Metalog

About the Metalog

Almost a decade ago this page recorded the most popular links posted by weblogs on the web; a related page listed the most popular weblogs. I only did this for about a year or so (by the end of it, updates were coming in too fast for me to process by hand, but I didn’t have the time or inclination to rejig things), but I still do have some of the data!

Most-linked Blogs in September 2000

  1. http://robotwisdom.com/ (44 links)
  2. http://kottke.org/ (42)
  3. http://slashdot.org/ (40)
  4. http://www.metafilter.com/ (39)
  5. http://memepool.com/ (37)
  6. http://obscurestore.com/ (35)
  7. http://camworld.com/ (35)
  8. http://www.misterpants.com/01/ (28)
  9. http://www.evhead.com/ (27)
  10. http://www.harrumph.com/ (26)
  11. http://www.stormwerks.com/linked/ (25)
  12. http://www.megnut.com/ (23)
  13. http://members.tripod.com/amused_2/weblog.html (23)
  14. http://eatonweb.com/ (22) — defunct
  15. http://electrobacon.com/apathy/ (22) — defunct
  16. http://www.swallowingtacks.com/ (21) — defunct
  17. http://www.rebeccablood.net/ (19)
  18. http://www.plasticbag.org/ (19)
  19. http://genehack.org/ (18)
  20. http://www.scripting.com/ (18)
  21. http://www.uncorked.org/medley/ (18)
  22. http://www.pocketgeek.com/pith/ (17)
  23. http://students.washington.edu/lwinn/bird/ (17) — defunct
  24. http://peterme.com/ (17)
  25. http://50cups.com/strange/ (16) — defunct
  26. http://www.wrongwaygoback.com/ (16) — defunct
  27. http://www.wwa.com/~dhartung/weblog/ (15) — moved
  28. http://www.bradlands.com/ (14)
  29. http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Lindsay/weblog/latest.html (14)
  30. http://cybereditions.com/aldaily/ (14)
  31. http://gooddeed.net/blog/ (14) — defunct
  32. http://www.xplane.com/xblog/ (14)
  33. http://www.linkwatcher.com/metalog/ (14) — defunct
  34. http://www.zeldman.com/coming.html (13) — moved
  35. http://www.popculturejunkmail.com/ (13)
  36. http://q.queso.com/ (13)
  37. http://prolific.org/ (13)
  38. http://www.tomalak.org/ (12) — defunct
  39. http://www.gumbopages.com/looka/ (12)
  40. http://wmf.editthispage.com/ (12)
  41. http://www.larkfarm.com/weblog.asp (12)
  42. http://www.cardhouse.com/links/weblog.htm (12)
  43. http://saturn.org/ (11) — defunct
  44. http://www.alt0169.com/ (11) — defunct
  45. http://www.flutterby.com/ (11)
  46. http://stommel.tamu.edu/~baum/ethel/blogger.html (10)
  47. http://www.kitschbitch.com/ (10) — defunct
  48. http://www.geegaw.com/ (10)
  49. http://rc3.org/ (10)
  50. http://dack.com/ (10)

Some observations/notes:

  • The link counts seem really low, even when you take in to account how long ago this was, and that blogs had to start somewhere, but I’m pretty sure they really are broadly accurate. (The ranks are almost certainly accurate.)
  • Many of the blogs popular back then are still pretty popular today, though not to the same extent: of the top 50, only Kottke, Metafilter and Scripting News make it onto Technorati’s Top 100, for example. (I suspect Slashdot would as well, but Technorati evidently doesn’t consider it a blog.)
  • Curiously, Boing Boing (Technorati’s No. 1 blog) doesn’t make it onto the list. It did exist back then, and I have data for it, but apparently it only had links from three sites. I’m not sure when it started getting popular.
  • There are no political blogs on the list—they hadn’t been invented yet. Actually, I got the impression that many bloggers got a bit shirty when political blogs started up, and started getting popular—politics (and especially right-wing politics) wasn’t what the blog-powered future was supposed to be about. Blogs were supposed to be personal, thoughtful, witty, sincere—not brash and combative.

Rebecca Mead’s New Yorker piece, “You’ve Got Blog,” does a great job of capturing the spirit of the blogs of the time, via the story of Kottke and Megnut’s blog-initiated relationship. (You can tell it’s old because it talks about “E-mail” and ICQ.)

metalog-data.json contains the raw data (in JSON format); metalog-sources.txt contains the weblogs I was working from (446 of them). I can also provide the data on the URLs these weblogs linked to, though I don’t think this is so interesting.

The Wayback Machine has some copies of what these pages looked like at different times: metalog, metalog ratings.