OK, so we are delighted to unveil our very first list of the Top 25 Arts & Culture Blogs in the UK. It’s taken a lot of research and along the way we’ve enjoyed unearthing some blogging gems that we’d never seen before.
To get to our final list of 25, we used a number of different measures to assess the popularity of a blog. These include Technorati and Yahoo inlinks, Bloglines citations and the number of Google readers a blog has. Initially, we also included Alexa data (to assess site traffic) but as Alexa only counts from the top-level domain (e.g. ‘guardian.co.uk’ rather than the URL of one of the Guardian blogs), we considered that this would give blogs like those run by the major newspapers an unfair advantage. We then used an algorithm to combine the various criteria and give an overall scoring for each blog.
To be eligible for consideration, the bulk of the content on the blog has to be updated by someone living in the UK and it has to have been updated in the last two months. And for the avoidance of argument, our definition of a blog is one where the content (or at least the main part of it) appears in the order in which it was written.
We hope you find the list interesting and, more importantly, that it reveals some new writers and great content that you may otherwise never have come across.
The list will be updated every month and we are already considering additional measurement criteria. Please do let us have your comments on this first list, we’d love to hear what you think. And if you think we’ve missed a blog, do send us a link.
Set up in 2004 by the hugely knowledgeable Régine Debatty, We Make Money Not Art has taken the arts world by storm with its eclecticism, style and above all, detailed and fascinating content.
A surprise high entry for this independent blog from Liverpool that has been running since 2000. Feeling Listless covers every aspect of culture from arts and museums to politics and film.
Describing itself as ‘an online journal about objects and meanings’, Things Magazine was originally set up by writers based in the V&A and Royal College of Art and now exists at this engaging website and blog.
Artist and author Katherine Tyrrell draws and writes about art for artists and art lovers.
5. Jonathan Jones on Art (Guardian)
Needing little introduction, this blog by established critic Jonathan Jones is always worth a read.
6. Frieze Blog
Clearly a major player in the art world, the Frieze blog allows the editors chance to cover smaller and, at times, more quirky subjects.
7. Charlotte Higgins (Guardian)
Another site from the Guardian’s stable of popular blogs, Charlotte Higgins gives her opinions on a wide range of topics from the Royal Opera, to the outbursts of famous artists, our national museums and Barack Obama’s taste in art.
Part of the Saatchi powerhouse, this blog is packed to bursting with videos, features, news, reviews and interviews.
With an appealing style and a host of contributors, Amelia’s Magazine describes itself as covering ‘the best underground creative projects in the worlds of art, fashion, music, illustration, photography, craft and design’.
A fascinating blog about graffiti and smaller and more underground exhibitions in and around London, Art of the Estate is exciting, inspiring and refreshing.
11. Culture Wars
The online review of the Institute of Ideas in London covering books, films, theatre, art and talk events, with a particular angle of looking how political and other ideas filter through the culture.
From Cheryl Cole to architecture, art to Jazz, The Telegraph culture blog is nothing if not eclectic!
13. UK Street Art
Covering street art, graffiti and exhibitions in galleries across the UK, this blog has bags of enthusiasm, spark and intelligent commentary.
14. Madam Miaow Says
A fascinating mix of culture and political commentary: ‘Madam Miaow casts a sharp eye over the political and cultural landscape and takes a scalpel and a shotgun to the guilty parties.’
This jam-packed blog has been running since the Liverpool Biennial in 2004 and now has thousands of posts that cover arts news and events in and around Liverpool and sometimes further afield.
Writer and blogger, Katherine Woodfine runs this delightful blog about arts, literature and culture around Manchester and London (as she flits between the two).
Describing itself as ‘the meeting point between sellers and buyers’, Artasty showcases forthcoming exhibitions and previews as well as highlighting less well-known artists and projects.
18. The FACT Blog
Run by Liverpool’s Foundation for Art and Creative Technology, the FACT blog focuses on stories about art and creative technology.
19. Art Sleuth
Some lovely writing about galleries, launches and artists largely (although not solely) in and around London. This blog also appears here.
20. Arts Blogs: The Independent [inactive]
A series of blogs from The Independent, their use of the platform LiveJournal allows anyone to get involved and post, discuss or share content about culture and the arts.
21. Art & Things
Run by a group of artists, writers and musicians who work together to create interesting and events for creatives of all kinds to get involved in.
From an Edinburgh based blogger, Where’s Runnicles is a review-based blog covering both performance and the visual arts.
23. Culture Vulture
Based in Leeds, these bloggers cover wide-ranging and varied topics; all under the heading: of writing about the ‘juiciest morsels of culture’.
Pauline McLean is BBC Scotland’s arts correspondent, and she blogs about arts events and issues happening across the country.
(*NB, we did look at including the BBC’s Culture Show blog but unfortunately this hasn’t been updated since April 2009.)
25. Intelligent Naivety [inactive]
‘Where blog culture meets consumer culture.’ This blog showcases the best artist-designed and limited-edition products from over 60 leading galleries, museums, artists and culture institutions.