September 26, 2004


I should have noted my second blogiversary earlier. Sadly, though, there wasn't much to note. I'm up to a readership of, I estimate ... 300/per day.

Not 6500/day. Not 2000/day.


Whoopie. My reader-fortune is made.

Whatever connections or credentials or appeal or luck are needed to have high readership, I apparently lack them. Yes, bloggers are starving in Africa (or enslaved in Sudan). That's not a reason for me to keep banging my head against the wall.

I've slowed down on blogging before. But e.g. an A-lister spike, or some other reasons, were marginally encouraging.

However, the Greplaw attack was another, major, turning point for me in terms of being driven out of net freedom fighting. And I'm obviously not too successful at "citizen journalism".

Some people compare writing to doing exercise. They're moving their fingers on the keyboard, like taking a walk is moving one's legs just for the sake of moving one's legs. That's fine, if you want to do it. Whatever makes you happy. At the same time, I wish there would be more respect for an opposing belief that the destination matters, not the journey. The outcome, not the process. Sometimes, it's not the thought which counts (but the effect, or absence thereof).

Fair notice: Some future upcoming postings (possibly Banned Books Week related, maybe a Greplaw follow-up) are likely to be gloomy.

[Update: For those interested, the 300 breaks down into roughly 100 for Bloglines, 100 from the website feed, and 100 directly from the page. Now, there's some variation, and these numbers might be off by a factor of 2 - but they aren't off by a factor of 10].

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in activism | on September 26, 2004 11:54 PM (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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Here's a less gloomy view from an A-lister

I think bloggers with 100 daily visitors are the essence of the blogosphere -- and those guys, collectively, reach a lot more than Daily Kos does. While 100 daily visitors may seem shrimpy, it's pretty darn impressive to build an audience that size. When I hit that milestone, I remember thinking, "Damn, I couldn't even fit that many people in my house!" Now it's seen as a sign of failure, and that's just bullshit.

Cheer up,

Posted by: Fred at September 27, 2004 07:14 AM

I wonder how RSS services like Bloglines skew readership numbers. I read Infothought almost always via the full text articles available in the RSS feed, so the number of times I actually hit the website is very small.

According to Bloglines, you have 100 subscribers via their service. That may give you 400 per day total...

Posted by: hudson at September 27, 2004 08:47 AM

Fred, thanks, but unfortunately, I find little comfort in those sentiments. It's just being told the little people are the backbone of the country. Well, there's a way in which that's a laudable speech, but there's also a way in which it misses the point. It's basically an injunction to be happy with your station in life no matter how humble. But this connects back to my point about destination vs. journey. If I value the destination, NOT the journey, then I'm not keen to hear "Wherever you go, there you are".

Hudson: Bloglines very usefully gives exact numbers of subscribers via a server log message. I took that into account, see update. While I may find a few extra dozen here or there, I'm not going to find a thousand readers hiding under a rock somewhere.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at September 27, 2004 10:58 AM

Reading through your site leaves me feeling depressed that I know no-one with the clout needed to support your work. It is an indictment of the way this world works when someone like you feels unable to do useful work (like your censorware work).

Posted by: Simon Farnsworth at September 27, 2004 12:50 PM

Would you rather not have 300 readers? (ie. Would you rather not bother with this at all if you aren't getting Freedom-to-tinker traffic?)

Posted by: Firas at September 27, 2004 01:14 PM


Posted by: Osaka at September 27, 2004 08:04 PM

Simon: Thank you for the sentiment at least.

Firas: That's exactly the point. It's always been marginal in terms of the return for effort invested, and, without being melodramatic about it, it's become even less worth it after the last negative turn of events (i.e. Greplaw).

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at September 27, 2004 11:34 PM

You're up to 101 on Bloglines. Party on, Seth!

More seriously, I'm glad to hear that Bloglines does report the number of subscribers in your log file and that you're able to include it in your subscriber count. I've wondered if users of online RSS aggregators hurt blogad revenue numbers since none of the ads are ever loaded.

Posted by: hudson at September 29, 2004 10:30 PM

Hmmmm. I have like 10-11 readers and I think that's pretty impressive. Actually its even more impressive when I get a comment. Any real back and forth with readers would be worthwhile for me.

Posted by: Derek at October 2, 2004 01:53 AM

Hudson: 102 now! At this rate, I'll be on the A-list ... in several years.

Derek: It's good that it's working for you, for what you want to do. But that doesn't mean it's working for me, for what I want to do.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at October 3, 2004 01:27 PM