Yeah, something I mentioned in passing the other day, about inflated site or hit numbers. You all know this already, though. Right?
It was in the context of linking to someone in the Hikosaemon crowd. The video, according to YouTube, had something like close to 10,000 hits, and I just cautioned that you don’t know if the number is credible. You have to be careful with the Japan-side bloggers, because, quite often, they are blogging to a small crowd. But some want you to think that more are watching or reading. I am not saying that that was the case with that video, but my general rule is to doubt big numbers.
This is one reason that I am becoming a bigger fan of Klout–although, yes, I know, Klout has its drawbacks. For one, it’s highly doubtful that they are catching your reading or visiting here, on WordPress. But they seem to be pretty good at tracking Twitter activity. Twitter and Facebook. Most social media metric services are in their infancy, but that doesn’t mean they have nothing to offer.
How bloggers used to try and “up” their authority was to open their Sitemeter tracker. I always kept mine closed, because if you visit me, that is your business and mine, but not really anyone else. But other bloggers liked to have it open, to show anyone clicking on the icon, that they were being read by dozens upon dozens every minute. This was through the use of either a bot, or some paid service in the Third World, where the people sit around all day and click sites.
It didn’t take more than a few weeks for the blogging community to realize that there was hokey-pokey going on. But inflating stats kept going on, and many people were mislead by the tricks. Barry Ritholtz had a good piece about this years ago, and I remember it in the context of Daily Kos—who was a known numbers faker among the internet savvy, but not the cable and news media.
Even today, some bill his site as the premier online get-together for Democratic activists. But if you visit Quantcast, you find he’s only got about 11,000 “addicts” (people who visit the site at least 30 times a month). It’s basically a few hundred people in the big states who park themselves on Kos all day. One percent of “addicts” make up 30% of the visits to Kos (U.S. figures). Another 35%, so-called “regulars”, are about 50% of visits. These are people who visit more than once in a month, but less than 30 times. The average regular visits the site maybe 4 or 5 times a month.
In contrast, Jane Hamsher’s FireDogLake has about 16% of the people making 77% of the visits. Those 16% are 50,000 people. Fifty-thousand “addicts”. Plus another 52% bringing in 20% of the visits, as “regulars”.
Clearly, Jane Hamsher’s site is vastly more of an online community than Kos. But it takes Quantcast to make that clear. Klout hasn’t caught up to that yet. Jane has a lower Klout than me, but 1,000 influences–although the FireDogLake twitter feed is a lot higher.
Jane Hamsher is a big name when it comes to the progressive blogosphere. Even Kos, yeah, Kos. And they have cable media to help them out.
So when I read Japan-side stuff, and I see these Hamsher-Markos type numbers on things, I am just rubbing my chin. Hmmmm. Is this number real?
So much of what involves foreigners in Japan, and the internet, is manipulated. If you do enough reading–and I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know–the first question has to be: is this Japan-side foreigner manipulating me? If so, how?
Now, is everybody doing it? No. Does it go on a lot? Yes. Does it just involve stats? Come on. Stats on the net is like number ten or eleven. Most times, it’s: “here’s my pitch for you to believe!” And it’s either selling you something or telling you something. With you coming out worse off for taking the advice or listening.
When I get come to by the various gaijin people living in Japan, it’s because I am not interested in using the internet to play all the various games. I am Little Ol’ Me. I am still amazed when certain people get all worked up about Little Ol’ Me. I wonder about them, because I am just Little Ol’ Me.