I can see two main ways to evaluate blogs.
The first and most important in my opinion is qualitative. Do you enjoy the blog? Does it have fresh, original, & interesting content? Is it influential? I also look for a sense of humor and a personal touch, but that’s my bias.
The second way to judge a blog is perhaps more scientific and that is based on Internet metrics such as traffic, rankings, etc.
A stem cell blog that has really been shining lately is the Signals blog from The Stem Cell Network. I really enjoy the diversity of contributors that now numbers nearly twenty. Wow. I’m jealous…in a good way of course!
I also like the fact that it is so timely, has new posts so often and mixes in perspectives. Lisa Willemse does a great job and excels as an educator in the stem cell field.
I’m also really impressed with the evolution of the CIRM Research Blog. I enjoy the fact that there is a diversity of contributors and they collectively post more often. Of course, I have a conflict of interest on this one as I’m a CIRM grantee and their blog is focused on CIRM-related stuff, but it’s one heck of a good blog.
StemCellAssays by Alexey Bersenev is outstanding. It won my award for stem cell blog of the year 2012 and it continues to lead the way, particularly on technical matters related to stem cells. Alexey works really hard on this blog, does his homework, and is more knowledgable than just about anyone. These factors show up clearly in the exceptional quality of his blog!
So it’s clear that I have my own qualitative opinions about the relative strengths and weaknesses of various stem cell blogs out there, but what do the numbers say?
It’s difficult to say on some levels because we cannot know certain things for sure about various websites since only the webmasters know, for example, how much traffic they get. I applaud Alexey for showing his blog’s traffic and some other stats each year.
I am hoping to do that for 2013 when all is said and done, but I will say now that the last couple months ipscell.com has been getting an increasing amount of traffic so that we get more than 2,000 hits a day, sometimes a lot more more, which is especially remarkable to me as one who remembers when it got 10 hits a day.
One measure is called mozRank, which is a logarithmic measure of a website’s authority and popularity based on other sites that link to it.
Stem cell blogs’ mozRanks:
- Signals Blog 5.3
- ipscell.com 5.1
- Stemcellassays.com 5.0
- CIRM Research Blog 4.9
These are all great scores. Keep in mind again that this is a log scale ranking.
Another logarithmic ranking is Google’s Page Rank, which has a strong influence on where websites end up ranking from related searches such as “stem cell blog” in this case.
In terms of Page Rank, here are the numbers:
- CIRM Research Blog 6
- ipscell.com 6
- Signals Blog 5
- Stemcellassays.com 4
In the end I believe that qualitative views of blogs and quantitative numbers combined tell the best story about the top stem cell blogs.
Are there other awesome stem cell blog out there that I should include?
Note that I’m leaving off blogs that are no longer active, that cover other things substantially beyond just stem cells, that are highly focused on one narrow slice of the stem cell world, or that I believe have a net harmful effect on the field (e.g. through misinformation or promotion of stem cell tourism).