Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

The Piss-ant blogosphere

Jessica just posted an alarming comment:

What happened to you? You used to be the voice of reason and now you sound like the rest of the web 2.0 crowd.

Squash has clearly spent too long repeatedly clicking on his WordPress blog stats. But wait – we think there’s some good can actually come of this. You’ll just have to excuse us, while we go out and run into a brick wall again.

PHWACK!

OK, that’s better. Now, you may or may not have noticed that Squash is still tracking pretty highly on the WordPress rankings. “Wow, you must be pulling in some mega, massive numbers there, Squashy-boy”, you might be saying. Well, actually, no. In fact, Squash got to #3 based on just 2000 page views over the last 24 hours.
Have a look at this post from AtariBoy. He got to #1 and beat Scoble with about 20,000 page views. A link from Boing Boing, the single biggest blog in the world, only generated a couple of thousand hits.

That’s absolutely piss-ant. Maybe, I’d be impressed if one of my Aussie journo mates boasted to me that their websites were tracking at those levels. You can think about trying to build a website business in Australia with those stats.

But we’re talking GLOBAL bigshots. I would have expected the top WordPress.com blogs, and blogs of the stature of Scoble to be tracking in the hundreds of thousands, not low tens of thousands. The #3 blog before me was a four-post fan site on a rapper I’ve never heard of called Daddy Yankee.

It makes the recent discussions about how certain high-profile bloggers can make or break Web 2.0 start-ups look pretty ridiculous. I’d suggest if you’re a start-up expecting that a bit of blog publicity is going to get you kickstarted then you need to have another look at your business plan. Most trackbacks that Squash gets generate half a dozen or so page views.

Blogging is fun. Blogging is cool in many ways. But at least right now, we should all keep in perspective that blogs are a mere pimple on the greasy back of the Internet. Cheers for the wake-up call Jessica.

Filed under: Blogs

18 Responses

  1. jessica says:

    I thought we had lost you.

  2. Crikey Phil, you may not be drinking the red cordial but you’ve learned quickly about how to construct linkbait. Not to mention flamebait.

  3. Shii says:

    This post reminds me of Seth Finkelstein. He’s constantly blogging about how he wants to be on the “A-list” and has developed a fairly comprehensive theory of blog gatekeeping.

    http://sethf.com/infothought/blog/

  4. Actually, the full theory of gatekeeping is NOT a simple matter of: rank == traffic == success. It’s indeed more complex, and I’ve written about that. However, I stress the simplest, the baby-basics, the most elementary insight, because it’s a struggle even to get that past all the noise about how production is the same as audience, there’s no gatekeepers, the little guy now has the power to bring down Dan Rather, yadda yadda yadda.

    I feel like I have to metaphorically scream WE’RE NOT ALL EQUAL! SOME HAVE A HUGE AUDIENCE, SOME HAVE ALMOST NONE, *AND* *THAT* *M*A*T*T*E*R*S*!!!.

    Of course, people then come back to me pummeling a strawman, that audience is the only thing that matters for success – which I didn’t say (not claiming that’s happening in the above post, but it’s a frequent problem). I’m trying to convey that the orders of magnitude differences in audience is the shortest, clearest, example of the way there’s gatekeepers.

    Shii – It’s not that I want to be on the A-list _per se_, but more that I want to have my ideas heard (very close, but not exactly the same), and if attacked, I desperately want to be able to respond to a comparable reach (and it’s extremely frustrating not to be able to respond effectively, given the noise above). These issues helped destroy much of my anti-censorware research.

  5. Alejandro says:

    Sorry that this has nothing to do with what I’m going to say, but there is a link in the Dashboard to Squash about M$ fud? (http://squash.wordpress.com/2006/02/12/microsoft-fud-is-sad/) but there is no such post? so it’s private? it was deleted? :-\

  6. Phil Sim says:

    No, it’s still there. WordPress has been having problems today. They seem to be up and down.

  7. It’s not how many people read your blog, it’s all about *who* reads your blog.

    WRT to business, I don’t think there is a VC who isn’t watching blogs for deal flow at the moment.

  8. Man, great blog and amazing posts. Interesting how 2000 makes you come in 3rd. Atariboy got 28000 as his highest one day when he was linked from Digg.

    Nik, that’s a great point. Unfortunately in today’s competitive web, HITS do matter more than that “who” question.

    Alejandro, that post was deleted, I reckon and you can imagine the amount of hits it must have got to still be there.

  9. Haarball says:

    “Unfortunately in today’s competitive web, HITS do matter more than that “who” question.”

    Um, no? It depends entirely on what the authors of a certain site want in regards to the site’s content , and at which demography it’s aimed.

    Not everyone seek out to be “competitive”.

    And people, WordPress isn’t the center of the blogsphere. Everytime the subject of hits come up in regards to wordpress-powered blogs, commenters are notoriously disgregarding the masses of independent blogs and generally blogs outside of the WordPress-circle. I’d be stoked if I got 2000 hits on my blog ina day, but if I’d be the third most read WordPress blog that day it’d tell me that WordPress is only a small corner of the blogosphere.

  10. [...] Alejandro asked in a comment today whether yesterday’s Microsoft FUD is SAD post had been deleted? I checked and it appeared to be there. Then Crono Cr@cker commented to say that it definitely had been deleted. [...]

  11. WordPress is larger only because the vast majority of installs are self-installed and self-hosted. If my blog was on wordpress.com I would be in #2-3. There are some very very big WordPress blogs that are self-hosted.

  12. Phil says “blogs are a mere pimple on the greasy back of the Internet”.

    I totally disagree Phil. It isn’t about large numbers reading any individual blog. Power-Law Distribution might be interesting for large media companies or people wanting to make money from blogging (or podcasting), but it means squat to someone who wants to read something interesting. I don’t care if the blogs I’m reading have 5 readers or 5 million. As long as I like the writing, that’s enough. Same goes for podcasting.

    What matters… is that large numbers of people are starting to read blogs *in aggregate*.

    What matters… is that people now have a way to communicate their ideas quickly and directly to a global audience.

    What matters… is that you don’t need $100 million to have a voice.

    What matters… is that there is more diversity in media today than there was five years ago.

  13. btw, on Feb 13 alone, Boing Boing had ~350,000 unique visitors. Their stats are viewable on their site if you’re intereted.

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