Jason Falls

Jason Falls

As promised, today I’m sharing the results of some recent research I conducted into the top education blogs on the web. As an experiment, both for a client and for a recent presentation on finding relevant bloggers, I decided to cast a wider net that actually needed and share the results with everyone. Before I dive into the methodology or the list, allow me to caveat this research with a couple of notes.

First, because no automated method or service exists to collect the top blogs in a given category, the list I compiled was done so manually. The possibility then, for human error, oversight and just plain not finding all of the blogs that can be considered is there. While I can attest I was thorough in my collection of blogs for consideration, I may have missed a few. If so, let us know in the comments.

Also, to disclose and explain why I was digging around looking for education blogs, the National Center for Family Literacy, one of Doe-Anderson’s favorite social media clients, announced the results of some fairly significant research last week. In order to include top education bloggers interested in early childhood education and literacy issues in the dissemination of the research results, we conducted the research to find relevant bloggers. Because we were focused on early childhood education and literacy as a specific topic, our targeted list isn’t necessarily reflected in the results for the top education blogs. (Hint to PR folks: Don’t just find education blogs. Find education blogs that write about the topic you’re pitching.)

As indicated in my Not All Blogs Are Created Equal post and presentation from last week, I gathered blogs for consideration by doing a couple of searches. When Googling “Top Education Blogs” I found a couple of lists here and here that gave me a good start. I did searches in Technorati and Google Blog Search as well as Bloglines to collect and add to the list. At this point I had just over 100 blogs. I then parsed through Alltop’s education listing to ensure I didn’t miss any listed there. Interestingly enough, several of the blogs listed on Alltop weren’t on my list already. This makes me question Alltop’s requirements for adding blogs. Perhaps they don’t have any. Nonetheless, I was happy to have more blogs to consider. Finally, a quick check of the tags “education” and “blogs” in combination on Delicious.com gave me a list of around 150 total blogs for consideration. Seeing many of them in multiple places, I was fairly confident I had most if not all of the top blogs.

I subscribed to all of them and organized them in a folder in Google Reader, exported my feeds as an OPML file and then stripped out everything but the Education blogs in a text editor. (This is a little technical. For screen shots and explanations, see Marshall Kirkpatrick’s “How To Build A Social Media Cheat Sheet” on ReadWriteWeb. Ironically enough, Marshall also used education blogs as his example. His project ended with an OPML file you can subscribe to of top educations blogs most relevant posts using Postrank, which I used too. His results weren’t a list of blogs, but an RSS feed of the top posts from a list of blogs.) For those of you not hip to what I’m talking about here, an OPML file is essentially a list of all your RSS feeds used mainly to allow you to export all your feeds from one reader and import them to another. I edited my OPML file listing all my feeds so that the only ones in it were the education blogs, allowing me to work with just those 150 or so blogs I collected.

As a favor, the fine folks at Postrank took my file and applied their analysis to each blog to come up with an engagement score for comparison. This numeric value is determined by analyzing comments, trackbacks, Diggs, bookmarks and so on. The different metrics are weighed m ore or less depending upon how much engagement each demonstrates. For more detail, click here. Based on each metric’s value for each post added up over a specific period of time (this analysis is for the last 30 days), you get an engagement score.

So, thanks to Postrank, here are the top 50 education blogs based on engagement over the last 30 days:

Rank Blog Name LINK Feed Engagement Score
1 Joanne Jacobs LINK RSS 19931
2 Panda’s Thumb LINK RSS 19479
3 BlogHighEd LINK RSS 10900
4 High Techpectations LINK RSS 10647
5 Ewan McIntosh’s Edu.Blogs.Com LINK RSS 7578
6 Moving At The Speed of Creativity LINK RSS 5399
7 Around The Corner LINK RSS 5396
8 Dangerously Irrelevant LINK RSS 4756
9 Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day LINK RSS 4693
10 CogDogBlog LINK RSS 4220
11 Half An Hour LINK RSS 4218
12 Drapes Takes LINK RSS 4198
13 NYC Educator LINK RSS 4160
14 Eduwonkette LINK RSS 3916
15 Oxford University Press Blog LINK RSS 3872
16 This Week In Education LINK RSS 3756
17 dy/dan LINK RSS 3536
18 Apophenia LINK RSS 3250
19 Beyond School LINK RSS 3133
20 The Cool Cat Teacher Blog LINK RSS 3128
21 The Blue Skunk Blog LINK RSS 3095
22 OLD Daily from Stephen Downes LINK RSS 3081
23 Ideas And Thoughts LINK RSS 2974
24 The Fischbowl LINK RSS 2945
25 Free Technology For Teachers LINK RSS 2236
26 Mobile Technology In TAFE LINK RSS 2021
27 The Reading Workshop LINK RSS 1884
28 Infocult: Information, Culture, Policy, Education LINK RSS 1873
29 Open Thinking & Digital Pedagogy LINK RSS 1864
30 Flypaper LINK RSS 1724
31 21st Century Learning LINK RSS 1609
32 O’Donnell Web LINK RSS 1608
33 The Thinking Stick LINK RSS 1555
34 Detention Slip LINK RSS 1498
35 Hey Jude LINK RSS 1392
36 SMUG – Social Media University, Global LINK RSS 1383
37 So You Want To Teach? LINK RSS 1380
38 Always Learning LINK RSS 1327
39 Remote Access LINK RSS 1313
40 Iterating Toward Openness LINK RSS 1263
41 Digital Ethnography LINK RSS 1229
42 Schools Matter LINK RSS 1195
43 D-Ed Reckoning LINK RSS 1131
44 Assorted Stuff LINK RSS 1055
45 The Power Of Educational Technology LINK RSS 1048
46 Creating Lifelong Learners LINK RSS 966
47 Generation Yes Blog LINK RSS 899
48 Teach42 LINK RSS 854
49 21 Apples LINK RSS 853
50 History Is Elementary LINK RSS 835

Since I don’t really know a great deal about education blogs or bloggers, I will refrain from commenting. Congratulations to those on the list. Keep in mind this is engagement over the past 30 days and just under 150 blogs were evaluated as part of our experiment, all manually found and selected by yours truly.

If you’d like to download the OPML file of all the blogs considered, click here and save the file to your computer. You should be able to then import it into your favorite feed reader and have a subscription to all the education blogs we analyzed.

As always, I’m interested in your thoughts. Was there anything in the methodology that is suspect other than the blogs were selected by one guy doing research? Did we miss any that might have made the top 50? As always, the comments are yours.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is the founder and chief instigator for Social Media Explorer's blog. He is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for CafePress, one of the world's largest online retailers. His opinions are his, not necessarily theirs. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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