Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Winnipeg Blogosphere in 2012

Image Source: Hubspot
Well, as a (casual) observer of the Winnipeg blogosphere, there's been some interesting developments this year. To give credit where credit is due, reading John Dobbin's "This blog in 2012" (and some of his older posts) as well as Cherenkov's "2012 at the Peanut" has inspired this undertaking. Where to begin?

Self-centred analysis


Image Source: Blog Stats Screenshot

The Winnipeg RAG Review very much still is in the minor leagues, with a mere 5,084 page-views for December 2012, less than in August (5,237). The monthly page hits have been on a generally upward trajectory, though, since January (1, 071), with March, April, May, June, July, August, October, November, and December exceeding the month before.

Monthly pageviews for The Winnipeg
RAG Review in chart form.

Constructed by The Analyst.

Monthly pageviews for The Winnipeg RAG Review,
made with excel by The Analyst.

For some odd reason, the blog stats are a bit messed up - they show the blog as starting in January 2009 and abruptly skip to 2012 for February. This must be an odd blogger glitch. This blog's first post (and effective mission statement until the About page was set up) is "What's at Stake in the 'Peg", written on March 1, 2012. I've recently added Google Analytics, but there hasn't been enough time to gain significant data from that source. 

Unlike Cherenkov, I have failed to meet my target (50,000 total pageviews by the end of 2012, rather than just over 48,000), so there's no New Years bonuses this year!  

traffic sources

Okay, I don't know what the difference between "referring urls" or "referring sites" is. I also don't have a yearly breakdown (just daily, weekly, monthly, or "all time"). So here's the "all time" stats (wrongfully, in the top far-right corner it states the blog started in 2008 - another glitch). 

Screenshot of blog stats. 

Cherenkov,  (the now defunct) One Man Committee, John Dobbin, and Winnipeg Love Hate have been considerable traffic sources. Other notable sources include Canadian Progressive Voices (of which this blog is a member) and James Hope Howard's Slurpees and Murder.

Winnipeg Blogosphere


Walter Krawec of the One Man Committee closed shop, but still chimes in at Winnipeg Internet Pundits from time to time. A lot about urban/development issues were analyzed by Krawec, who explored the history of this city's development and the cost of sprawl. His departure was felt in the Winnipeg blogosphere (and made quite a few of this blog's links dead).

Other blogs that faded away were of a much more partisan and less analytical nature.

The hyper-partisan New Democratic blog The Orange Rod was officially shut down (all posts erased) following months of inactivity after the end of the 2011 Provincial election. I'm not sure if they erased the archives before or after January 1, 2012, though.

With less material for outrage-induced rants, The Purple Rod and The Blue Rod have become dormant (Purple more so than blue). The owner of The Purple Rod is active on Winnipeg Zoom as user LRT, however. LRT's made some questionable (and racially charged) statements about Kapyong Barracks and expresses sympathy for disgraced ex-PC Youth President and generator of racist tweets Braydon Maz.

Just Damn Stupid, a partisan New Democratic blog, shut down (after a considerable run since 2006).

A lot of the other "rod" blogs set up in reaction to The Orange Rod have faded away.

big players
The Black Rod??

Image Source: Blogworld

 Black Rod, a  hard-right blog, continued on throughout 2012. There was a beginning of year break that worried fans, but The Black Rod stills churns out content and doesn't seem to be going anywhere. Notable lowlights this year include petty taunts directed at Gordon Sinclair Jr. for daring to express the sliver of sympathy acceptable in the corporate press to the homeless and a racist "inquiry" post into murdered and missing aboriginal women. As always, the writer (or writers) of the blog is (are) hermetically sealed from outside critics as they keep commenting disabled.

Anybody want a Peanut? (Cherenkov) has gained traffic at a slower rate of posting, with stories about the CMHR, waterparks, and the City's iffy Fire Hall deals bringing in heavy traffic. Cherenkov focuses on municipal issues and politics, though will comment on provincial and federal issues from a slightly centre-right, deficit hawkish perspective. He's also critical of the West Bipole route, worried about the cost and expressing scepticism over the alleged net environmental benefits. Cherenkov's become an increasingly regular contributor to Winnipeg Internet Pundits throughout 2012.
Pageviews for Observations,
Reservations, and Conversations.

Image Source: John Dobbin/Observations,
Reservations, and Conversations

John Dobbin's Observations, Reservations, and Conversations blog ended with a massive 20,000 page views per month in December 2012 (starting at 12,000 page views per month in January). With almost 350,000 page views Dobbin is well on his way to half a million hits by the fall of 2013. The blog focuses on local residential and commercial development, with posts on Ikea, Swiss Chalet, and Seasons of Tuxedo bringing in heavy traffic. Federal and provincial political issues are touched on from time to time, usually from a heavily Liberal perspective.  

James Hope Howard's Slurpees and Murder continued with his well known link lists, until December when they started to fade away. Howard did some freelance work for Uptown magazine. Following it's death, he's salvaged some of its art. As always, he's a regular panellist on Winnipeg Internet Pundits.

ChrisD is ChrisD.

New arrivals

Starting in October 2012, The Winnipeg News Review has come onto the scene, posting a prodigious amount - specifically in regards to "garbage and snow". There's detailed analysis of municipal records and media criticism. Readers should be aware, though, that there's some self-styled "politically incorrect" opinions that might be regarded as treading into "iffy" territory. 

This fall the Spectator Tribune was launched. While covering the prairie provinces as a whole, there's a lot of solid, Winnipeg-based coverage on the new, online magazine. Melissa Martin (who was one of the casualties in the round of Winnipeg Free Press layoffs this year) serves as the magazine's entertainment editor.  

The Uniter news editor and Spectator Tribune contributor Ethan Cabel has launched his own Wordpress blog, Division of Power. Named after his other blog at The Uniter, it isn't updated that often. The posts, however, are on the longer side.

Well, that was how I saw the Winnipeg blogosphere in 2012. Feel free to leave a comment below with your own insights.

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  1. Winnipeg Zoom is half a dozen castoffs from the sandbox. Most think they are right wingers, but only when it suits them. The LRT twit is high up on that totem pole. Beware, its sluggish reading.

    Black Rod remains the most informative of the blogs.

    1. Still takes decent effort to filter out the misinformative crap from the genuine information, especially given stuff like this, when it comes to The Black Rod.

      It's fun from time to time to go into the dragon's den. When I have time to gather information from the proper sources, I'll probably go back to that "Kapyong Barracks" thread to do some serious fact-checking. But, alas, that's on the back burner.