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Illinois Blogs Survey

Illinois Politics: New Survey: Top 10 Independent Political Blogs in Illinois

(Chicago, IL) — November 2, 2009. A new survey released today by THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER ranked 52 independent Illinois-based blogs that cover Illinois politics and government–blogs that are not embedded in or sponsored by major media Web sites such as the Chicago Tribune or the Chicago Sun-Times–and found the Chicagoist headed up the top 10 list.

The survey, which used Alexa‘s Web site ranking tool, excluded the blogs on the Chicago Tribune‘s blog Web site Chicago Now because no independent ranking of many formerly independently-sited blogs was available. The Chicago Now site ranks 2,488 rank in the United States, with the number “1” being the highest Web site rank possible.

The Alexa web ranking tool estimates both the global Web site rank and home country rank–ranks that can fluctuate daily. In this survey, all ranks are based on the site’s U.S. rank with the exception when a U.S. ranking was not given. This occurred mostly with blogs with a global ranking in the millions.

THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER attempted diligently to identify as many Illinois blogs as possible that provide Illinois political news and commentary that represent some semblance of ideological and geographic balance. Inevitably, we probably overlooked someone. Our apologies.

If there is some gaping omission or quibble with a selection–quibble away. Let us know and we will consider the quibbles and other sites in our next survey.

According to the Alexa U.S. Traffic Rank on November 2, 2009, the top 10 independent Illinois blogs that provide news & commentary on Illinois politics and government are:

  • 1. Chicagoist 9,871
  • 2. Windy Citizen 18,983
  • 3. Progress Illinois 26,981
  • 4. Gapers Block 30,159
  • 5. Capitol Fax/Rich Miller 49,942 
  • 6. The Illinois Observer/David Ormsby 79,404
  • 7. Beachwood Reporter 90,510
  • 8. Illinois Review 90,287
  • 9. Chicago Daily Observer 147,031
  • 10. McHenry County Blog 151,021

(Note: The Top 10 List Updated on November 11, 2009)

Here are how the other 42 Illinois blogs stack up:

  • 11. Marathon Pundit 162,282
  • 12. Illini Pundit 175,939
  • 13. Publius Forum 205,452
  • 14. District 299: Chicago Schools Blog 217,921
  • 15. Quincy Pundit 227,442
  • 16. Cao’s Blog 231,396
  • 17. Prairie State Blue 279,162
  • 18. Tom Roeser 330,654
  • 19. Illinois Policy Institute Blog 510,260
  • 20.Backyard Conservative 519,985
  • 21. Peoria Pundit 554,288
  • 22. Chicago News Bench 618,295
  • 23. Lake Effect News 681,890
  • 24. 600 Words/Esther Cepeda 764,724
  • 25. OpenlineBlog.Com 903,762
  • 26. Arch Pundit 930,010
  • 27. Illinois Issues Blog 987,725
  • 28. Respublica 996,814
  • 29. Hyde Park Progress 1,097,044
  • 30. First Electric Newspaper 1,190,615
  • 31. Community Media Workshop 1,425,854
  • 32. Broken Heart Rogers Park 2,668,346
  • 33. Illinois GOP Net 3,125,192
  • 34. Chicago Justice Blog 3,770,603
  • 35. Illinois Campaign Political Reform 3,807,072
  • 36. Jan Schakowsky 4,149,289
  • 37. Public Affairs/Jeff Berkowitz 4,614,858
  • 38. Civic Federation/Illinois Institute for Fiscal Sustainability 4,711,920
  • 39. Chicago Argus/Greg Tejeda 4,789,639
  • 40. Washington Report/Laura Washington 6,005,080
  • 41. The Mobilizer 6,994,331
  • 42. Bill Baar’s West Side 7,212,053
  • 43. Scotts Big Mouth 7,847,335
  • 44. Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Blog 7,880,363
  • 45. Progressive Advocacy/Dan Johnson-Weinberger 8,675,704
  • 46. The Sixth Ward 9,027,196
  • 47. Radio Chicagoland News & Views/Ray Hanania 9,824,604
  • 48. Illinois Democratic Network 9,870,667
  • 49. Suburban Chicagoland News 13,502,144
  • 50. John Fritchey Open House 14,062,100
  • 51. One for the Record/Edward Mazikowski 19,817,191
  • 52. Russ Stewart 29,913,010

To provide a context for these rankings, here are the Alexa U.S. Web site rankings for some familiar Illinois media outlets:

  • Chicago Tribune 206
  • Chicago Sun-Times 562
  • Springfield Journal-Register 10,039
  • WGN Radio 39,934

Additionally, the Community Media Workshop earlier this year released a far more sophisticated and thorough analysis of Illinois blogs and online media, including the blogs of mainstream media, in a their report “The New News”.

Finally, a blog’s political news value is tested by more than it’s Alexa or Compete or Google Page rank. For example, Rich Miller‘s Capitol Fax, which focuses exclusively on state politics, is ablaze every day with hundreds of posted comments on the day’s political news, comments that can extend more than 9 hours on a single post. It’s a political water-cooler on the Net.

Other sites, such as the top-ranked Chicagoist, provide other news, including culture and entertainment. The inclusion of state political news, however, landed these sites on THE iLLINOIS OBSERVER survey list.

Again, if you think we overlooked an important independent political news blog–which is possible–or want to be included in the next survey, let us know: davidormsby@davidormsby.com

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and Huffington Post blogger, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.


8 thoughts on “Illinois Politics: New Survey: Top 10 Independent Political Blogs in Illinois

  1. Hi David-

    This is a great list and tracks pretty closely with what we found (CMW used Alexa in addition to some other factors, including a survey filled out by bloggers themselves).

    Folks can actually view the entire new news project and access contact info for blogs and so forth from our work at communitymediaworkshop.org/newnews. Theyc an also rate and comment on the online news outlets that we captured (it was a pretty ambitious project, we found).

    Posted by gordon | November 5, 2009, 12:55 PM
  2. Hi, Gordon,

    Thank you for the comment.

    In the story, I referenced the CMW original report because it was an impressive product.


    Posted by David Ormsby | November 5, 2009, 4:10 PM
  3. It’s a nice list, but there are far more than 52 blogs in Illinois. How, then, were those on the list chosen?

    Posted by Tom Mannis | November 20, 2009, 1:02 AM
  4. Tom,

    Yes, there are far more than 52 blogs in Illinois.

    Perhaps, when you read the article, you noted the criteria for the list–the blogs were independent–not associated or embedded with a traditional media outlet–and regularly included political content on state government and state politics. Between referring to the Community Media Project report and using Google blog search with screening search term criteria, the list was assembled.

    David Ormsby

    Posted by David Ormsby | November 20, 2009, 8:23 AM
  5. Dear David,

    Love this List

    Posted by Vickie Hand | January 10, 2010, 1:34 PM
  6. Vickie,

    Not until after I began the survey project, did I realize how many state government-related sites existed.


    Posted by David Ormsby | January 10, 2010, 3:45 PM
  7. Very informative!

    Posted by Charla Russell | February 17, 2010, 8:54 AM
  8. Charla,

    Thank you.

    David Ormsby

    Posted by David Ormsby | February 17, 2010, 2:45 PM

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