Study: Top 50 of the most influential cycling blogs + Facebook and Twitter friends…

28 04 2010

——> 2011 Updated list –> here ——

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Influence is a complex subject. It may come from many different angles and platforms and changes constantly. As you probably know, one of my big passions is mountain biking (Photos, 4:50 Club). The Frenchness in me has little to do with it since I was only playing golf back when I was living in France… I know, living in Colorado has turned things upside down and probably for the better 🙂

Anyhow, we are always and increasingly measuring influence for our clients and I thought I’d give a run down of what the cycling industry looks like from an influence point of view. I extracted 50 of the most influential sources of information from a larger pool. Ranking method: in-links between each other in the pool only. While they have influence, I removed pro-mags (e.g. VeloNews or CycloCross Mag) and stores like (CompetitiveCyclist or UltraRob). I also looked at Facebook and Twitter for corresponding influence there. To my point earlier, influence is not a one way street but a complex system of resonance which may lead readers and consumers to think and act accordingly. Influencers not only influence the masses but also influence each other throughout the social media sphere. Have I missed any of the top 50 you think should be on this list? Please let me know in the comment section below.

You know, 5 years ago, just looking at a blog list may have been enough. It’s not anymore. I could have spent many more hours on other networks such as YouTube, Flickr…. but looking at Facebook and Twitter gives an additional spin on the original ranking.

Here are a few observations:

  • Obviously some very influential bloggers are still ignoring the 400 million Facebook user pool. Only 20 out of 50 have a Facebook Page. It makes somewhat sense as many for those blogs are run by individuals and it poses some personal vs business brand questions.
  • Twitter is a lot more commonly used (37 out of 50) by bloggers as a method of discussion or republishing of their news rather than Facebook.
  • Clearly most big bloggers don’t follow back much e.g Bike Snob NYC’s ratio of 5k followers for 35 following. I can only assume that they find their news through other methods.
  • As much as there is a vast quantity of cycling blogs, these are clearly of a professional grade (I removed pro mags).
  • ~10% of ladies in the top 50. But that 10 percent clearly have a lot more esthetically pleasing sites 🙂

I also want to thank Andreas from London Cyclist Blog which I discovered through this research. Even though I seem to have come up with different results it was most helpful to learn from him and discover twitter handles.

And now for the drum-roll…the list moving from most influential to least (inlinks only)

Blog(inlinks in the pool) Facebook Fans / “Likes” Twitter Followers & links TwitterFollowing
1 Bike Snob NYC 60 5,819 35
2 Fat Cyclist ? 9,238 33
3 Urban Velo 1991 1,152 75
4 Cyclelicious 207 2,786 1,633
5 BikePortland.org 402 (friends) 4,603 331
6 League of American Bicyclists 1,398 2,872 1,694
7 EcoVelo 709 689 115
8 Copenhagenize.com 84 (mbers) 1,332 22
9 Cycle Chic™ 84 (mbers) 582 399
10 Bike Hugger 1,219 5,041 2,090
11 Up in Alaska ? ? ?
12 Belgium Knee Warmers 347 441 377
13 Bike Commuters 236 (group) ? ?
14 Commute by Bike ? 2,009 2,012
15 Kent’s Bike Blog ? 297 209
16 London Cyclist Blog ? 1,747 250
17 Bike Blog NYC ? 1,276 1,044
18 Bicycle Design 1,215 1,484 523
19 RidingPretty 123 22 7
20 Bikerumor ………………………….2,700 2,670 121
21 Bikes and The City 340 31 1
22 Drunkcyclist.com ? 339 201
23 All Hail the Black Market ? 959 918
24 Chic Cyclists ? ? ?
25 Streetsblog New York City 498 3,820 513
26 Amsterdamize 33 731 347
27 Prolly Is Not Probably ? 2,083 384
28 A view from the cycle path ? ? ?
29 Let’s Go Ride a Bike ? 620 356
30 Cycling Tips 1,074 (FB app, nice!) 2,179 438
31 Epic Riding 2 513 378
32 Vélo Vogue 91 234 151
33 RocBike.com ? ? ?
34 Red Kite Prayer 211 472 189
35 Bike Commute Tips Blog 902 298 140
36 Bad Idea Racing ? ? ?
37 Cozy Beehive 214 426 252
38 Lovely Bicycle! ? ? ?
39 Jeff Kerkove 1251 friends 781 161
40 Gwadzilla 666 ? ?
41 Trackosaurus rex ? ? ?
42 Guitar Ted Productions ? ? ?
43 MnBicycleCommuter ? ? ?
44 VeloDramatic – A Pedal Turner ? 345 28
45 Embrocation Cycling Journal 857 1,234 202
46 Dave Moulton’s Blog ? 2,257 1,548
47 Quickrelease.tv ? 3,133 788
48 Girls and Bicycles ? 278 44
49 Cycling Inquisition ? ? ?
50 Fixed Gear Blog 26 2,790 2,079

Now as we can see, if we look through the Facebook “Like” lenses, Bikerumor would have been ahead of the, Urban Velo, League of American Bicyclist (an org, not a individual) and Bike Hugger when it comes to influence on this network. In a similar fashion, on Twitter, Fat Cyclist would have been ahead of Bike Snob NYC and BikeHugger if we only looked at the number of followers (debatable again).

What doesn’t this study talk about? It’s a ranking and therefore it fails to understand the 3 dimensions of influence: Trust per topic, Real-Time vs Long Tail, Resonance across mediums.
But it’s a start. I’ll certainly study more of this amazing world of influence in cycling over the upcoming season and would love your feedback and thoughts.

Cheers,

READ the follow up blog: Influence & Industry, the many axes about building a community

Follow the cycling list on twitter: http://twitter.com/list/yannr/cycling

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@YannR





Social media marketing is dead, long live Resonance Marketing!

23 04 2010

The last two weeks have seen the social world tip toward what the future holds. The following demonstrate to me that platforms are finally catching up with trying to solve the noise problem by moving to facilitate the resonance.  In physics, resonance is the tendency of a system to oscillate at larger amplitude at some frequencies than at others (wikipedia). When something has quality or viral value, it has a larger potential for resonance marketing and to rise above the noise.

Facebook finally exporting ‘social code’ into everyone’s website (read more here) with their announcement of the Open Graph protocol. Jeremiah Owyang had predicted the website would become a portal between companies and customers. But brands are obviously not moving fast enough so Facebook is now allowing dead simple codes to transport the conversation from Facebook to those websites. It’s also opening up search as a default to scan conversations across the Facebook platform. On a similar note, Twitter had announced @anywhere which is now live at SXSW Interactive.

Tumblr CEO: “We’re pretty much opposed to advertising” is also consquential as this is not the first time social platforms have refused to fall into the advertising trap. Posterous and Facebook have all held back from release ad features and focusing user adoption.

WordPress ships 3.0, the multi-user version of its blogging platform, enabling anyone anywhere to build new media empires.

Twitter announced ‘sponsored tweets‘ — adopted already by Best Buy, Bravo, Red Bull, Sony Pictures, Starbucks, and Virgin America. These tweets will nevertheless have be relevant or will be taken down if they don’t resonate (Resonance being defined here as retweets, @replies, #tag clicks, avatar clicks, links clicks, views after RT).

In other interesting news, Taggable.com was released earlier this week showing once more that “Sharing” has to be embraced by brands (personal and business branding). On another note, we see scarcity marketing taking a larger ever presence in communication strategies. The last to date was the loss of a non-released iPhone 4.0 followed by Dell’s newest phone leak

So what’s the difference between social media marketing and resonance marketing? I believe there is a lot….

Resonance Marketing Social Media Marketing… traps
Who
The core matters the most. Building trust and symbiotic relationships with brand advocates supersedes all other forms of marketing. The tribe will move mountains, not the followers. It’s a numbers game; the more the merrier. This brings dilution, not results. ‘Buying’ your presence is becoming all too common.
What
Content quality & shareability takes strategic brains and indefinite trials + passion. The brand tweet, face-tweet; therefore I am an expert.
How
The brand is a servant of its community, it learns to move in an open-social world. Self pimping becomes a major part of the brand’s social activity.
When
It’s real time, 24 hours a day and global. Professionalisation of community management is a necessity. Brand’s automation low added value content, RT-land and #FF-buddying
Where
Like a river, it sources itself across the entire spectrum of the digital & social footprint. Influencers can move. Facebook and Twitter are the only places where influence takes place. (NOT)

All in all, the social ecosystem is becoming smarter and responding to user demand.  All social platforms know that user fatigue is looming … brand or friends and noisy followers may just be too boring and resonance is the only way out to make everyone behave.

Will resonance will save us from the noise? Is resonance marking the departure from social media cowboy?

What d’ya all think?

See the followup post: https://extanz.com/2010/07/14/blue-or-red-pill-brush-strokes-of-a-resonance-marketing-framework/

@YannR