It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Friday, August 15, 2008

Blog traffic

Dot Earth seems like write-only media.

I put a link back to here in a recent comment on Dot Earth which has generated zero hits. On the other hand Deltoid mentioned this blog more or less in passing and I got dozens of referrals. Granted these aren't directly comparable, a self-serving comment being worth less than a link from the blog entry, but I would have thought, based on the huge comment streams, that Dot Earth had a huge readership and there would surely be some back-scatter. Weird.

Update: I note that the Deltoid thread in question turns out to be perhaps the most remarkable blog discussion I have seen. I'm lucky to get a mention in it, just based on my musings here on intellectual honesty. By all means go read it, and especially comments by John Mashey and Jeff Harvey. My impression of Lomborg is certainly influenced as a consequence.

Meanwhile, In It closes in on its 100,000th page served according to Statcounter's metric (see graph above. The figure shows pages served per week.) I am nerdishly holding my breath. Please help me get the suspense over with and recommend this blog to a friend.

CA folk are welcome to overinterpret every bump and wiggle, and/or to question SC's page counting algorithm. It's what I've got, and I'm going with it. Also, please feel free to argue that my traffic has declined since January; I will keep any counterarguments to myself. This will be a good occasion for you to get that sort of thing out of your system.

Download the 100,000th tracked page and win!

If I can track down the requester for the 100,000th page, they will get, hmmm, a free article on the topic of their choice, and, hmmm, a free decent but not spectacularly fancy restaurant dinner with me if we ever find ourselves in the same town. Looks like the winning hit will happen some time this month. Now is a great time to read all the fascinating back articles linked in the "best of" section.


thingsbreak said...

Also, please feel free to argue that my traffic has declined since January

It would take an Associate Professor of Statistics to make an argument like that.

Good luck heading to 100k!

bernie said...

Congratulations on reaching such a magical landmark. A naive question. What actually counts as a page view? If you refesh the page to catch whether a comment has been moderated or not does that count as a page view?

Michael Tobis said...

I knew you would quibble! Hah!

It's a crude measure.

There's a one pixel transparent image that is served up by statcounter every time somebody loads any page containing the right sidebar.

They count those and save the issuing IP address.

You can therefore game the contest by repeatedly asking for the same page. But if you do that on the wrong day I can simply stop counting hits from that IP address.

bernie said...

I am simply curious. We are building a site for my wife's store and I was interested in the metrics. Honest!

AdamW said...

It's sometimes/often possible to read whole entries on Google Reader (eg I read the whole of this one, though by visiting now to post a comment, it's been hit again) without visiting the page. Thus you might want to see if there's any Google Reader metrics you can factor in, as you're probably under-counting.

Obviously commenters complicate this factoring in.


Michael Tobis said...

I have 80 Google Reader subscribers at last count. Perhaps some other RSS aggregators have a similar feature.

There are ways in which Statcounter overcounts as well; there seems to be some sort of a glitch with Google images which inflates the count every time somebody comes up with an image from a page of mine. I had to take one image down because it was getting too many hits and skewing the stats.

No, it's really just a number. A "proxy" as we call it the geophysics business: something we can easily measure that has some sort of correlation with something we are interested in.

Anna Haynes said...

> "I would have thought, based on the huge comment streams, that Dot Earth had a huge readership"


Readership of comments will be proportional to quality of comments. Pollute the comments enough, and the only readers will be the commenters themselves.

coby said...

I hope I am doing my part, your writing is worth reading and I recommend you regularily. My ScienceBlogs traffic has picked up again now that I ported the Sceptic Guide over Hopefully you see some traffic from that.

BTW, I notice I am no longer in your blogroll... an oversight, or something I said....?

Michael Tobis said...


I'm trying to keep the blogroll manageable, so if people don't say much about global change issues for a while I am likely to remove the link. Nice to see you back in action, and thanks for the positive reviews!