Most-Read Blogs Run by Academics:

TaxProf (Paul Caron) reports on the most-trafficked law professor blogs, of those that have public SiteMeter rankings. The five top blogs by visitor counts (all numbers are total for 2008) are:


My question: What are the most-trafficked blogs written by academics, not limiting ourselves to law professors (and working in, if possible, people who have public counters but not SiteMeter)? I should note that I'm primarily interested in academic-themed content, but that's much harder to define and measure than the affiliation of the authors, so academic-written blogs are the best proxy I can think of.

UPDATE: A commenter points to Prof P.Z. Myers' Pharyngula science blog, which had about 18 million visitors last year, and the academic linguists' group blog Language Log (one of my favorite blogs), which had about 3.2 million visitors last year. Keep such data coming, folks!

I believe PZ Myers' blog Pharyngula is the most heavily trafficked of the family, and probably pretty high overall. Myers is a professor at the University of Minnesota-Morris.
1.21.2009 1:38pm
Anderson (mail):
Good god. Hewitt is a law professor???

If "law blogs run by embarrassing morons" were excluded, Volokh would come in at a cool # 1, and TaxProf at # 2.
1.21.2009 1:52pm
Brian Mac:

Good god. Hewitt is a law professor???

Wasn't it obvious from the superior analytical and reasoning skills on display at his blog?
1.21.2009 2:01pm
Jamie (mail):
Wait, what? Hugh Hewitt is an academic?

And I thought some of my liberal professors were bad.
1.21.2009 2:03pm
Hmm. This must be the new post-partisan tone.

Seriously, I hope the comments here don't get like those at Balkinization, which generally devolve into name-calling.
1.21.2009 2:06pm
Bitch PhD
Was up for Best Large Blog Award. Lost to either Pandas or Jesus. Forget which one.
1.21.2009 2:10pm
A Law Dawg:
I hope the comments here don't get like those at Balkinization, which generally devolve into name-calling.

wm13, you are an ignorant idiot, and so's your momma!
1.21.2009 2:11pm

Way to keep it civil.
1.21.2009 2:24pm
Anderson (mail):
Way to keep it civil.

So to be "civil" I should not only respect my fellow commenters, but everyone else in the world?

The National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation was yesterday, wasn't it? Time to move on!

Reynolds, Hewitt, and Althouse are contemptible hacks, and widely held to be so by a great many people. I do not see why I should pretend otherwise.

Anyone who has a similar opinion of me is welcome to express it (and usually does, come to think of it).
1.21.2009 2:32pm
Aeon J. Skoble (mail):
Perhaps one of them is Liberty and Power. Just a thought.
1.21.2009 2:39pm
Aeon J. Skoble (mail):
How did I miscode that link? Let me try again: That ought to do it.
1.21.2009 2:40pm
Sigh. Ok, if you insist. Anderson, you are a contemptible hack. There, happy now?
1.21.2009 2:43pm
Hannibal Lector:
John Baez's blog is one way the mathematically and physically literate keep up with many current developments in math, physics, and related branches of science John Baez's Stuff
1.21.2009 2:46pm
Anderson (mail):
I was *already* happy.
1.21.2009 2:47pm
bornyesterday (mail) (www):
cosmic variance = 4,731,254 / 4,417 per day / 1:49 min:sec per visit
pharyngula = 39,436,121 / 55,240 per day / 0:10 min:sec per visit
languagelog = 10,537,189 / 11,163 per day / 2:32 min:sec per visit
1.21.2009 2:50pm
Professor Chaos:
"John Baez's blog is one way the mathematically and physically literate keep up . . . "

Yeah, that pretty much guarantees that it doesn't meet the "most-trafficked" criterion.
1.21.2009 2:54pm
I don't object to incivil statements of the form "A says X but does Y, therefore A is a hypocrite" or "A says X, but reputable source Z reports Y, therefore A is a liar," but conclusory (and wholly off-topic) insults of the sort found in comments 2 and 3 above degrade rather than enhancing discourse.
1.21.2009 2:56pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Naively, I don't really consider Hewitt an academic, though he may teach law school, just like I don't consider Obama one, though he taught there too. I contrast that with Reynolds, Volokh (et most of the Conspirators), and Althouse, whose primary job it is to impart legal knowledge to the unwashed. Hewitt and Obama have real day jobs, and teaching law school is (or presumably was in the case of Obama) an enjoyable side line.
1.21.2009 3:00pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
It may not be up there are far as traffic goes but I really enjoy Sentencing Law &Policy.
1.21.2009 3:03pm
Michael B (mail):
"So to be "civil" I should not only respect my fellow commenters, but everyone else in the world?" Anderson

Here's a thought. Rather than forwarding a dismissive sneer and nothing more, try forwarding a cogent thought, perhaps even consider stringing a few together. Since you're referring to an academic whose policies and thinking you disagree with, a thoughtful, more cogent approach would seem apropos, no? Otherwise, you're emulating what you imagine yourself to be disdainful of.

Then again, forwarding a specific, cogent line of reasoning would have the disadvantage of exposing your own thinking to subsequent review.

Wouldn't mention it if the phenomena in question weren't so common, even pervasive.
1.21.2009 3:11pm
Hoyasaxa (www):
It's a little funny that you cut off the ranking just before the blog of Brian Leiter, ranker extraordinaire.
1.21.2009 3:11pm
Dreadnaught (www):
Is TMZ count as an academic blog? Harvey Levin does have a JD.
1.21.2009 4:14pm
It's always easier to say "X is a hack" then provide cogent analysis.
1.21.2009 4:19pm
Scott Aaronson's blog should be a highly-trafficked blog, if it is not.

Edge of the American West is probably the fastest-growing cocooned-leftist, historio-philosophical academic group blog. It desperately needs an injection of thoughtful outsiders—especially legally-, logically- and mathematically- inclined outsiders…
1.21.2009 4:26pm
RPT (mail):

Seriously, I hope the comments here don't get like those at Balkinization, which generally devolve into name-calling."

We are fortunate that "Bart" visits here only rarely.
1.21.2009 4:56pm
Richard Riley (mail):
I don't plan to insult anybody. But Hewitt's blog is really very different from the other top five listed by Eugene in this post. Instapundit, VC, Althouse and TaxProfBlog are written by sho-nuff professors whose law school academic work is their main job. Hewitt is not a full time law professor as far as I know, and his public persona is certainly more of a commentator and radio personality than a law professor.

I'm a lawyer at a law firm who has taught some law school classes on an adjunct basis. If I had a blog, would that be a "law professor blog?"
1.21.2009 7:31pm

Post as: [Register] [Log In]

Remember info?

If you have a comment about spelling, typos, or format errors, please e-mail the poster directly rather than posting a comment.

Comment Policy: We reserve the right to edit or delete comments, and in extreme cases to ban commenters, at our discretion. Comments must be relevant and civil (and, especially, free of name-calling). We think of comment threads like dinner parties at our homes. If you make the party unpleasant for us or for others, we'd rather you went elsewhere. We're happy to see a wide range of viewpoints, but we want all of them to be expressed as politely as possible.

We realize that such a comment policy can never be evenly enforced, because we can't possibly monitor every comment equally well. Hundreds of comments are posted every day here, and we don't read them all. Those we read, we read with different degrees of attention, and in different moods. We try to be fair, but we make no promises.

And remember, it's a big Internet. If you think we were mistaken in removing your post (or, in extreme cases, in removing you) -- or if you prefer a more free-for-all approach -- there are surely plenty of ways you can still get your views out.