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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Shotgun is volcanic: Number one political blog in Canada


Robert Jago, who maintains the 'Dime a Dozen' blog--and is, as of yesterday, a new blogger here at The Shotgun--has posted the results for the Top 25 political blogs in Canada for the month of October.

Building a bit of suspense: The Shotgun entered the charts in July, placing 13th. In August, we climbed to the number nine spot. September saw another rise to the number six spot.

While our traffic over the past two months has been competitive with any of the other Top 25 blogs (including those higher up on the list), we were hampered by a Google Page Rank of 5/10 (the most heavily-weighted measure on Jago's list). All of the blogs above us had a Page Rank of 6/10, even if some of them had less traffic than us.

That changed in September. Two weeks or so ago, we suddenly moved up in Google's eyes, and our page rank went from 5/10 to the better 6/10 page ranking.

So where did we end up on this month's Top 25 Canadian political blogs? We soared all the way to the number one spot!

The Shotgun blog: Canada's number one political blog.

That has a nice ring to it, and we're pretty thrilled about the results. Mostly, we're thrilled that you keep coming back, participate in a sometimes-heated (okay, truth be told, it's almost always heated, and we're subject to plenty of criticism from our readers) but always interesting comment section, sign up to our RSS feed, follow us on twitter, put us in your Google Reader, sign up for our mailing list, and otherwise get your hands dirty helping us keep our powder dry.

So, thanks!

We're trying to figure out exactly why our blog has risen so high so quickly. To be sure, Jago's decision to exclude Michael Geist's popular blog--because it is a one-issue blog--has a lot to do with it. Geist is untouchable. But we would have still landed in the number two spot this month if he was still included. Mark Steyn did go on a long hiatus, and maybe that's why we surpassed him (we'll see next month, since he's back to blogging on a regular basis). Ezra Levant has also taken a break from blogging to volunteer in the Conservative war room.

But even with all of those caveats, something appears to be pretty clear to us: Lots of Canadians want a blog that is consistently pro-liberty, without being partisan. Sure, we get accused of being partisan, but that's only by people who don't read our blog on a regular basis. I have to chuckle to myself when some blogger accuses us of being in the tank for the Conservative Party, or being a mouth piece for it. But you wouldn't understand unless you keep coming back. And you should.

A blog that has a pro-liberty bias. Consistently. A blog that covers, without hesitation, the entire pro-freedom movement. Maybe that's what the Canadian blogosphere has been missing.

Reload. And keep your powder dry.

Posted by P.M. Jaworski on October 1, 2008 in Western Standard | Permalink


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I don't doubt that the Shotgun blog is up in the rankings, but Robert's ranking is based on Alexa, which is extremely flawed and underrepresents the true site traffic of sites.

Posted by: Werner Patels | 2008-10-01 2:59:57 PM

Good post, Jaws.

The nice thing about the Shotgun is that no politician is immune to criticism (except maybe Sarah Palin, heh.) Very few of them are worthy of their positions; and all of them need someone watching to take them down a peg, if necessary.

We can do that. We have been doing that. And we'll keep doing that. No one gets a free pass (again, except maybe Sarah Palin.)


Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-10-01 3:04:08 PM


Success comes with good management. The Western Standard's editorial team have shown me that they care deeply about this project.

This bodes well for the future of the Northern Confederation.

Posted by: Mike Vine | 2008-10-01 3:54:15 PM

Werner: Jago uses both Alexa and Google Page rankings. He also weighs the Google Page ranking heavier than the Alexa rankings.

I'm not saying the methodology is impregnable, but he doesn't merely use Alexa numbers.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-10-01 4:50:31 PM

Not to belabour the point, but with all due respect to the Shotgun's popularity (which I do not dispute), the whole ranking is baloney because its very premise is wrong. Robert manually selects a bunch of blogs and then looks up their data on Alexa.

If a pollster used the same subjective method, e.g., by excluding the Conservatives from the choices given respondents, even Dion could come out the winner.

Besides, the Shotgun should be in a separate category, because it is a "corporate blog", one that has been attached to and promoted by a mainstream media outlet (WS).

Unless Robert comes up with a scientific ranking, rather than the subjective hodgepodge he calls "ranking", it really doesn't mean much.

Posted by: Werner Patels | 2008-10-01 5:59:15 PM

I forgot to mention that Google Page rank doesn't mean a thing either. Both Alexa and Google Page only capture data from computers who have these widgets installed in their browser.

I don't, for example, which means my visits to all those sites are not even included in the numbers Robert quotes. By the same token, thousands and thousands of visits to other sites not listed and/or selected by Robert are not counted either.

So, yes, the whole "ranking" is BS.

Posted by: Werner Patels | 2008-10-01 6:04:07 PM


As I understand it you're right that Alexa rankings are based only on data collected by computers which have certain software installed, but Google's PageRank works differently. PageRank is based primarily on an algorithm which measures the number and importance of incoming links. The data for PageRank is collected by bots which scour the internet following links, not by tracking certain individual's internet browsing behaviour.

As far as Alexa's rankings being BS, they are far from perfect - making comparisons between different sites' traffic is near impossible, and the data collection method introduces biases. However, if we do want to make these sorts of comparisons, Alexa is probably the best way.

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-10-01 6:58:57 PM

I think, more than anything, the Shotgun is growing in popularity because it's consistent. The opinions are informed, the news is current, and the discussions are always lively. We keep coming back because every day is different, and that's the key to longevity when it comes to blogs.

I don't care about Alexa or Google rankings: You're number one in my heart, Shotgun.

Posted by: Alex | 2008-10-01 7:07:51 PM

Congrats guys, this blog is the only blog I go make sure I visit every day! Keep up the awesome work and I'll keep coming.

Posted by: Ken | 2008-10-01 10:30:27 PM

Wow, I shouldn't comment on blogs after I have been drinking. I swear my comment made sense in my head.

Posted by: Ken | 2008-10-01 10:31:21 PM


It made sense to me. Thanks for your support! :-)


Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-10-01 11:11:41 PM

This is all very fine and good for those of us who are political creatures, those who make their living in press, but blogs don't really reach the masses.

I don't know what does, except pictures on TV, now-a-days.

I know from past sales experience, when I'm making a genuine contact of a positive nature, yet even the dog lovers don't visit the White Wolf's blog as they promise. His hits are coming from elsewhere. I leave people with a very happy impression and don't bother those in a hurry, beyond a very brief invitation to read my short stories/listen to the podcast. I don't believe that so many apparently nice, curious, people are really lying in their encounter with me, yet there seems to be a discouraging response for the 1500 handouts, that I have dispersed.

This whole thing is a learning experience for me, and because I am so political, I have a hunger to observe the process of campaigning. It is fun for me, reaching the people in my personable one on one way. I truly enjoy it and wouldn't if the encounters were not so much genuine fun. Maybe they really mean it when they say that they will vote for me, all on this encounter without reading my blogs.

There is a real choke hold by the broadcast media which is strangling our democracy, complicit with our lazy people. There seems to be no willingness to sample anything but the standard packaged fast food on the menu. I suppose that having the NDP in the official opposition, in hopefully a minority government, is a slight break away form the Big Macs. Something to look forward too anyways.

I don't see our system of government, as formed when the Loyalist still reigned in sympathy with Britain, and the birch bark canoe was the internet of the day, as serving us well today. I mean really, in a day when we can all be heard on this media, when we could have a practical technology assisted directed directed democracy.

This system that we have only serves the crooks in their ability to rule us as they wish.

When people can be directly connected in an effective way, and feel that way, we might get some interest in our government.

People now feel alienated from all levels of government, like there is no democracy.

These blogs might be well attended by political nuts, but are generally ignored by the mainstream.

Speaking of keeping your powder dry, coming from a former black powder shooter, let me give you this analogy for The Shotgun Blog, all political blogs:

It's like the Frizzen lighting off with a hot flash of primer powder, but the main charge doesn't go off, and the target escapes unconcerned.

From the looks of some of the endless drivel coming from a professional or two bloggers on here jacking up the traffic scores, this blog although good, is not much different than the rest. They all seem to be riddled with the bipolar ranting affliction.

That's why I truly think my study "Do humans have a political gene?" is valid. What we see here are those born with a far left or right filter. These people can never be persuaded to come to the other side of the argument, no matter how elegant or factually correct, logical, it might be.

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-10-02 2:32:58 AM

This morning on The Current there was an article entitled "What would Darwin Do?" . The gist of it was an interview with a prof from Concordia, who claims that there is a genetic/ biological component to everything we do as humans, from buying habits to politics.

I wonder if this might be behind the visit on my website by Concordia, and the rare perusal of my hard to read study "Do humans have a political gene?"

He is one of the growing number of voices, who like I do, believe that Human behavior is more animal/biologically oriented than we wish to admit.

I believe that religion is a deadly veil which keeps humanity from a true evaluation of itself and will be our limiting factor in progress in humanity's healthy, peaceful future. See "Religion: the worm in Adam's Apple?"

What we have now is a dictatorship of the ultra-right wingers of our society, due to their natural affinity to power. The accumulation of wealth is power in our society and this is not where you find the ultra lefties needed for a balance to our future. As we can see the business, conservative community is doing a poor job to move our society safely forward. Yet they feel comfortable denigrating "Lefties" like me.

Although I have no lofty degrees in the subject, I have put forth original work/thoughts which can be easily dismissed because I am a Cannabis user.

Yet if the world had listened to me back in the spring of 2002 when I stood on the border and asked our foolish neighbors to "Reflect more carefully on their present course of action"

Oh how I was laughed at and denigrated by the wise such as Steven Harper, the wise one (parroting the words written by American administration in plagiarism). An still this moron who was totally wrong on that call and would have mired Canada in that ugly, expensive, violent, lie.

I am going to really laugh in my final days as it all comes collapsing down around us, because we listened to the idiots and laughed at the wise ones. This autocratic myopic is the top runner for our election now and people are attributing leadership strength to Harper as his best attribute.

Yes he is a stronger leadership figure than the others, but where would he lead us?

(Yes Dana Larsen was driving while under the influence of pot, and although all the monkey screamed and pointed their judgmental fingers in unison with the crowd, the fact remains that his behavior and abilities are not in any way impaired. So with that kind of mass indoctrination where we are blinded to the facts we see by what we have been told to see, there can be no hope for us)

The only way we can move forward as a peaceful, harmonious, successful society by demanding a broader perspective from the left. Anyone who tells you different doesn't live in the real world. Nothing in nature, that has a chance at survival, is skewed in only one narrow direction.

Every successful model in the natural, whether it be an individual, or a species is the most well rounded or non specialized of its competitors.

We are competing with ourselves, our human biological nature, only on this planet, acting out a religious fantasy, while natural selection is putting the brakes on us.

Humans are still at the point culturally where we believe that all our solutions can be installed with a club, firepower. The real solutions to our true emergency requires people with a different mindset. Those who are now marginalized as being "Lefties" or "drug user lefties," many examples of which can be seen here on these forums.

The idiots have all the power and control the vast majority of the herd and oppress people like me in any way they can. Through marginalization, both political and economic, through the social stigmatization, harassment of prohibition.

These forums are a true reflection of my theories. They are a mirror image of the dilemma which faces all of humanity. The similarity is down to the observable facts that only a small minority, those born in the extreme poles of the political spectrum, are engaged in the battle here, while the vast majority don't give a crap and will be led by most ruthless, alpha leadership because biologically that is what we are drawn to.

Unless there is electoral reform to proportional, a move to a different form of government, this strangle hold will choke off our future.

As far a being a "meaningful" reflection it is not, in that it is an observation of our inner cores. Direction can't can't come from it, though.

The reason is simple. Our first past the post election systems is really only a win or loose battle. The nuances of diversity of thought are never reflected because it is all about winning. And thatv is the reason for party politics: to produce a winner. It has nothing to do with responsible accountable leadership and that is why we don't see any.

Sorry if I'm wandering a bit off topic, but that's how I feel about these blogs (even though I'm addicted to the opportunity for self expression). They might be a stimulus for change in the future, but currently only reflect our human biological conflicts/ natures, and no matter how much popularity they have it is only amongst a closed predetermined circle and totally predictable in it ranting nature. Even the words don't change.

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-10-02 11:48:17 AM

One thing for sure: when I was only 12 I was interested in chemistry and my friends and I, through library research developed some rather powerful, but crude explosives. We were actually mimicking the space race in trying to make rockets fly. They were a mirror image of the real thing, in that our rockets blew up too. It was then that we began to focus on the explosive research.

What I'm getting at, is that I left those violent visions of explosive power behind a long time ago, in my childhood. My use of Cannabis has probably lowered my testosterone levels to a safe point where I don't seek those kind of solutions (that is why I also stay away from alcohol). All the elements of my life that have put me in this window on the Shotgun Blog, expressing myself, have also kept me from the fanaticism, to which many religious nuts are driven, to strap on an explosive belt. In my case, explosives today are not where my most devastating area would lie. I'm just telling the truth, there are many more talented than me in genetics with a real hate on. Truly the only defense we have against them are the words of the Bible, one of my favorite books although I am not a believer. I think it says "Ye shall reap what ye soweth," Although Harper goes to church I think it's to get votes. He doesn't get it: War only begets more war.

Perhaps the best function of these blogs, is that they do serve as a safety relief valve, which is sorely needed.

I wish more civil and intelligent people would join us here, to wash down the rule of the ideologues. According to my biological model that's not likely unless they are encouraged. Anyone coming on now with anything different is personally harassed and denigrated by the right. The godsuckers as I call them. (I enjoy the battle, too)

The Godsuckers have such a stranglehold on our society that they have worked themselves into a position where because of their freedom to religious belief, They can successfully argue in court that the old men who control that society, have the right to marry multiple indoctrinated young females raised specifically to be their sexual partners, while I can't practice the natural right to ingest the substance I choose, according to my beliefs based on science, as a scientist.I truly believe, BECAUSE OF THE EVIDENCE I SEE ALL AROUND ME, that this freedom of choice Is a primary tool of the mechanism of Natural Selection.

Unless this myopic Prohibition idiocy is repealed and quickly, we will continue to look with our own eyes at the world but see only what others want us too.

Do we really want the likes of these contentious insulting right-wing morons we see screaming here and those whom, they emulate as wellas support, leading us into the future?

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-10-02 12:50:41 PM

Your magic hat seems to have lost its power, BudO. You're in a much darker mood than you were a week ago. And the election isn't for another month and a half.

Before, when your Bud Hat was gleaming with its full power, everyone you came into contact with was a positive experience. Now people are morons, bovines, fascists.

All I see in you, BudO, is a bitter old baby boomer who can't get past the fact that the world has moved on without him. And all you're accomplishing is to ensure that, in the end, you won't be mourned.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-10-02 1:22:59 PM

".,.Although I have no lofty degrees in the subject, I have put forth original work/thoughts which can be easily dismissed because I am a Cannabis user..."
doth say Budoracle

you said it pal, its easier to dismiss you than even you admit to. Our most honourable street clown Mr Budoracle: your funhouse mirror of ideas are dismissed not because you are a cannabis user,- nobody really cares if you smoke or if you don't- but your lifelong habit of operating a cannabis soaked brain is held up as a an example to youth of how this drug indeed corrodes the human mind over time- diminish its reasoning powers & compormise it ability to follow a complete thought. We suspect that your latest spasm of insightul poetic modesty is in reality, a call for help..

Maybe you are as psychedellic as you are ever gonna be - and as you are demonstrating- thats not really not much of a whole lot of anything. But Stone on Gramps-- nothing like a shipwreck to warn others of the rocks ahead

Posted by: 419 | 2008-10-02 1:46:50 PM


You can take some solace that the younger generation of Canadians is much more socially liberal, but yet fiscally conservative. Or more in line with traditional liberalism, long ago abandoned by our Liberals. Liberatianism is gaining more and more ground, especially as people begin to understand what it entails.

We reject the simple dichotomy of our fathers politics as unworkable.

We have old school Conservative Statists, like Shane, who really varies in opinion very little from old school Socialists like Trudeau. Both believe that a strong centralized state is needed to protect us from ourselves. Whether it be the dangers of evil substances, or the dangers of immigration, many young 'libertarians' agree that the State should be the very last thing we look to as individuals.

Competition is healthy and necessary for human survival, and life in general. Darwin was not a fool. But likewise, we cannot ever expect a governing state to be neutral and unbiased and to 'right' the wrongs of living. Life is not fair. Whether it's Shane's religious right, or Layton's opressed workers, the levers of government only enable whomever is popular to control others.

I believe true progress lies in liberty, freedom, and celebrating individualism. Only then can our differences become what binds us together.

Posted by: Q | 2008-10-02 1:52:10 PM

Please don't thread-jack.

The topic is: Shotgun is number one political blog in the country!

The topic is not: Random observations about what is good or bad about the world.

We will have plenty of posts about marijuana soon enough. We will have plenty of posts where you can debate libertarianism vs. conservatism vs. liberalism, etc.

But let's stick to the subject, please.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-10-02 3:58:10 PM

Congats on being ranked number one.

Unfortunately Alexa's not really that accurate, try googling "how accurate is Alexa".

For an example of more comprehensive online metrics, consider checking out the criteria that Vancouver based NowPublic used in creating it's most public index for Vancouver's 20 most visible individuals on the web in partnership the with Vancouver Sun. Here's their list of 20

While they also used Alexa, they added a lot of other measurements. Here's the metrics they used to create the list

Their "formula gauges influence and “publicness” across four categories, including:

* Online Visibility
* Presence on User-Generated Content and Social Networking Sites
* Interactivity and Accessibility
* The “R” Factor: Presence on Microblogging Platforms (Flickr, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.)

NowPublic examined statistics in each of these categories from Alexa, Compete, Facebook, Flickr, Google, Quantcast, Technorati, YouTube, and various other blogs and sites, to create a list of Los Angeles’ leading influencers. It then narrowed the list to 20 by analyzing and documenting individuals’ presence and popularity in each of these channels, applying a weighted scoring system, determined by the strength of specific traits held in each online community."

One thing to consider is that #5 ranked Warren Kinsella would have probably rank higher up the list if he switched to using permalinks on his blog earlier, he'd have more links and probably a pagerank of at least 6 I'd guess.

It may take too much time to use all of their metrics and no matter which ones you use, it will never be perfect, but adding a few more metrics would help. You could still be ranking #1 under a more comprehensive set of measurements.

Posted by: Pete Quily | 2008-10-02 6:33:52 PM

Hey there PM Jaworski, I thought this whole forum was about political observations and if you are calling for puffs of smoke on your thread about how good the shotgun blog is, I'd say self puffery is also not really part of this forum but we all do it.

In case you didn't understand it, I was making a valid criticism of your self inflated worth on these blogs in general and this thread in particular. Sorry, I didn't know an honest, but critical comment was disallowed amongst the praise.

I get kind of annoyed when anyone sets themselves up as a censor. Although I've seen pure person vile and venom on these threads for no relevant purpose to the topic, and it is allowed no problem.

Then you are telling me that when you are looking for adulation, real time observations of the interface of these blogs with our political nature and the process and institutions of government we have invented, might be way off topic. Better to let people denigrate each other with abandon. The term thread Jacking is a very subjective term invented by those who like to censor in my opinion.

Sorry to offend your conservative structure and interrupt the adulation, Mr. Jaworski.

Oh Yeah, your blog is the best!

And if you would kindly put under each article the parameters someone might freely explore then you might not have to censor my comments.

I will be sure to add your name to the list of authors whose writings I will not peruse, too.

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-10-02 7:26:24 PM

The Federal Reserve is Guilty of Helping Create the Global Financial Meltdown

Show your outrage at the what the Federal Reserve has done to the American economy
with their easy money policies which caused the credit & real estate bubble and subsequent
global financial meltdown.

Sign and comment on the Abolish the Federal Reserve Petition at

Posted by: Ron Holland | 2008-10-12 8:24:18 AM

Awesome! A Canadian pro-freedom blog!!!

I am an American who is a seasonal resident in Canada, coming to B.C. every April for a 6-months' visitors' visa, and leaving again in October. I will be hitting the road back home this week, in fact.

I have a blog on blogspot, listed above, please read. I'd love a mirror blog in Canada.This is because dissent is not being tolerated so much, and dissident blogs may be taken down.

Right now, I greatly fear the U.S. is sinking. I am particularly nervous about my return home this year because once there, I fear some very hard times. The Bush administration (which I oppose with all my mind and all my might) is right now (today!) conferring with the IMF, and the Federal Reserve is in cahoots with the Canadian and other central banks, to lower interest rates together.

Wrong answer!!! We who understand Austrain economics understand that!

Inflation, job losses, unrest, chaos and more are headed our way, and some thinkers even see martial law and the roundup of dissidents, which I proudly am.

Anyway, I am so glad to see this blog.

Posted by: Alice Lillie | 2008-10-12 5:06:52 PM

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