May 06, 2005

Friday Stat-Blogging

Some numbers for reality-checks:

Around six months ago, I estimated my readership at around 350. Now, many, many pages and even one blog defending freedom of expression award nomination later, I seem to be all the way up to ... a bit more than 500 readers. The breakdown is roughly:

180 Bloglines (all feeds) + 150 aggregators + 100 website + 80 Feedster =~ 510 readers

There's also a few general mirror feeds, I'm not sure how to count them (it's not clear how much the general mirrors are actually read).

I know that number is more than the vast majority of bloggers. I know. But sadly, it still doesn't put me anywhere in much of position to have an effect. It's a lot of work, to move up the exponential curve.

Thursday was a big hit day for my Al Gore page, due to the overall publicity on the topic from his Webby Lifetime Achievement Award. Around 750 hits then. Interestingly, that was still much less than one popular Slashdot comment. I get notable flack for making references to Slashdot, but those are the numbers.

My CNN blog spam theory post post eventually attracted an A-list link in an update, and that generated around 200 hits. I should make clear, for people thinking sour-grapes, that it's not utterly impossible for me to get an A-list mention. But pitching editors to accept my unsolicited submission is not my idea of a good time. Always, Gatekeepers.

Oh, I hear there's another blog conference going on now. Where people who have media positions or related service jobs, will talk among themselves as to how great it is that so many unpaid freelancers will now displace paid employees. And that there's a sucker born every minute who can be data-mined or used as a volunteer stringer. Or something like that.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in statistics | on May 06, 2005 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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Might want to look at some other blog numbers (blogline feeds):
MotherJones - 89
Common Dreams - 104
Seattle Times, Politics - 9
Democracy Now - 2
CommonsBlog - 168
NYT Education - 279
EducationNews - 7

And there are many library, teched, and other specialized blogs with less than a couple of hundred blogline feeds. Maybe for a specialized area, your numbers are good.

Posted by: robert at May 7, 2005 03:25 PM

I have looked at some other Bloglines blog numbers, e.g.:

Lessig blog - 6072 subscribers
Freedom-To-Tinker blog - seems to be around 750 total

The ones you list are very much a non-tech audience, so of course they aren't big Bloglines users.

I'm doing better than most, in relative terms - but I'm far, far, from the level where I can have much effect, in absolute terms.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at May 7, 2005 10:49 PM

But, most of those sites are fairly established in their areas of expertise, and somewhat influential, or at least often pointed to by others.

Posted by: robert at May 11, 2005 01:13 AM

"Democracy Now" has more than a handful of audience. If it only has 2 Bloglines subscribers, then that says something about the demographics of its users, not how many there are. Similarly, I imagine way more than a few hundred people read the NYT Education overall.

Actually, I think you used the wrong feed for Democracy Now, this one has 203:

Though the point still holds.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at May 11, 2005 12:19 PM

I think your influence may not be correlated to your number of subscribers. NYT Ed, as an example, can be email, paper, or rss and its influence is from reputation as well as number or readers. It would be hard to know which medium is mainly responsible for bringing a topic up for discussion. (Blogger could read the paper, rss could be forwarded as email, newscast could discuss editorial or what is being blogged about it.

Also, its audience consists of general readers who may only be looking at one issue from the range of topics and may be silent consumers as well as readers with professional interests.

I have read your work, looking through lens of educational tech as well as interest in political issues. I think your influence is larger than you give yourself credit for. But it must be frustrating knowing that the ideas should be better known and discussed. Thanks

Posted by: robert at May 12, 2005 01:58 AM

Thank you for the kind sentiments.

Let's put it this way - my influence is about 1/1000th (one-*onethousandth*) of what it would be if I could more easily get past various gatekeepers. It is indeed very frustrating.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at May 12, 2005 01:20 PM