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The last LpcK post for the forseeable future

Thanks to the help of friends at Technorati, I’ve been able to run numbers on most of the 150 top circulation newspapers in the US. For some papers, I continue to find no or few links on Technorati – I’ve hand-checked my script (which uses the Technorati API) to fill in values for sites that returned no links when searching the API. I’m at a bit of a loss with what to do for sites that return a list of links, but where Technorati’s site doesn’t return the “n links from m sites” information – for now, these sites are marked with a “0.1” in my data set. (It is quite possible that I’m using the wrong URLs for these papers – if you see an error in the URLs I’m using, please let me know in my comments.)

The larger circulation newspapers appear to have, on average, more links per circulation than small papers. The mean LpkC for the top 20 papers by circulation is 15.10, the median is 6.42. Looking at the set of 111 papers for which Technorati turned up at least one link, the average is 4.45, mean 1.41. While that certainly suggests that bigger circulation newspapers are bloggier, the data is very messy and the correlation between circulation and LpkC is weak (R-squared = 0.23, p<0.001) – basically, there are lots of outliers in the data – big cirulation newspapers with low LpkC and small circulation papers with high LpkC.

The top 10 bloggiest papers in the US (as best as I can determine):
134.9 The Christian Science Monitor
62.89 The New York Times
40.32 The Washington Post
29.59 San Francisco Chronicle
18.76 The Boston Globe
18.40 The Washington Times
12.89 The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
12.07 The New York Post
11.69 The LA Times

Of those ten papers, CSM and the Washington Times both have circulations right around or under 100,000. Six (all the others the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) have cirulations above 500,000. (This is interesting – there are only 18 newspapers in the set that have circulations about 500k, and six make the top 10 list.)

Some noteable papers that just miss the top 10: the San Jose Mercury News (circulation 298,067, LpkC 11.69), the Providence Journal (236,476, 11.12), and the New Hampshire Union Leader (81,114, 10.98). While the Union Leader is the second-smallest newspaper in our set (next to the CSMonitor), it ranks 33rd in blog links.

The Providence Journal evidently has a set of very loyal bloggers (or a regular reader who is a prolific blogger) – it has 2630 incoming links from only 506 blogs, or 5.1 links per blog. (Average links per blog is 1.71, median is 1.53). Also high on this category are the Chattanooga Times Free Press (4.5), the Hartford Courant (4.05), Lincoln Journal Star (4.0) and Reading (PA) Eagle (4.0).

I included the Wall Street Journal in this set using “opinionjournal.com” – their publicly accessible Opinion pages site – as their URL. This is a partial solution to the “multiple URLs per paper” option, but I’ll need to do a complete set of URLs to treat all multiple URL-ed papers fairly. (Don’t wait up for this data – I’m on the road all of May…) Looking at this URL, the Journal gets an LpkC of 3.65, well below the mean and median for top-circulation papers, and 33rd overall in LpkC. While this is much higher than the score I initially tagged it with, it’s still surprisingly low given the paper’s large circulation and its influence outside the blogosphere.

Writing in the LSE Media Group Blog, David Brake observes that I’m unlikely to find UK newspapers “bloggier” than the Guardian, which he calculates as having an LpkC of 109.7. He’s right – the Guardian leads the pack, but British papers as a whole seem to be “bloggier” than US papers. Looking at the seven “quality” papers and four “popular” papers (as listed by the UK Audit Bureau of Circulation – and the classification is theirs, not mine), discarding zero values on Technorati, the mean LpkC for British papers is 20.97, median is 12.38, both of which are healthily above the values for the top 20 papers by circulation in the US.

The top 10 papers by LpkC, including the US and the UK, looks like this:

134.9 Christian Science Monitor
101.5 The Guardian
62.89 The New York Times
40.32 The Washington Post
29.59 San Francisco Chronicle
34.42 The Scotsman
29.59 Boston Globe
20.14 The Independent
18.40 The Washington Times
12.89 The Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The Financial Times would place 11th, the Times of London 13th – 5 of the 13 bloggiest papers I’ve found are published in Britain. One possible explanation for this: perhaps Brits are more inclined towards media blogging than Yanks. I suspect there’s another answer – US bloggers often link to British newspapers for an “alternative perspective” on US stories, especially US involvement in international affairs. The large number of links to the Guardian – an unabashedly left-leaning paper – might reflect a large number of American liberals looking for alternative coverage in the British press.

Please keep the comments, questions and speculation coming…

4 thoughts on “The last LpcK post for the forseeable future”

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