a good start.