On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Navel Gazing

There have been a lot of posts recently about the decision of certain blogs to wipe their blog rolls and start over. This is a decision by the individual blog owner, but it does affect the de-listed blogs also.

Technorati uses links to rank people. That is exactly how they derive their rating system, and Google uses a similar system to rate pages, so the loss of links does alter the “prestige” of a blog.

People look at the Sitemeter counter and announce various milestones being reached, but they aren’t all aware that blogs generally have more readers that Sitemeter counts, because a lot of people subscribe to a blog’s “feed”, and don’t actually visit the site itself. If you have your own site you can look at the site’s statistics to give you an idea of how many visitors you have. It will be more accurate, but it’s a pain. If your blog is on one of the blog hosts, like Blogger, those stats are not available.

John McKay of archy, and others, set Google traps, phrases that are included to trap the unwary searcher into visiting. Such traps are normally included in this type of sentence: You will never see me posting pictures of [insert name here] on this blog. I personally think they are a hoot, but they can attract trolls.

Of course, no one can forget George of Old Fashioned Patriot and his famous Google bomb, “miserable failure,” which Google has defused, which is a shame.

Chicago Dyke at Corrente noted a ploy to inflate stats involving the HTML meta function, refresh. It would appear that a certain winger has his page automatically refresh every three minutes, as opposed to CNN’s every 30 minutes. That means if you open the site in a tab and leave it, the counter records a new visit 20 times an hour.

It the end you can’t really trust any of these various yardsticks to yield precision answers because the guys who designed the network don’t view the questions as serious. If the Internet had been designed as a commercial system there would be absolute answers, because the necessary counters would be built into the system, not added on as occurs now. I can get a lot of information on the flow on the ‘Net, but, unless an advertisement is on its own page, I can’t tell you how many people saw it unless they click on it. This is the reason for the entry system at Salon and other sites, or the ads on the videos on news sites.

Don’t sweat the small stuff.


1 ellroon { 03.14.07 at 12:03 am }

Darn! You mean all that time I spent training my daughter’s hamsters to eat the seeds I poured on to my keyboard so I’d get blog hits was wasted?

2 Jack K. { 03.14.07 at 10:41 am }

…too much of this debate has seemed to revolve around a certain sense of “It’s all about ME” that I find a tad unseemly. Caring about one’s ranking in Technorati or the Bear’s ecosystem suggests more interest in being read than saying something because you want to get it off your chest. Frankly, I never cared much about that stuff when I was in the process of killing Ruminate This (which was in the top 100 in almost every list when Lisa went on hiatus and I became the sole resident…but I fixed that!) and haven’t cared much since. The free counters I use at GF don’t even tell me where the hits are coming from…

The “blogroll amnesty day” that Kos and Atrios used to start this tiff never really made all that much sense to begin with, because there wasn’t much evidence of any actual need to “clean up” their rolls, but the fired-up reaction by some other folks has seemed a little over the top, too. I found it ironically amusing that some human and marsupial bloggers who either didn’t blogroll me or had dropped me from their rolls were exhorting me to be upset because someone else who DID have me on his blogroll had decided to drop me…

3 Bryan { 03.14.07 at 11:53 am }

As a computer programmer, I understood the significance and could certainly alter my rankings if I felt like it, but that involves playing with user readability issues. It’s very annoying when you’re reading something and the page refreshes automatically.

I use my blogroll as a set of personal bookmarks for blogs, but there are other blogs I check using other people’s blogrolls. They are sort of a service. I whip by the wingers occasionally, but I’m not going to provide them a link because I’m as petty as the next person.

The only reason I have Sitemeter is that it gives me a rough estimate of what the site costs me without having to look at the site stats on my host.