MoPo 2009

Maya Lin - Stormking Wavefield (Photographer Jerry L. Thompson)
Maya Lin – Stormking Wavefield (Photographer: Jerry L. Thompson)

Welcome to the new listing of the Most Popular weblogs on architecture: the MoPo 2009. Eikongraphia congratulates Geoff Manaugh with a hattrick. His blog, BLDGBLOG, leads the chart for the third time in a row. Further congratulations go to all the other bloggers that made it into the MoPo 2009. You are among the twenty-five most popular blogs on architecture worldwide.

A weblog is included in the MoPo 2009 when it’s an English blog on architecture written by a single writer. The popularity of the blog is measured by the number of subscribers (Google Reader + Bloglines) and the number of hits in Google (Google + Google Images).

In last year’s edition the number of links in Technorati was also included in the equation. The unreliability of Technorati, where some bloggers already complained about back then, by now has become a widespread reality: half of the blogs in the MoPo 2009 aren’t recognized by the website. As a parameter Technorati therefore has become useless.

2. Archidose
3. City of Sound
4. Architecture.mnp
5. Pruned
6. Architechnophilia
7. Tropolism
8. Architectural Videos
9. Mirage Studio 7
10. Super Colossal
11. Subtopia
12. Landscape+Urbanism
13. Sit down man, you’re a bloody tragedy
14. Architecture Chicago Plus
15. Lebbeus Woods
16. Strange Harvest
17. Life Without Buildings
18. Eye Candy
19. Design with Intent
20. Earth Architecture
21. Anarchitecture
22. Hugh Pearman
23. Brand Avenue
24. a456
25. The Arch

In comparison with the edition last year the ranking hasn’t developed dramatically. Architecture.mnp has entered the Top 5, while Interactive Architecture has tumbled from a fifth place to the 17th place. Archidose and City of Sound switched places, Pruned is one place down. The irony of the MoPo is that each new edition looks a lot like the one before. There are again no female bloggers among the twenty-two. For next year I am thinking of measuring growth, instead of size.

BLDGBLOG reigns the architecture blogosphere. Between 2007 and 2008 the total number of visitors tripled from one to three million, since last year that number has again dubbled to a total of almost six million. Which rookie can challenge that? Landscape+Urbanism has entered the MoPo at the twelfth place and is thereby the runner-up of the year. But with less than a thousand subscribers to its rss-feed, it is a long way to the more than 11,000 subscribers of BLDGBLOG. Even the blog in second place, Archidose, features less than a third of that.

The Where blog has been excluded from this year’s MoPo as it is now written by a bunch of people. If Eikongraphia had been included in the ranking, it would have ended up between the fifth and sixth place. One place up. Quite popular blogs that just missed the cut are in consecutive order: Varnelis; Loud Paper, and Fantastic Journal.

A blog that I can recommend is the blog by NL Architects. I would love to see more architects starting a blog like that! Maybe next year in the MoPo 2010?

Related: MoPo 2008; MoPo 2007 


David (tricky), I am interested here in blogs that are written by a single person, not a team. The idea is that the blogs listed in the MoPo 2009 are more personal and more specialist than news websites – like ArchDaily.

Hi Michiel …. thanks for the mention. Although I do not post nearly as frequently as some of my colleagues in the above list, it is nice to be recognized for the body of writings I’ve been developing over the past three years. Cheers!

I’m curious if you took into account that many blogs have several feeds — Feedburner, RSS2, Atom — provided by their blog platform, and so that subscriptions are spread over them? As for Technorati, they do recognize all the blogs on your list. It’s just that there are server blips now and then, making it look like the sites aren’t being followed. They are listed. Not to defend Technorati that much but there’s still value in using it as a parameter, as it only takes into account link backs in blog posts, whereas Google Blog Search, for instance, consider being listed in a blogroll as link back. So think about it: if you’re blog is on someone’s blogroll and that someone posts incessantly, in all all those individual blog pages would be your blog; Google would then count each one of those as a hit. And Google Images? Umm, OK. #methodologyfail. In any case, there’s no perfect measuring stick, as you no doubt have realized. Even ArchDaily’s self-serving choice of a single parameter, the imperfect Alexa, is #methodologyfail.

So perhaps next year, ditch the modicum of objectivity. All of it. Better yet, get rid of this year’s list and make another one: a completely subjective but well-reasoned list of what you think are the best blogs. It will be up to you to decide what makes a blog “good” and what makes them “better” than the one below them on the list. Is it the quality of the writing? Interestingness (what you would consider interesting?) Originality of content (as opposed to being just the xerox machine of PR agencies)? Influence in the larger architectural discourse (tough to gauge influence, but it will be a fascinating exercise, and one I’d like someone to at least try)? How much they have expanded and are continuing to expand your knowledge of architecture? Whatever it is, it will be totally subjective but at least a discussion based on your preferences and, by extension, your readers’ own preferences, would be more interesting than debates on methodology. “Why do I like what I like?” vs. “Technorati suxors.”

I see that Archidose has advanced to 2 from 3. Truly a top list of architecture blogs. I maintain a blog too on a similar category, though it is tilted more towards design. Please take a look when you have time: Home Designing

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