January 17, 2004

Readership Analysis

I finally ran some numbers to analyze the impact of Lawrence Lessig's mention of me last month in his post "Seth blog".

The number work out, for unique IP addresses referers:

Dec 16 - 258
Dec 17 - 130, plus 14 from a mirror
Dec 18 - 84, plus 40 from a mirror
Dec 19 - 64, plus 15 from a mirror
Dec 20 - 14, plus 3 from a mirror
Dec 21 - 29, plus 6 from a mirror
Dec 22 - 74, plus 6 from a mirror
Dec 23 - 33, plus 8 from a mirror
[That bump was probably because there was an influx of people to Lessig's site from the Declan McCullagh post, note a few of the referers are from my posting comments there]
Dec 24 - 18, plus 2 from a mirror
Dec 25 - 11 (nothing from mirror)
Dec 26 - 12
Dec 27 - 31 (people back from Christmas? influx from new postings?)
Dec 28 - 33
Dec 29 - 44
Dec 30 - 23

I was getting hits for two to three weeks afterwards, and it didn't stop until the post fell off the Lessig blog page. The Power Of The A-List!

All in all, I received roughly 1000 hits from that mention. Remember, my total readership is around 100.

In contrast, I only received around 177 hits over the same time from the whole Seth Finkelstein Greplaw Interview. Perhaps that's not the best comparison, but sobering all the same. Note the interview didn't get a story in Slashdot, even though such interviews customarily do, for *cough* *cough* obvious reasons ...

Shifting to that interview, it wasn't exactly a major source of readers. By far, most people were interested in reading about how Libertarianism Makes You Stupid, for 62 readers. Then a few dozen people were intrigued about the old, Fena version EFF (not to be confused with the new, Steele version EFF), that had 33 readers. Bennett Haselton on Michael Sims support from his (Sims) journalism job at Slashdot, 29 readers. But the history of touting censorware, 6 - count 'em, you need just a little more than one hand, six, readers.

Related, It's a very scary thought that so much of the awareness regarding Michael Sims domain-hijacking Censorware Project is owed to Slashdot Trolls (I joke, it's like a classical syllogism - all Slashdot Trolls are critical of Michael Sims, but not all who are critical of Michael Sims are Slashdot Trolls).

All of this didn't seem to get me much in the way of new readers. Perhaps a dozen or so. I did notice that a few more people had added me to their aggregator. But we're talking 5 or 6, not 500 or 600.

I remain a blog-peasant.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in statistics | on January 17, 2004 04:03 AM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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I wonder what everyone's criteria for adding someone to their aggregator is... Mine are quite low... I figure if there's a chance that I'll be eventually interested in something someone has to say, I add them. I can imagine others having higher standards.
As for why I added you... I liked your perspective.

Posted by: joe at January 17, 2004 04:05 PM

On my personal blog I average around 100-120 uniques a day and an equal number of revisits. Today is an exceptional day because I commented on an "A" list post and Steve den Beste was kind enough to mention the comment.

So what?

If I want mass readership I write for mass media - and, hey, they pay - but to develope ideas, jot down research notes and generally meet and interact with interesting people I love my little blog.

Influence, however, is a process. One entry is not going to drive your influence up even if Glenn Reynolds and /. both link and your server melts. Rather it is a body of work which brings readers back. A body, I might add, that you have accumulated.

You write a lot about filtering which forces me to think hard. Not about, "how the heck do I contradict Seth" rather about, "gee, I hadn't thought of that, I wonder if IF2K is doing that, can be modified to deal with that." So there is some influence. Which will grow.

Posted by: Jay Currie at January 20, 2004 10:09 PM

Joe: Thanks

Jay: Kinds words, but objectively, the influence isn't there. This is what I call The One Reader Argument. That is, if in the entire world, you have one reader, that reader will say, "I read your material, so consider it worthwhile". Sadly, this is not sufficient (in my view). And if I don't have a reach beyond the 100 or so readers now, given all the hard and sacrificing work I've done, well, that's a pretty poor reflection on how much I can expect in the future.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at January 21, 2004 09:00 PM