From ink to hyperlink

csm.gif Just in case you doubted the power wielded by bloggers in cyberspace, Slate gaming columnist and all-around tech maven Clive Thompson shares some highly-scientific proof on his blog. Noting that more and more newspapers are requiring subscriptions for on-line content (a la the WSJ), he asks:

But what happens to a paper’s readership and influence when it puts up the gates in cyberspace? Bloggers don’t link to it, which means it vanishes from Google and spirals into a cycle that eventually erases it from the mindspace of the Internet. The Wall Street Journal has a print circulation of 2,106,774, making it the second-biggest paper in the country, but you’ll almost never find a link to a Journal article in a Google search — because the content is inaccessible and thus never linked to.

But the Journal’s loss is the gain of other, smaller papers, that are freely linkable. Thompson cites the Christian Science Monitor as a good example: “Its print circulation is a measly 71,000, ranking it 242nd in size, way behind the Journal. Yet it has 1.7 million unique visitors per month to its web site, because the content is free — and good — and thus bloggers link to it promiscuously.”

Amazingly, some science nerd came up with a formula for measuring the ratio of blog-links to circulation – which essentially measures the “blogginess” of online newspapers. Turns out, CSM comes out way ahead. Go here to see how the ratio is calculated, or remain in blissful ignorance and just check out the rankings after the jump.

The Christian Science Monitor > The Wall Street Journal [Collision Detection]

Which paper is the bloggiest?

Christian Science Monitor – 134.90
New York Times – 63.08
Washington Post – 58.44
San Francisco Chronicle – 38.32
Boston Globe – 29.80
Seattle Post Intelligencer – 18.56
New York Post – 12.48
LA Times – 11.21

Which paper is the least bloggy?

Charleston Post and Courier – 0.06
New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News – 0.22
Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record – 0.39
The Wall Street Journal – 0.40
Fort Myers News Press – 0.50

p.s. Clive Thompson is Canadian.