Well, it is time to choose some winners for the Top 5 Seahawks Blogs. After weeks of intense research (OK, not too intense. Just crunched a few numbers), some voting by the fans (over 1000 voters and 1,500 votes cast for 14 different blogs), and my own thoughts I have narrowed down this list to the Top 5 Seahawks Blogs.
I was looking for blogs from true fans and not just media blogs so that ruled out a lot of quality sources for Seahawks information but in some ways the media people have too many advantages (media access to players, practices, etc) that the normal fans don’t have. I am not saying those media blogs are bad in any way. I just didn’t want them included in this contest.
I also wanted blogs that had original writing, good fan interaction, and a good feel to them. I wanted solid information and didn’t want it slanted too negatively or positively. I wanted a fair look at our favorite team, The Seattle Seahawks, from a fan’s perspective.
I broke down the selection process into four categories: Fan voting, social interaction, analytics, and my own thoughts. I will share the results of each of those and then let you know the top 5 winners.
I ran a poll asking readers to vote for their favorite Seahawks blogs and was very suprised at the response. Nearly all the bloggers mentioned this contest on twitter and on their blogs so I was very excited to have more than 1000 voters. Here are the top few vote getters:
- FieldGulls – 320 votes – Not really a suprise here. They are probably the biggest and most popular Seahawks blog.
- 12thManRising – 286 votes – They started slow but came on strong. There has been some questions about their quick rise in the standings
- HawkBlogger – 256 votes – Good, consistent performance. And he even had a 2-1 lead at one point!
- DaveKriegsStrikeBeard – 173 votes – Not the biggest blog but probably the best name
- SeahawksDraftBlog – 168 votes – Great info for all those people interested in who the Seahawks should draft
- 17 Power – 100 votes – Finished with a nice, round number of votes. If you are OCD that might mean something to you.
- SeahawkNationBlog – 99 votes – Had a late start but did fairly well in the final voting.
And after that the voting drops off fairly quickly. So right now there are 7 contenders. Not sure there are any huge suprises with the voting. I don’t think there are too many people who would argue with any of these sites being top 7. OK, maybe there would be some arguement about a couple of them but voting-wise there isn’t much of an arguement.
I wanted to also see how the twitter accounts of these blogs stacked up. Social interaction (mostly on Twitter) is a big part of most blogger’s success. I looked at 5 categories (Tweets, Follows, Followers, Lists, and Klout Score). Obviously none of these numbers mean much on their own but put them together and you will get a pretty good idea of the amount of interaction the bloggers have with their social communities.
Here is how they ended up ranked:
T-1: Hawkblogger - Was in the top half in all the categories.
T-1: FieldGulls – Followed more people than anyone else
3: SeahawksDraftBlog – Had the most followers of any of the bloggers
4. DaveKriegsStrikeBeard – By far the most tweets of anyone.
5. 17Power – Only follows 37 people. That is good for keeping your stream clean but not good for interaction.
6. 12thManRising – Fewest followers of everyone
I looked for Twitter accounts for SeahawkAddicts and SeahawkNationBlog but couldn’t easily find them. They might have accounts but if they aren’t easily found what good are they?
I love many different forms of stastical analysis. It is great for looking at sports teams but it is also good when comparing sites. And just like sports statistics the stats for websites can never tell the whole story. It is good to see some of these stats but I would never pick a top site based solely on these numbers. I looked at 4 main stats here: Google PR, Number of pages indexed in Google, Incoming links based on Yahoo Site Explorer, and Alexa Ranking:
1. FieldGulls – Had the most pages indexed. Also a lot of links from SBNation. Best Alexa Ranking also
2. 12thManRising - Had the most incoming links. Many of those are due to the FanSided network of blogs.
T-3. HawkBlogger – Wasn’t top two in any of these categories
T-3. DaveKriegsStrikeBeard – Worst Alexa ranking in the bunch
5. SeahawksDraftBlog – Next to last in every category except Alexa (#2 there)
6. 17Power – Last in number of pages indexed and incoming links.
Once again, if you just take these numbers in and of themselves and use them as ranking criteria they will fail but put them together and it gives a pretty accurate picture. These results are pretty much the same as the fan voting.
And now the most arbitrary of all the criteria (and maybe the most important): My Thoughts. Here are a couple quick things I thought about when I looked at the different blogs. None of them ruled out any of the contestants but they did factor into my thoughts.
1. I like single writer blogs. Sites like FieldGulls have many different writers where sites like HawkBlogger and DaveKreigsStrikeBeard have pretty much only one writer.
2. I don’t really care for the big blog ad networks like SBNation or YardBarker or Fansided or Bloguin. Partially because there are better ways to monitize a blog and partially because they usually seem to clutter the site up.
3. I am not a big fan of blogspot or blogger domains. It is worth it to spend a few bucks and get your own domain. Blogspot sites are easy to set up though and not everyone has the knowledge or time to work with their own domain.
4. I don’t mind “amateurish” designs for a blog but I do mind when the blog looks too cluttered. Nice and clean is what I usually want to see in a blog. I don’t want to have to search for the information I need.
5. Interaction with the readers is important and that usually comes in the form of comments. Are the comments on a post getting responded to? Are there a lot of comments?
6. Quality of information is probably the biggest factor. Quantity is important but I would rather read 1 quality post than 5 mediocre posts.
There are other things I looked at and other factors I considered as well. Mostly it came down to “Do I like reading this blog?”.
After taking into consideration all of the rankings above and throwing them together with my thoughts here are the Top 5 Seahawks Blogs. And remember there are prizes for the top 3.
SeahawksDraftBlog – I love the information here but it is pretty focused on the draft and draft prospects. Rob Stanton does a great job of breaking down the college players and if you are wanting draft information this is a great resource.
#5: 17Power – Brandon Adams does most of the writing for 17Power and seems to have a new post up every few days. The blog was started on Jan, 21st of this year and there have been almost 150 posts. The articles are informative and entertaining as well. There isn’t a ton of in depth statistical analysis but that is just fine. All in all this is a great Seahawks blog to follow.
#4: 12thManRising – Keith Myers took over 12thManRising a few weeks ago and has had some great posts. I would like to see more of his writing though and maybe next year he can improve his rankings. But 12thManRising has been around for a number of years (I think July, 2008 or s0) and there are a lot of posts there. I am not a huge fan of networks like Fansided so that hurt him a bit in my rankings. I am really looking forward to seeing what Keith can do with this site.
#3: DaveKriegsStrikeBeard – First of all, the name is very creative. Second, I really do like the info on this blog. It is nice that the author (don’t even know his name) is optimistic about the Seahawks, hates anything dealing with “Suck for Luck”, and isn’t afraid to say so. Maybe I will knock him down some points for being a Red Sox fan but he is probably hurting enough from their collapse already.
I do like the fact that it seems to be a one man show as well. I know how hard it is to consistently write compelling content and he isn’t the most prolific blogger our there but when he does post it is almost always worth reading.
#2. FieldGulls – Kind of an upset here. It was a tough decision between #2 and #1 for FieldGulls. They were very close to winning. I love most of the articles, especially the ones by Danny Kelly who is the head guy there. This is probably the biggest, most popular Seahawks blog out there and the posts get more comments and responses than any of the other blogs I looked at. There is usually many hundreds of comments on their game threads. I like the stastical breakdowns and analysis they have and it is cool to see the “Replay Booth” posts where they break down a bunch of play snapshots are some of the best out there.
But there are a couple things that hurt them: There are a LOT of writers and sometimes the SBNation ads make the page seem way too cluttered.
#1. HawkBlogger - And the #1 Seahawks blog for this year goes to HawkBlogger. It was very close between #1 and #2. But I gave the nod to HawkBlogger. He has been at this since 2007 and from what I can see Brian is the only one writing for this blog. Brian did just start writing on a national blog as well but he hasn’t slacked off on HawkBlogger. For the past few months he has been cranking out almost an article or more per day which can be very hard to do.
Brian writes about many different aspects of the Seahawks. There are game previews and recaps, features on specific players, power rankings, and more. I love reading the stuff he cranks out and you can tell he puts a lot of time into this.
Prize: A new Replica Seahawks Jersey
I had a great time putting on this contest. As Seahawk fans we are blessed to have so many great blogs out there. It was tough choosing a top 5 since there were quite a few good ones I had to leave out. It will be interesting to see how the rankings change if I do this contest next year as well.
How would you have ranked the top 5? Would your top choices be different? Leave a comment below and let me know.