My methodology has changed quite a bit over the years.
At first, it was my favorite songs – just the songs I liked and decided to rank. But after a few weeks, as I got into making my chart every week, I realized I needed something to keep track of them, so I started writing down a log of the songs I played, radio stations I listened to, etc. This lasted for many years, but was never an “offical factor” in the rankings over the years other than a quick glance through the book to see what I was playing the most.
One other thing also mattered, then and now – I had to actually own the song (or file, in the case of the current chart). If I didn’t own it, I couldn’t play it. And if I couldn’t play it, it didn’t count as one of my top 20.
Over the years, other things began to creep in. By 1978 I had a subscription to Billboard (extremely expensive for a high school kid, but we managed it), and was figuring in other peoples word of mouth, and sort of subconsiously being affected by chart placement, although hundreds of songs have charted on TKR without having done that well – or ANYTHING – nationally, while other huge songs on Billboard have come and gone on TKR or missed the chart entirely if I despised the song. But by about five years into making the charts, I was more and more putting personal tastes aside, and allowing myself to add songs to the charts even though I wasn’t personally fond of the song. Only if I vehimently positively HATED a song – “Holding Back The Years” by Simply Red or “Groove Is In The Heart” by Dee-light come to mind – would I refuse to purchase the song and thus qualify it for my chart. And even when I did purchase the song just to have it for my collection, that didn’t guarantee it a position on my chart.
But in the long run, personal taste still prevailed more than any other factor, which is why there are so many songs that have been huge on TKR that never made a national chart or had a lower run than TKR. I’ve also noticed that I tended to keep even the biggest hits on the chart for an average of about 14 weeks – and so many were shorter runs, even for #1 songs. It depended most on if I had anything new and could add it to the chart.
The TKR/DiscJockey.Com chart was based on the number of requests and also on total plays, which were averaged out to offset any manipulation attempts by people requesting songs to make their song #1 constantly. Originally just counting the DiscJockey.Com “All Hits” channel, by the end of the run, we were also including DJC’s “Hot AC”, “LoveBeat” and “Modern Rock” channels on the charts, averaged to determine the place each would fit in.
The TKR revival is a mix of personal taste and chart performance, consulting with a number of charts, both magazine-based and online; I am also hoping to be included as a reporting chart to a number of online chart systems. But personal taste still prevails more than anything else, as it should for any personal charts. And now that i’m actually researching again, i’m finding I actually DO like a good deal of whats out now. Now if we can get the conglomerates to quit programming the big hits every 45 minutes or so, we’ll have it made…