Monday 27 December 2010

Top 100 Tweeting Bloggers 2010

Find below 2010's list of the top 100 UK-based tweeting political bloggers. Follower numbers were those yesterday evening.

1) (1)
Alastair Campbell (52,095 followers)
Jon Snow (36,962 followers)
Johann Hari (33,656 followers)
Krishnan Guru-Murthy (32,917 followers)
Nick Robinson (27,337 followers)
Tory Radio (21,166 followers)
7) (5)
Guido Fawkes (20,864 followers)
Caroline Lucas (17,465 followers)
Toby Young (15,504 followers)
10) (4)
Tom Watson MP (14,910 followers)
11) (18)
Kevin Maguire (13,994 followers)
12) (90)
Laurie Penny (10,838 followers)
13) (14)
Paul Waugh (10,776 followers)
14) (15)
Tim Montgomerie (9,655 followers)
David Allen Green (9,558 followers)
Boulton and Co (9,475 followers)
17) (13)
Labour List (8,569 followers)
18) (66)
Left Foot Forward (8,551 followers)
19) (45)
FT Westminster Blog (8,197 followers)
Robert Peston (8,178 followers)
21) (7)
Kerry McCarthy (7,590 followers)
Paul Mason (7,502 followers)
23) (10)
Enemies of Reason (7,234 followers)
Michael White (7,180 followers)
25) (63)
Will Straw (6,953 followers)
Mehdi Hasan (6,685 followers)
27) (26)
Sunny Hundal (6,666 followers)
Michael Crick (6,575 followers)
29) Life on Wheels (6,387 followers)
30) (6)
The Wardman Wire (6,033 followers)
31) (20)
Gideon Rachman (6,013 followers)
John Rentoul (5,832 followers)
33) (24)
Harry Cole (5,775 followers)
34) (44)
Liberal Conspiracy (5,687 followers)
35) (38)
Daniel Hannan (5,538 followers)
36) (28)
Benedict Brogan (5,479 followers)
37) (8)
UK Progressive (5,472 followers)
38) (19)
Cath Elliott (5,382 followers)
39) (37)
Andrew Sparrow (5,369 followers)
40) (62)
Political Scrapbook (5,358 followers)
41) (22)
Lynne Featherstone MP (5,187 followers)
UCL Occupation (4,549 followers)
43) (9)
James Cleverly (4,411 followers)
44) (35)
Next Left (4,320 followers)
45) (27)
Think Politics (4,130 followers)
38 Degrees (4,121 followers)
47) (33)
LibDem Voice (4,081 followers)
48) (23)
A View From the Public Gallery (4,000 followers)
Charlie Beckett (3,910 followers)
50) (21)
Obnoxio the Clown (3,773 followers)
51) (32)
Mark Pack (3,711 followers)
52) (31)
Bloggerheads (3,577 followers)
53) Police State UK (3,563 followers)
Labour Uncut (3,533 followers)
55) Jonathan Isaby (3,484 followers)
Gordon MacMillan (3,449 followers)
57) Jim Knight (3,442 followers)
58) (48) Douglas Carswell MP (3,316 followers)
Hannah Nicklin (3,308 followers)
60) (67)
Labour Matters (3,276 followers)
61) (43)
Adam Smith Institute Blog (3,123 followers)
62) (55)
Adam Bienkov (3,073 followers)
Iain Martin (2,972 followers)
64) Conservative Home (2,901 followers)
65) (34)
Jon Worth's Euroblog (2,899 followers)
Lisa Ansell (2,823 followers)
67) (65)
Boris Watch (2,762 followers)
James Delingpole (2,660 followers)
69) (49)
Eric Joyce MP (2,607 followers)
Progress (2,590 followers)
71) (75)
Martin Bright (2,590 followers)
False Economy (2,517 followers)
73) (54)
Dizzy Thinks (2,510 followers)
Tristram Hunt (2,506 followers)
Hopi Sen (2,491 followers)
James Kirkup (2,442 followers)
Old Holborn (2,434 followers)
78) (89)
Angry Mob (2,420 followers)
79) (88)
Cardiff Blogger (2,318 followers)
80) (64)
A Very Public Sociologist (2,230 followers)
Lenin's Tomb (2,037 followers)
82) (95)
Luke Bozier 1,937 followers)
83) (50)
Greener Leith (1,864 followers)
84) Bright Green Scotland (1,852 followers)
85) (70)
Mark Reckons (1,817 followers)
Crash Bang Wallace (1,810 followers)
87) F for Philistine (1,801 followers)
88) (40)
Kirklees Unity (1,794 followers)
89) New Left Project (1,746 followers)
90) (82)
Liberal Burblings (1,732 followers)
Big Brother Watch (1,694 followers)
92) William Green (1,690 followers)
93) (61) Andy Reeve's Running Blog (1,675 followers)
Archbishop Cranmer (1,671 followers)
95) (39)
Cllr Lisa Northover (1,610 followers)
96) (77)
Local Democracy Blog (1,583 followers)
97) Heresy Corner (1,579 followers)
Tom Miller (1,556 followers)
99) (78)
Stephen's Linlithgow Journal (1,531 followers)
100) (86)
Caron's Musings (1,530 followers)

Now for the analytical bit. The normal churn of political blogging has claimed several high profile casualties over the last few months. In fact, apart from the Tom Harris's and the Iain Dale's some 31 other bloggers who were on last year's list didn't make it through 2010. Some of them are still active on Twitter, like John Prescott, Bevanite Ellie, but their blogs have seen better days. As before bloggers are excluded from the list if either their blog or Twitter feed has fallen into disuse for 40 days, are ensconced behind a pay wall, or have announced their retirement. The only exception to this rule is Obo the Clown who, despite announcing his departure, is still gracing the blogosphere with his inimitable pearls of wisdom.

The 2010 list sees 41 new entries, meaning that a further eight bloggers from last years weren't able to break through the floor, which now stands at 1,530 followers (last year it was 641). But what is most striking about the new list is the number of
professional bloggers it contains. By my reckoning, journalists, think tank'ers and the like account for 33 positions. Last year it was 11. This change can only be partly explained by my casting the net wider too. Some new "stars" operating out of mainstream media platforms have made a splash, such as the cartoon reactionary James Delingpole. Bloggers like Harry Cole (AKA Tory Bear) and Laurie Penny came up through independent blogging and have been incorporated into the media apparatus - Cole is now an "editor" at Guido's, and Penny is now hosted by the New Statesman and is a Graun regular. Also a lot of liberal, left and leftish bloggers have done paid for bits and bobs for Comment is Free. As I'm not a Telegraph regular I don't know if it's fulfilling a similar role on the right.

The preponderance of professionals, particularly near the top, raises some interesting definitional issues. It seems a blog has become
de rigeur for the disconcerting broadcaster and media name. But these are very much bolt-ons to their existing work. Often their blogs are tired, uninspiring and, in the case of the BBC, have to shy away from controversy for "impartiality's" sake. The question is would anyone bother reading them if there wasn't an established name attached?

On this basis it's easy to assume this list is a measure of blogging influence as determined by number of Twitter followers, and might suggest the position of indie bloggers is slipping. But not all things are equal. You can be pretty certain people follow Guido because he's a blogger. Likewise, I imagine Jon Snow has many more followers ... because he's Jon Snow.

Does this mean anything? It doesn't follow that independent blogging is an endangered species. There'll always be room for people to mouth off and an opportunity to
build up a blog audience, but with limits. I think the path is closed for one-woman and one-man bands starting out now with aspirations to become their party's version of the next Guido or Iain Dale. But this has more to do with the rise of collective blogs than the eminence of "celebrity" bloggers.

It's strange. In many ways the route to blogging "fame" is easier than it once was. The existence of popular collective blogs can short circuit the slow process of building up and getting to know an audience. The advantage is instant prominence, but at the price of always being at the mercy of the blog's editor and having to compete with up to six or seven other posts a day for attention. But this way there's a chance you might catch a newspaper or magazine's eye and be snapped up. For most who go down this route it's more likely their name is lost among the prodigious output.

So, to venture a prediction. Even with the likely upsurge of radical protest-related blogging this coming year I reckon the list will look very similar toward 2011's end. The professionals will have squillions of followers, more of them will dominate the list and those capable of keeping up are prominent personalities attached to collective blogs. The number of indies will fall through being crowded out or by their absorption/incorporation by the collectives or traditional media. It would, however, be nice to get proven wrong.

Update 28.12.10: The list has been updated now for the last time. If you have been missed off it's hard lines, basically. But do let me know anyway via the comments below so you'll be considered when it's compiled next year.


Heresiarch said...

You've missed me out (@Heresy_corner). At 1580 followers, I come between Local Democracy and Tom Miller at 87 in your list. Unless you've missed anyone else out, which you almost certainly have.

Phil said...

Been updated.

Doing things like this are always difficult as you're bound to have missed someone out. If you're not on the list and you should be, let me know.

Anonymous said...

@Politicseditor is missing. 1688 followers and rising

Anonymous said...

Tom Blenkinsop MP (@tomblenkinsop) has 1443 followers

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

And where the fuck am I?

I joke.

Most people's followers are made up of spambots and people selling stuff.

To get a good twitter list you need to see the difference between followers and following, get some uber maths going on.

Denny said...

"If you're not on the list and you should be, let me know."


If BBW qualify (multi-person blog) then I think we probably do too...

Police State UK:


Phil said...

Additions, erm, added.

Joe, I've not let Tom Blenkinsop on. I know the definition of what constitutes a blog is fuzzy in the extreme, but calling a list of press releases without a comments facility a blog doesn't make it one.

And I'm with you Daniel. I mean, Tory Radio would probably be nowhere near the top 100 if he didn't mass follow. 21,000 followers for a blog few people have heard of? Pull the other one.

Anonymous said...

I take it this is just a list of political bloggers who are on twitter? (I've missed previous incarnations)

If so, I wouldn't mind a plug too please :)

@jamiepotter /

Sage said...

What struck me, more than any sense of crowding out of indies was that the best bloggers are still hanging around but those who's output quality dropped, have faded fast.

andy newman said...

But blogging isn't tweeting.

Do people who follow the tweets go and look at trhe blogs?

The stats you quote for you blog are

For the blogging year 2009-10 (8th December - 7th December), AVPS achieved a daily average of 663 page loads, 485 visits, and 128 returning visitors.

but you have 2230 followers. So many of them floow you on twitter, bt not on the blog - i presume.

Just for the sake of argument, SU has 77 twitter followers, and roughly ten times your blog readership.

So i think there needs more analysis of the connection

Anonymous said...

What about @ConHome?

Phil said...

Gah! Everyone's a critic! Will be doing another update later.

Andrew Reeves said...

Hi there, I tweet at @andyreeves and blog at

Can you add me in please?

Jonathan Calder said...

You may want to include @lordbonkers - I write the Liberal England blog.

Many thanks

KonWomyn said...

Surely a list of top tweeters of the year would be as interesting popularity tweeters contest? I think you'd see quite a shift in the rankings. I'd prefer to base my judgements on tweets (retweets and mentions) rather than number of follows. Nick Robinson may be in the Top 10, but he has a grand total of 456 tweets whereas has Sunny Hundal isn't in the top 10 but has a total of 25 085! (If you were to make a list I hope you're techy enough to analyse them be the years : ) )

Esther said...

You seem to have missed out another new blog which gained a lot of attention this year, making the shortlist of the BOTYs and making a respectable showing in a number of the Total Politics awards, too - Molly Bennett's Mid-Wife Crisis at

Phil said...

Mid Wife hasn't been missed out, Esther. She's got 522 followers, which isn't enough to break through the list's floor.

Phil said...

There is a rough relationship certainly, Andy. Without some seriously hard software and techie knowledge it's hard to pin it down with any exactitude.

SU's audience has grown in the absence of Twitter input. In contrast I've been using it to promote my blog for 21 months. Looking at my incomings Twitter has grown in importance and is nearly always the top sender, while SU and Dave Osler duke it out in second place.

Follower count here only measures the *potential* audience for your blog promotion. I would hazard a guess at the click through rate being about 1 in 8, though it v much depends on the issue.

Perhaps it's more important the other way round. Perhaps it's the blog that drives twitter following rather than twitter driving blog audience. After all, why do I have comparatively many followers? It can't all be down to my charming persona and witty repartee.

Phil said...

KonWomyn, that would be a good thing to do for someone with time to spare. But I'm not a techie!

Clem the Gem said...

I have to agree with Andy Newman here, not a very frequent occurrence! Some of us don't twitter at all, and have little intention of doing so. Difficult to reduce complex issues down to "LOL".
Still, keep it up, I already know I am unlikely to bother your top 100 whatever the circs.

Anonymous said...

U sad sods.

Phil said...

Yeah, but you still came and had a look :P

Simon Cooke said...

Damn missed off again - currently @SimonMagus has 1623 follows - putting me just behind His Grace. Not that I CARE or anything :)

Phil said...

Not to worry now you're on the old radar chances are - should you accumulate enough followers - you'll be included next year.

Phil said...

I'll give your blog a plug in February's round-up, Clem.

angelneptustar said...

Do I qualify? My blog is and I have 6,725 followers on twitter, following @angelneptustar

I would be no. 26 if you included me. thanks so much.

Phil said...

You would have made it onto the list had I stumbled across you previously. But as I said there's no more new additions now. Chances are you'll make the list next year though.

eric joyce said...

Really thoughtful and interesting stuff. Haven't come here before but now have bookmarked. BTW, the 40 day rule is prob v sensible but when you're in the public eye a bit (not always for good reasons) you sometimes want to chill for a month or two and be less heard. From time to time, it seems to me anyway, it makes sense to turn down the volume a bit and that doesn't reflect an intention to slacken-off blogging/tweeting in the medium term.

Lord Credo of Knightsbridge said...

Also missing me. @Lord_Credo 2160 followers.