The Top 10 Ruby/Rails Blogs

In my quest to whip my feed reader’s Ruby/Rails related content into shape a bit, I made a little research to find out which Ruby/Rails blogs are the most popular at the moment. I had given up on following most of the blogs systematically a long time ago – it is becoming increasingly hard to keep track of even the aggregators, not to talk about the blogs themselves. There are hundreds of Ruby/Rails blogs out there right now (I am talking about the ones found on the few most popular aggregators – in reality there must be much more of them), so it is clear that you need to pick carefully – unless you happen to be a well-paid, full time Ruby/Rails blog reader (in which case you still would have to crank a lot to do your work properly).

OK, enough nonsense for today – let’s see the results counting down from the 10th place! If you are interested in the method they were created with, or a longer, top 30 list from technorati and alexa, check out this blog entry.

10. by Jamis Buck.


Jamis Buck “is a software developer who has the good fortune to be both employed by 37signals and counted among those who maintain the Ruby on Rails web framework”. He is mostly blogging about (surprise, surprise!) Rails – of course on a very high level, which could be expected from a Rails core developer. Very insightful posts on ActiveRecord, Capistrano and other essential Rails topics delivered in a professional way.

9. by the Rails core team


This is the “default” Ruby on Rails blog, used for announcements, sightings, manuals and whatever else the RoR team finds interesting :-).

8. by Amy Hoy.


This is a really cool little site – Amy is a very gifted writer and designer, publishing very insightful articles as well as the nicest (hands down!) cheat sheets about different Web2.0, Ajax, Rails and that sort of stuff. Definitely worth checking out!

7. by PJ Hyett and Chris Wanstrath.


A very serious blog of two Rails-geeks about advanced topics (but very well explained – so if you are not totally green (#00FF00) you should do fine). Among other things, they have contributed Sexy Migrations to Rails recently.

6. by Geoffrey Grosenbach


Geoffrey is the author of more than twenty of Rails plugins, (including gruff, my favorite graph drawing gem), a horde of professional-quality articles and the PeepCode screencast site. Do I need to say more?!

5. by _why the lucky stiff.


_why is probably the most interesting guy in the Ruby community. He is the author of (among tons of other things) Why’s Poignant Guide to Ruby, HPricot, the coolest Ruby HTML parser, Try Ruby! (a must see!) and Hackety Hack, for aspiring wannabe programmers who want to hack like in the movies! The list goes on and on… This guy never stops. If someone will ever invent the perpetuum mobile, he will be it (in Ruby, of course).

4. by Dan Benjamin.


Dan’s recent work include Cork’d, a web2.0 wine community site or the A List Apart publishing system. He does great podcasts with various guys.

3. by Rick Olson and Justin Palmer


Personally I was quite surprised that a blog concentrating on such a narrow topic (in this case the mephisto blogging system) could grab the 3rd place – so I have checked both alexa and technorati by hand just to be sure, and it seems that everything is OK – mephistoblog is ranked very high on both of them, justifying this position. After all, mephisto is the leading blog system of Rails!

2. by Peter Cooper.


This blog is my absolute favorite from this top 10 list (actually, from all the Ruby blogs I have encountered so far). I am definitely with Amy Hoy, who said If you had to subscribe to just one Ruby blog, it should be this one. If you would like to know what’s happening in the Ruby/Rails community, rubyinside is the place to check. If there is no new post here, it’s because most probably nothing happened!

And the winner is: by David Heinemeier Hansson.


Well, what should I add? David is the author of Ruby on Rails, so no wonder his blog topped the list!

It’s interesting to note that nearly all the blogs listed here are mostly pure Rails ones – rubyinside (mixed Ruby/Rails) and redhanded (pure Ruby) being the two exceptions. It would be interesting to generate such a list for Ruby blogs – though I am not sure how. The sources I have used (most notably rubycorner) aggregate both Ruby and Rails blogs) – so it seems there are much more Rails bloggers out there (or they are much better (with the exception of _why) than the Ruby bloggers).

I would really like to hear your opinion on this little experiment – whether you think it makes sense or it is completely off, how could it be improved in the future, what features could be added etc. If I’ll receive some positive feedback, I think I will work on the algorithm a bit more, and run it once in say every 3 months to see what’s happening around the Ruby/Rails blogosphere. Let me know what do you think!

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2006 Retrospective

For the sake of future comparison, out of plain fun and for just whatever else, here are some statistics of my first about-half-a-year of blogging:

Global Statistics

  1. 1,057,638 successful requests for an average of approximately 4000 requests/day
  2. 622,776 page views for an average of approximately 2300 page views/day
  3. 34 posts and 364 comments, contained within 15 categories. This statistically means a post gets about 11 comments on average
  4. Data transferred: 10.54 GB, which is a daily average of approximately 40 MB
  5. Current AdSense CPM: 2.04$ (is this good or bad? It is hard to get such info on the net…)


  1. Most popular post (i.e. most page hits): Data extraction for Web 2.0: Screen scraping in Ruby/Rails (nearly 10.000 reads)
  2. Most debated/controversial post (i.e. most comments): Sometimes less is more (45 comments)
  3. Most referenced article: Install Internet Explorer on Ubuntu Dapper in 3 easy steps (9 references)
  4. Best runner-up: Implementing ‘15 Exercises for Learning a new Programming Language’


  1. 57% Windows (quite surprising for a site where the most popular search terms were ‘ubuntu ruby rails’ and ‘dapper ruby install’ :-))
  2. 27% Linux
  3. 16% Mac


  1. 74% Firefox & Mozilla
  2. 14% Internet Explorer (83% IE 6.0, 16% IE 7.0)
  3. 7% Safari
  4. 3% Opera

Top 5 referring sources

  2. direct

Given that is my first attempt at blogging, I am studying Ruby for just a few months now (I even started this blog earlier than I wrote my first Ruby script), I have really little time for blogging and that I am not a native speaker, these figures are not that bad I guess :-). Of course I would like to improve them even more, so please leave a comment with suggestions on this – what would you like to see here in 2007?

Mind-boggling blogging

Tagline: Blogging is a very easy looking activity, until you _actually_ begin with it…

Most probably even the irregular readers of rubyrailways have noticed a 3 month period of silence during the summer, which has just ended a few days ago. In my opinion it is generally not a very good idea to temporarily abandon a blog, without even announcing a summer holiday or posting a note like “to be continued after an undefined period of blogger’s block” or something. Why did I allow it happen then?

Well, there are a handful of reasons for this: summer holidays, though days at the work, lot of stuff to do on my PhD but mainly a kind of a blogger’s crisis. Although all the reasons are very interesting, I would like to elaborate on the last one a bit.

The first problem stems from the relative success of my previous entries: Tutorials like Install Internet Explorer on Ubuntu Dapper in 3 easy steps, Data extraction for Web 2.0: Screen scraping in Ruby/Rails or Getting Ruby on Rails up and running on Ubuntu Dapper were quite popular and set a standard which was not easy to top (or at least to maintain) in terms of equally interesting topics.
Unfortunately I can pursue Ruby, Rails and even screen scraping/web extraction only in my spare time which is a scarce resource (it’s kind of hard to work full time, roll a PhD and blog simultaneously :-)) and therefore I do not bump into an interesting topic just every second day. However, this eventually got me into a kind-of an inverse Concorde-effect: If I have waited a week, then I can wait another to deliver something sexy. After a month: Now that I have waited a month, I surely have to come up with something *really* juicy… You get the idea.

I believe I am not the only one around with this thinking pattern, and I am not sure how are others handling this problem, but I have decided to give up this habit – in the future I would like to blog regularly, even at the cost that not every post will be a top-notch blockbuster :-).

The second problem is that I am kind of a renaissance guy: I am interested in new technologies, programming, science research, economics, reading books just about everything, photography, traveling, computer games, sports…
However, since rubyrailways is my first attempt at blogging, I am quite unsure how to deal with this amount of information: what should be the ratio of not-necessarily-correlated topics (e.g. Ruby, travelling and PhD research). I am nearly sure though that it is not a good idea to blog about everything, since then every post will be uninteresting for most of the readers.

Yes, I know that categories were invented to workaround this problem. However, in my experience most of the people today are using feed aggregators and/or personal start pages like bloglines, netvibes or pageflakes, and hence are facing this problem nevertheless. Yes, they could ignore the posts that are not interesting to them, but after doing so a few times they will potentially ignore your whole blog.
So how to find the golden mean?

A possible solution is to have a separate blog for everything: In my case this would mean at least a software development (mainly Ruby/Rails), general technology, Linux/Ubuntu, Science/PhD research and a travelling blog. Well, I certainly would not have the time to keep up all of them since I am struggling even with rubyrailways :-)… I could of course ignore what people think about my blog and just write it to myself, but that would deprive me from knowing what other people think about the things I am after, which is a very valuable information for me.

I would be very much interested in your opinion on this topic: How do you solve this ‘feature creep’ on your blog – by maintaining more blogs, focusing on just one topic and ignoring the others, or trying to balance somehow?

Please leave me a comment or send me a mail, I’d really like to hear your opinion…