Like peeing in the ocean

I didn’t make the list — again. Maybe next year?
The list I refer to
is the world’s “Top 50 Bike Blogs” for 2011, compiled since 2009 by one of the blogs on bicycling that I look at fairly often, London Cyclist. Some of the blogs on the top-50 list are on my “blogroll,” or list of favorite blogs, in the right-hand column of this page.
London Cyclist defines a bike blog this way: “The site has to be primarily focused around the blog and can’t be part of a much wider organization.” This would exclude, London Cyclist said, such excellent blogs as the one maintained by the British newspaper The Guardian. The blog also must be recently active and have cycling as its main topic.
Actually, reading this list and the criteria for getting onto it is somewhat discouraging for anyone with the fanciful notion that writing a blog might contribute to the world’s body of knowledge. One factor in determining a blog’s worthiness for the list is an online tool called the “Alexa Traffic Rank,” which measures the traffic going to a website.
I went to and typed “” into the search box. This blog, alas, came up with a ranking of 6,811,544. In other words, more than 6.8 million websites around the world have more viewers than Jim’s Bike Blog. It’s no big surprise that, with the highest combination of visitors and pageviews, was ranked No. 1 as of March 18.
London Cyclist said that “the three bike blogs with the most traffic” are Bike Rumor, with an Alexa Traffic Rank of 70,227; Prolly is not Probably, ranked 96,969; and Bike Portland, at 136,349.
The number of Twitter followers and the number of readers who comment on a blog are also among the criteria for making the London Cyclist list. “Bike Snob NYC has the most Twitter followers: 16,134,” London Cyclist said. The three blogs with the most active commenters are Bike Snob NYC, Fat Cyclist and London Cyclist.
Having a Twitter account is apparently a major factor in driving traffic to blogs.
London Cyclist reported that when its list was first compiled in 2009, just 24 percent of the bike blogs included had a Twitter account. In 2010, that grew to 62 percent. “And now in 2011 you are really the odd one out if you don’t have a Twitter account.” Seventy-three percent of the blogs listed this year have Twitter accounts.
I do have a Twitter account, but I’ve not yet posted a tweet and its only followers are two of my sons.
Judging from these stats, it seems that writing a blog — on bicycling or any other passion, from Longaberger baskets to that peculiarly British pastime of trainspotting — is a little like peeing in the ocean. It might provide satisfaction to the person doing the peeing, but it doesn’t add much to the world’s supply of water.



Filed under Blogging on the road, Urban cycling

2 responses to “Like peeing in the ocean

  1. Dean Wisleder

    Jim, if it’s any consolation (and I’m sure it’s very little, if any), yours is the only blog on any subject that I follow fairly regularly.

  2. Dean Wisleder

    Now, about your analogy. To move into the Top 50, your blog would need more exposure. If you were peeing in the ocean, I should think you would want as little exposure as possible.

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