Our guide to:
The best food blogs in Leeds|The best music blogs in Leeds |The best sport blogs in Leeds |The best culture blogs in Leeds
In many ways we live in an extraordinary city. While most northern towns remain deep in the downturn, the commercial heartbeat of Yorkshire continues to grow. But what exactly do the blogs of Leeds say about the city?
Social media reach
|1. Culture Vulture||596674||402||18763||98|
|2. The scratching shed||541247||147||11600||94|
|3. Leeds music scene||1197137||222||10000||91|
|4. Leeds Inspired||2306453||62||5133||82|
|5. Lay the table||1157302||177||1304||81|
|6. The Square Ball||2580618||44||12932||80|
|7. Rachel Reeves mp||4788705||42||19897||76|
|8. Right in the Gary Kellys||1194073||23||3421||74|
|9. A storm in a teacup||1989921||47||1399||73*|
|10. The magic square foundation||3713466||122||2337||73|
|11. A forte for fashion||1487845||57||808||72|
|12. The social business||8031053||46||3865||70|
|13. Millies Food Leeds||3245941||22||3824||67|
|14. Fear and loathing in LS11||2626979||9||2713||63*|
|15. South Leeds life||3818470||44||1186||63|
|16. The Leeds Citizen||5065830||41||1485||61*|
|17. Leeds Grub||8298357||12||3830||61|
|18. Secret lives of objects||18072759||6||6033||58|
|20. Considerate Trespassing||17089202||8||202||46|
Taking an overview of the top 20 blogs in the city (see below) we found that culture dominates. With an influx of money, new arenas, titanic shopping centers and, of course, the “affordable” Bruce Springsteen, coming to Leeds this year, there has certainly been more than enough for the Leeds bloggers to get their virtual teeth into. As a result, the city’s blog scene has experienced a boom, gaining popularity and attention with a range of talented writers reporting, reviewing, and retweeting, making this network of blogs a prominent part in discovering the ins and outs of the city.
Google, a Jolly Green Giant of search engines, plays an vital role in deciding Leeds’ top bloggers, ranking the various blogs by the amount of links leading to their sites, then positioning the more visited blogs above those less popular when searched for through Google.
We at Journalism at Leeds Metropolitan decided to investigate the local blog scene and came up with a list of the top blogs for 2013. The table of the 20 blogs, ranging from food and culture to politics and sport, have been ranked according to their total of “Leeds Metropolitan” points. The points system, which positions the blogs according to their score out of a 100, comprises of the blogs global page rank on Google, plus their reputation as according to the Alexa Page Ranking system and, finally, an assessment of their social media reach, according to how many people follow them on Twitter. We weighted the three factors towards the Google page rank (a ratio of 40/30/30) and for any blogs with the same amount of total leeds met points, the blog with the best global page rank is ranked higher. You can see our workings here. We believe we have a definitive list, but if there are any omissions, please contribute to the discussion below.
If we take a look through the carefully selected list of the top Leeds blogs, there is one obvious truth; Leeds is a city literally brimming with culture, just under a third of the blogs we handpicked for our 20 best are centred on the cultural ins and outs of Leeds’ life. Of course there is a definite feast of varied topics in our top 20, including food, politics, business, and not forgetting football. Unsurprisingly though, our virtual champ of the Leeds’ blogosphere is one that displays the more artistic elements of our city.
For all things cultural in Leeds, circle your mouse hungrily over The Culture Vulture. The panoramic site dedicated to the arts is a redoubtable source of information on local events. It boasts an army of bloggers that contribute towards the site, who not only provide entertaining and informative content for culture vulture but they also, and perhaps more importantly, seem to display a definite care about the goings on and welfare of Leeds.
Speaking of the welfare of the city, another blog in our top 20 that pry’s into all things political is the excellent Leeds Citizen, a blog which keeps a beady eye on council activities and plans through a constant provision of incredibly well written and intelligent posts. The citizen describes the blog as
A minor irritant on the flesh of the body politic of Leeds
and the citizen certainly keeps the council on their toes, providing a wealth of information on all things civic in Leeds; definitely deserving to be included in our top 20 blogs.
Two in our top 20 Leeds blogs were award winners at the Blog North awards in Manchester last year, which aims to celebrate the best of online writing in the north of England.
The First, winner of best specialist blog, was The Magic Square Foundation, an attractively designed fashion blog containing a wide array of the latest fashion trends, information, and genuinely interesting and crafted writing, all from the definitely talented Leeds graduate Eleanor Snare. Eleanor is a writer for an events agency by day, and by night a freelance writer and blogger. She also manages to find time to make her own clothes and jewellery.
The second prize winner is considered to be one of Leeds’ best photography blogs, Considerate Trespassing, and showcases a range of impressive and eye catching images all taken in places a photographer shouldn’t go with a camera. A worthy joint winner of best young blogger, considerate trespassing is sourced from an unnamed Leeds based male and undoubtedly captures the extraordinary from in and around Leeds.
Leeds might be the capital of all things commercial but its a commitment to culture, food and sport that quickens its heart. The quality of its blogosphere is a testament to a city on the up.