Bil Browning

Measuring Up: Indiana's LGBT friendly blogs

Filed By Bil Browning | April 14, 2010 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living

I thought this was an interesting analysis of the state of Indiana's LGBT-friendly blogosphere. I picked 5 of the top queer owned or friendly sites and decided to analyze their traffic.

Blog.jpgThe sites I chose (in alphabetical order) were:

The graph and my analysis after the jump. I think you'll be surprised at the results.

NOTE: I would have included Jon Easter's Indy Democrat blog, Greg Meckstroth's Urban Out, and Scott Barnes' Scott B Blog, but since they're rather new, data wasn't available for the sites.

The Rankings

The key to the graph is as follows:

  • Advance Indiana
  • Bilerico-Indiana
  • Blue Indiana
  • Commonplacebook
  • The Word Online

Clickety to embiggen if you want to see the timeline better. This graph charts unique visitors to each site from February 2009 till February 2010.

Indiana_blogosphere.jpg is the clear winner while Advance Indiana places a strong second overall. Next up is Bilerico-Indiana who's running a neck and neck race with Blue Indiana. The Word is in a distant last place.

Some Observations

Steph Mineart from Commonplacebook has been blogging since before there were blogs. Her domain is an older one (which always helps with search engine traffic) and she's got an established fan base. You'll find all sorts of posts; she regularly blogs about local or national politics, feminism, tells personal stories, or shares her well-known list of liberal-lesbian-tech-guru must-read articles for the day.

You can't judge Gary Welsh from Advance Indiana by the last month shown on the graph. While jumping on the tea-bagger, Obama-is-a-Muslim bandwagon helped spike the gay Republican blogger's traffic around the election, it dropped considerably after the votes were cast - lower, in fact, than before he started the non-stop Obama bashing. A recent stay in the hospital, however, knocked Gary offline and skewed the resulting scores; if not for the unexpected sickness, I'm confident his rankings would have been higher.

I'm actually a little shocked that Bilerico-Indiana ranks as highly as it does. As an affiliate site, it's become the redheaded stepchild of Bilerico Project and I don't pay nearly enough attention to it since I'm working constantly on the main site. I'm grateful for those of you who stick around to see what I've got to say about the local issues still.

Blue Indiana is known for its connections to the Indiana Democratic Party. Blog owner Thomas Cook has worked as the party's communications director and that's been a plus and a minus for the site. Now that Thomas is back in law school, the postings have thinned quite a bit and community members haven't really stepped in to fill the void. As far as died in the wool Democrats go, this is the site they should be crawling all over every day, but both straight and gay people are squandering the opportunity mostly.

The Word Online doesn't have a blog; instead they simply post a pdf of the latest month's issue on the site. Apparently people are downloading the rag as fast as they pick it up on the stands; one month recorded a whopping 32 visitors. Here's hoping he's not charging his advertisers extra for the "online exposure."

What does this tell us about the state of the Hoosier LGBT and allied blogosphere? As a community, we're not plugging into our local news sources and supporting our homegrown citizen journalists.

All of the traffic amounts on all these sites combined doesn't equal half of what the main Bilerico site gets, but TBP focuses on national and international news - our target audience is bigger. Smaller, more localized stories get lost on TBP since someone from Montana usually doesn't care about reporting on Indiana's political insider baseball and how it relates to local LGBT issues.

What does Indiana's progressive blogs in general? Tomorrow I'll publish a post ranking Indiana's liberal political sites. While we tend to have the upper hand in the world of social media in the national arena, after seeing how small all of our local LGBT-friendly sites are, I wonder if Indiana Democrats aren't getting their asses handed to them online too.

So what's your favorite Indiana-based queer site? How do you think they'd fare in the rankings?

Note: I deliberately left any blogs owned/written by a Bilerico contributor out of the rankings.

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Wilson46201 | April 14, 2010 10:42 AM

White supremacist and religious bigot Gary Welsh has completely stopped carrying any news about that faggy stuff for years now. He might suck cock now and then but he has dropped all pretense about being "a gay blogger". He's now just another raving and frothing TeaBagger with Mayor Greg Ballard added to his "hate list"...

Just out of curiosity, where did the traffic graph come from? I'm not much for rankings and the whatnot, but my Sitemeter readout has shown a 8-12k unique visitor number for the last 12 months. Just curious where the disconnect is?

I noticed that the numbers were close to what I get off of Google Analytics, but that number usually differs from what our internal numbers show.