March 11, 2007

Statistics On The Recent Wikipedia Blog Posts

I ran some analysis to see how many additional hits (past the core blog audience) I'd gotten from all the wasted time, I mean, citizen-netfinity, spent recently on writing about Wikipedia.

The most-read item was the post What The New Yorker Article Fraud Tells Us About Wikipedia, which received a grand accumulated total of 1,541 unique IP's (excluding known crawler-bots). Nothing else broke 1,000.

Of those hits, no referers = 281 (i.e. can't tell source, could be unknown spiders), and internal referers = 162.

For the purposes of seeing what sends traffic, let me toss those out, leaving a base of 1541 - 281 - 162 = 1098. The top referers were: 344 - 31% (that was surprising, making good screen placement) 176 - 16% (from a mention in somebody's comment)
[note - top *two* are nearly half!] 133 - 12% 96 - 9%
Google searches 94 - 9%
[note - about a quarter!]

So, a handful of sites are approximately 75% percent of the referals. Not news, but another proof of the silliness of "Long Tail" fable.

I know a few people enjoyed it. But for the amount of effort involved, the result is overall just more frustration.

Bonus link, maybe I can get away with this recent specimen:

The Net is a giant zero. It puts everybody zero distance from everybody and everything else. And it supports publishing and broadcasting at costs that round to zero as well.


By Seth Finkelstein | posted in statistics | on March 11, 2007 10:51 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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Do you have a web bug in your RSS feed to catch people who read you through aggregators?

Posted by: ruidh at March 12, 2007 01:42 PM

No. But I have aggregator subscriber numbers from the logs, and cross-correlate with click-throughs and similar, so I have a good idea of those numbers.
It sounds better than it is :-(.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at March 12, 2007 02:17 PM

You know, Seth, I may live to regret this, but in short, I've about had it with the constant griping about no "traffic" and being "unheard" while your "traffic" is in the thousand hits for a single item (it takes me months to years to achieve the same feat, depending on the item) and you have a - what's it called - oh, article in the Guardian.

(As you like to say, you said it, not me: "1,541 unique IP's".)

I'm sure we could engage in some thrilling comment/email pong about the issues about "sharing", "thought leadership", and "insanity", but I'll beg off. Best of luck in your future endeavors. (A nice way of saying "I know that I read this by choice.")


Refer to my unread article titled "Beliefs About Reality" (August 21, 2006) for all I have to say on this subject. Or don't. Goodnight.

Posted by: Ethan at March 12, 2007 09:54 PM


1) Note that was the *best* performance, of a whole batch, and that's in part because it got a good position on a gatekeeping website.

2) A blog, by itself, will not be heard except in exceptional circumstances. A press column can be one circumstance, but, just factually, once every three weeks isn't driving huge amounts of hits to me.

3) There's a problem when analyzing a system of vast inequality - should the people not at the absolute top or absolute bottom, sympathize more with the top or with the bottom? That is, should one say "This system is so lopsided" or "I won't ever criticize the system because I could be worse off"? (note you've made the inverse form of this last) These are pretty deep questions. Many liberals are not living in utter poverty, but should they then refrain from pointing out inequality? (some people do say that, but do you want to go there?).
I feel like I'm saying "The lottery is such a losing proposition. I've spend $1000 in tickets, and when I add up the prizes, it's $100. Nine-tenths of every dollar spent is a waste, just lining the pockets of the sellers." And someone else then responds "Kwityourbitchin. DON'T ANALYZE IT! Don't say that! I've spent five hundred dollars, and only won ten dollars in prizes. So I don't want to hear about probability and expected values and statistics and how the lottery works so poorly, because - you said it - you have a $100 in prizes".
See the problem?

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at March 12, 2007 11:23 PM

This commentary on The Long Tail might interest you....

Posted by: Seth Gordon at March 13, 2007 12:10 PM

Thanks for the link to the commentary on the "Long Tail." Does anything good come out of Wired Magazine?

Its interesting this commentator has had his book published by the small press Between the Lines of Toronto, which I believe also publishes Noam Chomsky, among other "dissidents".

The author here also makes the point that his book is ranked something like 800,000th in sales on Amazon, but Andersons' book is number 15,000. The irony.

Posted by: anon at March 13, 2007 04:56 PM

Seth Gordon: Thanks, that's very interesting.

anon: Well, I'm sure someone makes money from Wired Magazine, don't know if you'd consider that "anything good" :-(.

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at March 13, 2007 10:29 PM

Posts about how the long tail is a sham are fine, but posts about how you personally don't get traffic just sound like bitching. The "blogging hurts me but I do it anyway" stuff is even worse. IMO, making things personal detracts from the points you are trying to make.

Posted by: Wes Felter at March 14, 2007 04:55 PM

Wes: "The Person Is Political". Isn't there something odd where it's fine to talk about how the long tail is a sham, but it's wrong to connect that general theory to my own experience? Haven't you basically created a taboo against talking about how blogging doesn't work in a personal context?

Posted by: Seth Finkelstein at March 14, 2007 09:37 PM