There are only a few more things I’d like to do before I shut down the blog for Christmas. Posting will resume on the 1st of January, but I’ve got something a bit different planned for that month. I’ll tell you more about that when the post I’ve written for that day is published by my editor and research assistant, Annette Harrison.
One thing I do want to do besides saying “Happy Christmas” to all of you is to say a big “thank you!” I obviously want to thank you, my readers, as our interactions make this a much more rewarding experience (yes—even those of you with whom I disagree!). Most of all, I want to thank my family for allowing me to give multiple hours to this hobby of mine. And I want to thank Annette for her help with editing. If anyone out there is looking for a paid remote editor, please drop her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell her I sent you!
There is, however, one group of people I would like to thank in more detail—those websites and blogs which have sent traffic my way. This surely is a competition where some major kudos go to the winners. It’s almost worth linking to my posts just to share, hopefully, a spot on this list with so many illustrious companions! I will simply reveal here those of you who have done the most to help send readers to my blog this year. I have decided to increase the number of bloggers getting a “thank you link” to 70 this year—have a look and see where your blog stands in these rankings! I did this last year, and it’s interesting to compare the rankings from last year with those of this year. (I will indicate in brackets the previous year’s ranking.)
These sites are ranked in order by the ones who sent me the most visitors as referrals in the second half of 2007. Perhaps not surprisingly, the vast majority of these websites are sites I love and often link to myself. There is a lot of linky love going on, and I count many of these people as my friends. If any of them are unknown to you, why not pop over and visit their site during the next couple of weeks while there will be nothing new here. You just might find yourself wanting to keep going back!
This year you will also get to hear what I think of the top fifteen winners. While I have expanded the list this year because so many interesting blogs rank beyond the top 15—since I couldn’t think what to say about Facebook—15 seemed like as good a place as any to stop my comments. So whoever you are, I want to thank you for your kindness in reading and sending other readers to this blog. I hope that the people you sent found something useful, even if it was only a handy link from which to continue surfing. Remember, keep linking, and who knows? You might make this list next year!
Here, then, are my top referring websites, with the exception of search engines and aggregators:
THE TOP FIFTEEN TRAFFIC DONORS TO THIS BLOG
- BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (3) http://theologica.blogspot.com/
The blog with three names—”Theologica” or “Between Two Worlds” or more likely known to most of us simply as “Justin Taylor’s blog”—has leap-frogged over two others into top place this year. No other website, apart from search engines, has sent me so much traffic, and for that I am very grateful. But I am much more grateful for the wonderful resources that Justin’s blog provides. Reading his blog is dangerous as it sends you off to read all kinds of interesting material from the farthest reaches of the Christian Internet. Justin is a real asset to the Church today. May God continue to bless him!
- PYROMANIACS (1) http://teampyro.blogspot.com/
The fall in position of the blog of Phil Johnson and friends is, I suspect, not because of a fall in popularity of their blog. Rather it is because I have been less successful trolling for links there. If Phil and the crew want to knock Justin off the top spot next year, they will just have to link to me more often in 2008. Despite my disagreements at times with their style, I do have great respect for the fire-lovers and value what I learn from them. In addition, Phil is an old friend, and whenever we meet for coffee at Waterloo, interesting events arise!
- CHALLIES.COM (2) http://www.challies.com/
Tim Challies is another great blogging friend of mine. He was just as I expected him to be when we ate steak together just minutes after I got off a plane in Toronto. He hates me to remind him that I played some part in “discovering” him, but I am proud to acknowledge that his blog has left mine standing as it roars off into the distance! I believe that Tim is a man to watch, and that he will be around online, at Christian conferences, and in books for a long time to come. If you have not already done so, be sure to get a copy of his book, The Discipline of Spiritual Discernment, when it comes out in just a few days. It’s exciting to watch what God will do by his grace with a man who is willing to let God lead him.
- WIKIPEDIA (—) http://wikipedia.org/
This year a surprise entry on this list has been Wikipedia. This site is another place I enjoy visiting for all kinds of reasons beyond the fact that it sends me web traffic. An experiment in collaboration, it gives purchased encylopedias a run for their money. People often criticize it, but ultimately, if something’s wrong, you can actually go in there and correct it! If nothing else, it gives us an accurate perception of what techno-savvie web users think about a given subject.
- BLUEFISH PROJECT (5) http://thebluefish.blogspot.com/
Holding stable is part of Dave Bish’s character, so it’s perhaps appropriate that he is the only site in the top 5 which did not change rank! Dave Bish is another good friend of mine. He traveled out to the edge of London just to meet me for lunch. We have chatted many times online, and his blog is one of the most popular Christian blogs in the UK. He has devoted his life to helping students find Christ—a noble profession.
- CHRISTIANITY TODAY (—) http://www.christianitytoday.com/
I believe the willingness of main-stream Christian media sites to partner with and link to blogs will be a major feature of the next few years. Over the last year, I have become increasingly impressed by the massive resource that is Christianty Today. I just wish we could get this magazine in the UK!
- T4G BLOG (—) http://blog.togetherforthegospel.org/
Despite the fact the Together For the Gospel guys seem to have largely abandoned their own blog, it still keeps sending me traffic. No other website with so little freshly updated material has sent me so much traffic. Perhaps as the brothers begin to turn their thoughts more and more to the 2008 T4
G conference we’ll see more posts coming from them. I’m determined to return to “blogging through the T4G Statement” of eighteen months ago. (I really must finish before their next conference!!) Oddly, this time last year they had more content, but sent me fewer hits!
- BEN WITHERINGTON (8) http://benwitherington.blogspot.com/
Ben Witherington is the first website on this list where I don’t have any personal contact with any of the authors or representatives. But that’s only because he doesn’t list an e-mail on his website. If any of you have a working e-mail for Ben, drop him a line and tell him he holds 8th place for the second year running in this list of my top referrers. Tell him I love his blog, and would love to make e-mail contact with him!
- HUGH HEWITT (11) http://hughhewitt.townhall.com/blog/
Hugh was one of the first prominent Christian bloggers to link to me, and for that I will always be grateful. He blogs mostly about American politics, and when I am interested in finding out about what’s going on in that arena, Hugh’s site is one of the first places I go. Glad to see him rising up the charts a little, but surely you can do better than that next year, Hugh!
- TERRY VIRGO (—) http://www.janga.biz/terryvirgoblog/
It is truly impressive that such a new blog should make it into this list’s top ten. With a full year in 2008, I fully expect to see Terry in a higher slot this time next year. Terry Virgo is a name with which every reader of this blog should familiarize themselves. Please do go read my interview with him, his blog, and listen to some of his sermons. He is the man who has taken a small band of reformed charismatics in the UK and led them to what is now more than 200 churches, with another 300 churches worldwide. I am privileged to follow him as he follows Christ. He is the single most influential church leader over my theology and values. He has shaped so many of the people who have, in turn, shaped me. I thank God for Terry, and being linked from his blog was one of the highlights of my year. If you want to make a new year’s resolution this year, determine to find out more about this man and what God has accomplished through him.
- THE JOLLYBLOGGER (4) http://jollyblogger.typepad.com/
David Wayne was my first real blogging buddy. I still miss our “tag blogging” and remember the times when people accused us of being the same person. He is another blogger who I have been able to have the joy of meeting in the flesh. Let’s do some tag blogging again this year, David. And c’mon! Surely you can do better than #11! Let’s see a jump back up in the rankings next year!
- SHEPHERD’S SCRAPBOOK (—) http://spurgeon.wordpress.com/
Regular readers of my blog will recognize the name, Tony Reinke, as the source of some of my photos. But he doesn’t just do good photos—he does great posts as well! He seems to be on the upward climb, and I keep finding him referred to all over the place. Expect to hear more from him next year. Remember, just like Tim Challies, you first heard of him here!
- EVANGELICAL OUTPOST (—) http://www.evangelicaloutpost.com/
Joe Carter’s site is a massively influential Christian blog. To have any traffic coming my way from him is a great honor indeed. It has been one of the greatest mysteries of blogging that for some reason his and my blogs seem to live in worlds that overlap surprisingly little. I do enjoy his material, so I’m hoping that next year we will be able to interact a bit more than we have in recent years!
- ALBERT MOHLER (7) http://www.albertmohler.com/
Al is America’s favorite seminary professor. If Wayne Grudem had time to do a radio show and a blog on top of his seminary tasks, preaching, and writing books, he could undoubtedly give Dr. Mohler a run for his money. One of the mysteries about Al is that he doesn’t seem keen to leave us with many books that have been penned by his hand! Nevertheless, I’m happy that he sends me a fair bit of traffic!
- UNASHAMED WORKMAN (—)
The sidebar of this blog alone is a worthy resource. I will know when I have arrived as a blogger when I have been added to this amazing list of blogs and other sites to visit. Even without having a place on that list, Unashamed Workman has still managed to make the top fifteen blogs which send traffic my way. That’s because he has linked to some of my material. The quality of his own posts makes this blog a very worthwhile read.
- http://solofemininity.blogs.com/ (12)
- http://boarsheadtavern.com/ (9)
- http://englishbibles.blogspot.com/ (6)