Friday, April 13, 2007

Spam and bloggers' self-esteem

Recently I was reading a blog about a rather interesting topic. In one post, the blogger expressed great pleasure that, although only 6 months old, the blog was attracting 20,000+ hits a month! Judging from this sites page ranking, topic, and number of comments, I found it very difficult to believe such a big number. Likewise the documentary One Punk, Under God informed viewers that some crazy number of people regularly go to the Revolution website/ podcasts.

This reminds me of statistics about the Super Bowl. Growing up, I took as fact claims that a billion+ people watched the Super Bowl. Heck, I did, why wouldn't everyone else? It turns out that the billion number is how many people the Super Bowl is broadcast to... regardless of whether they watch it. In actually, the number of viewers is a much more modest 100 million or so. Still, the big viewing number made us feel good about being American and playing football.

Likewise, bloggers and other web-people are willing to believe absurd numbers for their sites. Even if it is spammers running up our hit counters, a lot of hits are just people looking for something else.

We'd all like to believe that we secretly influence tens of thousands of people, and we seem to believe whatever indications that suggest that we do--regardless of how far-fetched.

So, here's to spam... making us feel good.


kent said...

Being of Swedish descent and good Evangelical I have been trained to believe less is more. I assume that I have 4 people who visit my blog. But that could be high, you don't want too get carried away.

Brad Wright said...

Very funny... I think the less is more idea serves a wide variety of uses, including here