We're #2!

So I have to admit, I was skeptical when I received an e-mail from Ryan Stephens of the Sports Media Challenge.  They run an index of the best independent sports sites, they ranked us 2nd amongst a lot of very well known college sports sites/ blogs.  I figured it was spam (a site looking for a link from us to boost their traffic), but passed it on to our network manager, who reacted with a lot of excitement.  Apparently, this is some sort of big deal and the people who run Sports Media Challenge are very well respected within the sports writing industry.  They've been around since 1988 and are the source people go to when they want honest evaluations of various sports media outlets.  When our network manager got excited, I did as well.  This is the list.  Here's what they had to say:

2.) Tomahawk Nation - Potentially the most vibrant and engaged community of any college football blog. With solid use of video and cool features like intense film reviews and breakdowns of games maybe the owners of this blog would have the Seminoles atop the ACC Atlantic. 

That recognition is a tribute to you- our readership, and specifically those who sign up and contribute their thoughts.  I think that often many readers believe they have nothing to add to the conversation but with almost every new member, they do bring something interesting and unique to the table.  So thank you, readers.  

So once I realized this was a big deal, I was still pretty shocked because, let's face it, we've only been around since last August.  At that time, we had 3,000 visitors in our first month.  Now?  We'll eclipse that mark in a single day before you take lunch.  In fact, sometime last month, we hit our 1,000,000th unique visitor.  But it was also a big deal because of who else made the list! (mega sites that have been around for years like #1 MGO Blog, #3 Everyday Should be Saturday, #4 Rocky Top Talk, #5 The Wiz of Odds, #5 Roll Bama Roll, and #7 Burnt Orange Nation, and #8 Black Shoe Diaries.   All of those sites have been around for a lot longer than we have.  I'm not sure we're on the same level with those guys quite yet, but our readership numbers say we are, and y'all keep coming back, so maybe we are.  

If you're interested in the criteria, here it is:

The Sports Blog Index is Sports Media Challenge's ranking of the top sports blogs on the internet. These sites are not necessarily the most visited sites on the internet, though traffic is a factor. Each SBI blog is rated on three main criteria: Influence, Community and Relevance. It is important to note that the Index is not a completely objective or subjective measurement. Each blog is ranked on a variety of quantitative measurements before Sports Media Challenge analysts adjust for qualitative factors.

An overview of the three main criteria:

Content
‘Content is king' goes without saying. All of the other metrics would not matter if a blog did not consistently provide relevant posts that its audience wanted to read. Some blogs have a few long form posts, others have tons of short pithy posts, and there are plenty in between. The form does not matter, but the subject matter does. Posts should leave readers satisfied and inspire thoughtful responses. Aesthetics that enhance or detract from the content are also weighed appropriately.

Community
A blog's community is a large part of the SBI measurement. While page views and visits are a good indicator of the size of the community, neither is a good indicator of how active a community is. The community measurement takes into account web traffic as well as comments, quality of comments, unique commentators, and response rates along with several other factors.

Influence
The influence is a measure of a blog's overall impact within the sports blogosphere. This is based on a blog's incoming and outgoing links and various other factors including ranks in prominent blog networks. This gives insight into how other bloggers and sports fans view your content and its ability to spread. Weighing these factors of influence provide the sports bloggers themselves with a voice in the ranking of blogs.

We do not include sites that are subscription based or backed by traditional media outlets [so no Heather Dinich (ESPN) or Dr. Saturday (Yahoo)]. This is especially true of blogs that do not have full editorial control over their content. We realize this excludes some very good sites. With each list we continue to evaluate and try to improve on our criteria.

So again, a big thanks to our community for giving us the inspiration to write every day.  Here's to the #1 slot next year and Go Noles!

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