Comments: Slashdot Convect

here's a relevant question: how many of your regular readers is "worth" one slashdot reader? Do you value them the same? Does knowing something about me and what I do mean more to you than 1 anonymous hit? (howabout 5? 500?)

What I'm trying to get at here is the "quality" of the eyes that make up the slashdot crowd... while I click through and read each of your posts, the \.ers are here to quickly evaluate if you know what you're talking about re Gore/Internet.

I would argue that your regular readership is "worth" more than these \.ers that have a very narrow focus/goal in visiting your page. As such, you should weight them accordingly... it seems like 5 of the slashdotters should be "worth" one regular reader (I made that up, seems reasonable). So, in fact you have to divide that 3000 number by 5 ... which is 600.

That means that the "quality" of the eyes you get from \. are only marginally better than your regular readership (and becomes equal if 10 \.ers are worth your regular readers).

Feel read yet?

Posted by joe at December 6, 2004 12:12 PM

Slashdot's Alexa rank is near 1500. That puts it well over 8,000,000 page views a day which is a page rank somewhere near 4000 last time I checked. Since I'm also guessing that slashdot has a relatively low percentage of people who use the Alexa tool bar I'd say their page views a day is well over 10,000,000. You stated that your page does about 3000 hits a day. Since you don't have lots of pretty graphics and such I'll grant you 100% page views. You're a few orders of magnitude off it seems.

Posted by Michael Conlen at December 6, 2004 02:22 PM

The point above about Slashdot readers coming here for one article only is a good one, depending on what you look for in your readers; are you hoping for as wide exposure as possible, even if it means people who read on article and never come back? Or are you looking for readers who'll stick around, poke through your archives, subscribe to your feed, etc.?

Also, is that Tom Lehrer line a bit of a dig about your name being cursed in Dnepropetrovsk^H^H^HSlashdot?

Posted by James at December 6, 2004 02:27 PM

Joe, of course all readers are not equivalent - e.g. being published by a professional journal has a much lower readership than Fox News, but obviously in many contexts is "worth" more. BUT ... there's also a sheer magnitude issue. The point here was that these 3,000 hits came from *comments*. Now consider the potential reach of the *front page*, mentioning me personally (for good or ill).

Michael: The numbers I'm using are that I have around 350 *readers*, which is about 1/3 from direct URL of the blog, 1/3 from direct grabbing the feed, 1/3 from Bloglines. For me, blog "page views" would underestimate "readers", since the number of website page views is comparatively small, roughly the same as the feeds. Slashdot has around 250,000? 350,000? readers, somewhere around there, that's known. Their number of raw page views is much higher than the number of readers, since many readers visit it several times a day. Yesterday, my Gore page got a one-time spike of about 3,000 readers (same as roughly page-views here, since there's no graphics on it) from the Slashdot comments. I guesstimate that 3,000 click-throughs meant a readership of the comments very approximately of 30,000, and a front-page readers of 300,000 very roughly, all, compared to my typical blog *350*.

So, Joe, the problem is that while yes indeed there's a quantity vs. quality correction factor, you've made a slight slip in the calculation. My readers may be 10 times more worthy. But there's a factor of *1000* difference. That is, among my 350 readers, say there's maybe 35 (1/10) or so who are notable powerful, influential, etc. Among Slashdot's 250,000, even if the power-factor is 1/100, that yields *2,500* vs *35*. On one side, I just don't reach all that many people, and on the other, I will be crushed like a bug. I know I'm repeating myself, but the mathematics remains impressive to me, every time it's pushed in my face.

James, I didn't have the "cursed" implication in mind, but it works for me :-)

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at December 6, 2004 07:13 PM