Machiavellian Blog Nomenclature

July 27th, 2006

I remember the good old days in college when I used to have to name my Powerbook 5300 just right to get on the top few of my dorm’s list of machines on the chooser (I forget the name of the chat application we used to use, had a little comic-like talk icon in the chooser). It was not uncommon for a computer to have many tildas and exclamations at the beginning of their name to get up on the top of the list. I even remember doctoring my ICQ username. I bring this up because I have come to the conclusion that blogs with names beginning with the first few letters of the alphabet, get more hits than the rest.

This completely unscientific and tin-foil-hat induced theorem is based on my personal experience with reading blogs on a feedreader. When I browse through my Bloglines feeds in the default view, I almost always lose interest by the time I reach the P’s. Sometimes when I am really bored, I will reach the Q’s, but it does not happen often. I looked at the first item on the last feed in my list and I noticed that I had not read that feed since I started to try out Bloglines some weeks ago. I am sure that many feed readers and bookmark generators actually sort feeds according to last update, but I am quite sure that there are quite a few that follow the alphabetical sort.

I will have to make a concerted effort to start at the bottom of the list once in a while. How often do you read all the feeds in your reader (or all the links in your reading list) ?




  1. Rick Beckman (4 comments.) says:

    Daily. I’m not subscribed to very many, and most of those aren’t updated very often at all.

  2. Zach (2 comments.) says:

    Well thats not good.

    -Zach of

  3. Peter (5 comments.) says:

    Interesting observation – I guess that’s why on voting cards, the names tend to be randomized, to eliminate any perceived advantage a candidate might get by having a name like “Archie Arnold” or similar.

  4. Patrick Havens (14 comments.) says:

    Zach… I have to say that would suck… but I don’t think all is that way…

    Personally I jump around, and I use readers (One a site I made I Vant Info and another Google Personalized, that display the top 5 posts from the feeds I want… and then I strart searching from there.

  5. Patrick Havens (14 comments.) says:

    Zach… I have to say that would suck… but I don’t think all is that way…

    Personally I jump around, and I use readers (One a site I made I Vant Info and another Google Personalized, that display the top 5 posts from the feeds I want… and then I strart searching from there.

  6. Patrick Havens (14 comments.) says:

    Weird.. for some reason when commenting Firefox is asking me to download the php file.

    Please delete junk posts… sorry. I thought the server was puking, until I refreshed.

  7. chewxy (8 comments.) says:

    Was it MS Comic Chat? I loved that program!

  8. Digital Photo Ted (1 comments.) says:

    This issue goes even further. On many websites which list the blogs they choose aphabetic sequence defaulting the index page to “A”. No points for guessing which page gets highest Google PageRank.

  9. Jo (2 comments.) says:

    I use bloglines and put all my feeds into different folders – friends, photoblogs, tech stuff, news, etc and then read each folder of updated feeds according to my mood at the time. Friends’ blog feeds tend to get read first while news usually gets left til last.

  10. Jim (2 comments.) says:

    Sounds like it’s time to trim the blogroll a bit. I read all the blogs on my blogroll on a daily basis, usually immediately as they are updated (I have a notifier on my reader).

  11. kaufman (4 comments.) says:

    Bloglines allows you to sort by the number of unread posts, but it’s not the default setting. I use it that way, combined with jo’s suggestion on using bloglines folders, and my reading effort gets spread out among all of my feeds. In addition, if I find a feed to be especially boring or irrelevant and can’t determine if it’s just a temporary situation, I move that feed to a “probationary” folder, which I let fill up, and only check weekly or so. That gives it enough time for the feed to fill up and (hopefully) give a more thorough representation of the feed – if it’s still bad, then I delete it.

  12. Jody (1 comments.) says:

    heh heh…I noticed that, too. Since then I’ve been reading from a-z one day, then z-a on the next day. So many there are some around the letters k-n that I’m missing. :P

  13. Fei (1 comments.) says:

    I read feeds sometimes…if I have time that is

  14. Jessica Doyle (4 comments.) says:

    What an interesting conversation to happen upon. It reminds me of how attendance in elementary school was done. Some of my teachers changed their roll-calling efforts daily to make sure everyone felt special. I don’t have weblogtoolscollection on my links page on my blog. I do come here often though to read either by typing we… into firefox and letting the browser do the rest until i clear my browsing history again. I happened into this conversation through my dashboard ;) cool eh?

    I visit all my links on my links page. I also began using cocomment to track where I am talking. I use cocomment more than my reader. I find just through clicking links in a post or sidebar (any links) on the sites I surf to I end up more or less routing back to the originating site somehow. Perhaps what goes around comes around. I end up back here more than once a week on average.

    I think the fallback to readers (RSS) for some users could be that they like clicking through to other sites rather than having to just see it in their reader. They become oversaturated with sameness. Every once in a while like a every few weeks I go in and delete, hide, or add new lbookmarks, inks, comments or RSS feeds appropriately to whichever service I am using to browse with. Through doing that it keeps things fresh and you begin to learn where to put everyone. Also sometimes it’s just easy to remember an addy from the top of your head or even do a tag search for a site if you are stuck.

    thanks for the conversation Mark and thx commenters I learned a little bit about bloglines. Cheers!

  15. Meredith (24 comments.) says:

    I read everything in my Bloglines probably an average of twice a week. I try to keep up with my LiveJournal friends page every couple of days.

  16. Stacey (2 comments.) says:

    I make an effort to go through all of my feeds every day. For me, the blogs that don’t update as frequently are the first I read. If a blog is spitting out posts every hour, I can get lazy and ignore them. I’m certainly not saying I’m the ‘norm’….it’s just how I use my feedreader. Alphabetical order doesn’t have any basis on how I read my feeds – it’s frequency.

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