Sunday, November 28, 2010

Numbers.... Black is White and Mine is Bigger than Yours

This seems the sort of silly yes-it-is-no-it-isn't argument which belongs on my metal detecting nonsense ghetto blog.

I like to keep an eye on who is reading what on my main blog and have noted that over the past few months it seems to have generated an expanding readership, which I find interesting and encouraging to compare with the blogs that give out the damaging propaganda for no-questions-asked collecting of dug up antiquities.

Peter Tompa started his blog before me, and not long ago was boasting he'd had 50 000 hits, which prompted me to look at my own counter and was interested to note that a few days after that, the number of hits to my own rants, comments and observations passed 150 000. Not long ago it passed 200 000 while Tompa's has still not reached 70 000. So the word is getting around, despite my own blog being a rather niche interest thing.

Dorothy King (Blogs and Cultural Property Propaganda ) disputes these figures:
What's that quote ...? "Lies, damned lies, and statistics" Just out of curiosity I looked at Paul Barford's blog figures, since he made such a point of gloating over his blog being more read than those of "coiney" types, and promoted Gill's table as proof to support his theory. Gill gives him 75 to 80 readers, Google Reader 1.
Aha, one reader? So on the days recently when there have been as many as 700 people looking at the blog, Ms King would have us believe that it is the same person, and the ninety or so "returning visitors" a day shown by the tracking software is the same bloke running for some reason from one computer to the next on at least two separate continents? Day after day.

King gloats that a blog she calls "Barford's nemesis, the butt of so many of his posts, Peter Tompa's Cultural Property Observer" has 58 subscribers.
Tompa has 58 times the subscribers of Barford, which does not tally with Gill's table ...
that is assuming that the PACHI blog does indeed have one subscriber. She notes Candice Jarman's recent efforts to contribute to the discussion:
I think starting a blog devoted to Paul Barford was wrong, but ... it has four times the subscribers of Barford's main blog [...]. And I admit that I do find that rather amusing.
So do I, since the actual identity of the author's followers on the home page is shown as six. Ms King claims about herself: "I can be a bit OCD - my footnotes are always accurate, and I like to be thorough with my research. So, I thought I'd check. And the results were surprising". Indeed, a bit of checking would be in order before she calls somebody a liar, because of course this lays one open to having claims like this checked too.

I do not know what figures Dorothy King is using for the readership of my PACHI blog, she says they are from Google Reader. When I looked just now, instead of "1" it says on my screen quite clearly "Liczba subskrybentów: 78". (Number of Subscribers 78). [But in fact what I was talking about was not subscribers but the number of people that have found or revisited my blog and looked at some of what I'd written.] I suspect that, in her efforts to come to the rescue of the honour of writers like Peter Tompa, the poor lady has in her haste mistaken the PACHI blog with this one (which last time I looked did indeed have - for reasons which are unfathomable since it deals exclusively with nonsense like this - one subscriber). *

But this cannot be the whole explanation. Something else is clearly going on here. She says:
Gill's (sic) Blogging Pompeii has well over a hundred subscribers. According to Google Reader it has 22.
On my screen, "Blogging Pompeii" has Liczba subskrybentów: 117 so more or less what Gill stated and not the reduced number PhDiva gives.

Looting matters, Ms King suggests has 68 while on my screen it says: Liczba subskrybentów: 290 so again the number Gill gives rather than the 'revised' figures Ms King would prefer her readers to believe.

So from where does Ms King get the 'revised' figures on the basis of which she makes her claims that the Swansea academic's comments (and my own) on online readership on cultural property matters are false? All very odd.

*UPDATE: For reasons which are even more unfathomable, it seems now to have four. I'll have to be more careful of what I say here now.

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