Thursday, September 14, 2006

An excuse for my lack of readers.

My Statcounter statistics are pretty poor. Only 16 unique visitors in the past thirty days. And I can't tell how many of them are me, because I clear my cache and cookies frequently, and my dynamic IP changes fairly often. I'm not really disappointed with my low hit-count, because my goal with My Forty Two Cents wasn't to commandeer the blogging world and snatch millions of daily hits. I write mostly because I find something that interests me, and if there is one other person who reads it and finds it interesting, then it was worth my posting.

My low hit-count is most likely a result of my infrequent posting, and possibly uninteresting or poorly presented material. I hope the last two aren't the case, but opinions are opinions, and I do the best I can.

However, I came across a possible mathematical explanation for my low amount of readers (of course, I appreciate those of you out there who do read). It has to do with Power Laws, which shows how there are very few blogs with the majority of readers, and more and more and more blogs with fewer readers.

This is contrary to our first instinct to attribute population distributions (in this case, blogs, and measuring the number of readers) to a Normal Curve, where most blogs have a moderate amount of readers, and very few blogs have many or little readers.

Of course, it made perfect sense. The blogosphere operates mostly through links, and the number of people clicking that link. So until this site is linked to by enough blogs, and those blogs are popular enough that enough people see and click those links, My Forty Two Cents will not have the exposure necessary to rise in popularity. And because more blogs link to popular blogs than blogs like mine, the popular blogs (commonly called "A-List" blogs) become more statistically biased in the power distribution, and all the other blogs in the "tail" remain with low numbers of readers.

This raises interesting questions as to the true "equality" in the blogosphere. Mathematically, there is a natural and inevitable hierarchy that forms between popular and unpopular blogs. Even a spectacularly well written blog (which I know mine isn't--it's sparse and often behind the times) will falter until there are enough links to it.

For me, and according to Technorati, nobody links to my blog. So my 16 unique visitors are all people who've clicked links I've posted places, such as sig lines in forums, or profiles on or AIM. And I really don't want to solicit links to my blog, or spam forums with it. Hit-count isn't important to me. I personally operate my blog as more of a public diary of interests than a media outlet.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm reading Ted!!!