Leading Average: Top Blog Trends 12 November, 2006 — Stuart Brown
Common traits of the top few blogs
The best blogs all have a quite few things in common - regular, well written content and a large number of subscribers are base requisites for a Technorati Top 100 Blog. But what other traits do these select few blogs share?
The software that a blog runs on is key to the presentation and features available, and there are a multitude of different applications available, all with their own respective pros and cons. It is perhaps unsurprising that almost half of the Top 100 blogs run on specialized (or heavily customised) software - high traffic demands and specific needs are common within the top few blogs.
Movable Type is also a popular choice, offering a wealth of now-standard tools for blogging, including trackbacks, and the usual host of comments, categorization etc. Perhaps the major advantage of Movable Type is the extensive customizations and stylistical changes that can be made.
Wordpress boasts many similarities to Movable Type, with perhaps one major advantage - it's free. Similar levels of customization can be made, and there are a multitude of themes that can be installed to customise the look of a blog.
Blogging is big business these days, and most (79%) of the Top 100 blogs had some form of advertising. A mere 21% had no explicit advertising at all.
he most popular form of monetization is the ubiquitous Google Adsense, appearing on 24% of the Top 100. Easy to set up, and with a large catalog of advertisers, it's a common choice.
BlogAds and DoubleClick constituted a relatively significant portion of ads, with Federated Media et al lagging behind.
The blogosphere is largely dominated by English language sites, but Japan and China have a reasonable representation. Spanish, Farsi (Persian), French, Russian and Taiwanese constitute the remaining 7%.
Genre-busting 'General' blogs covering a broader range of topics are second in popularity, followed by a mass of (chiefly American) political blogs. Personal blogs weigh in at a mere 9% of the top 100, despite the blogosphere consisting of mostly personal material. Gossip and News feature quite prominently, followed by a mixed bag of miscellany for the last 17%.
An overwhelming majority of 47% of the top 100 blogs opt for a plain white background - simple, clean, and consistent with current design trends. Neutrals are a popular choice, it would seem, with grey being second choice.
Blue is another safe choice - with 1 in 6 blogs choosing an azure tone for their backdrop. Pink, black, beige and green are rank outsiders, with the remnant consisting a mere 3%.
Unsurprisingly, given the limited choice of fonts available on the web, certain choices are very popular - Verdana is used as a body font in 43% of the Top 100 blogs.
Helvetica rip-off Arial, stylish serif Georgia and Trebuchet take the next 3 positions, with erstwhile favourite Times used in just 5% of the blogs.
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