f/k/a . . . the archives

February 17, 2005

dandelion ghosts

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 2:32 pm



no wind today —
the cottonwoods
speak in chickadee



 

 






long winter–

prayer bundles sway

in the cedars

 

 

 

 


breezy afternoon–
dandelion ghosts
float past the daisies

 

 

“snowflakeSN”  Billie Wilson from The Heron’s Nest – a haikai journal

no wind today” (special mention, Valentine’s Issues, Feb. 2005)


 

 



by dagosan:  






travel plans

penciled in –

winter’s asterisk *

 



  I just learned today that Sen. Barack Obama was among the 18 Democrats voting 

for the Class Action Reform Act last week.  All 26 opposing senators were Democrats.

Obama appears to have adopted the popular (with me too) anti-coupon position, but

maybe also the Madison County-bashing. According to the Kansas City Star (Feb. 10, 2005):


Barack Obama, D-Ill., said in a statement afterward that he had voted for the

bill even though he is “a strong believer” in class-action lawsuits.”When multimillion-

dollar settlements are handed down and all the victims get are coupons for a free

product, justice is not being served,” he said. “And when cases are tried in counties

only because it’s known that those judges will award big payoffs, you get quick

settlements without ever finding out who’s right and who’s wrong.”

Of course, f/k/a is still waiting for a fuller explanation of Obama’s Tort Reform position.

tiny check I can’t understand why it would be shocking to learn that some companies are firing

employees for things they have posted at their weblogs concerning the company.  (See CNN/Money

 article)  Would we be shocked that an employee was canned for putting nasty remarks about a

supervisor, or proprietary information, on a roadside billboard?  If the electronic communication

device in question were a telephone, wouldn’t you want to know the facts before getting huffy? 

People get so myopic when they think their ox is being gored.

 

graph up gray A year ago this week, we talked about misleading “hit” counts on weblogs (see herehere).

I finally got a Site Meter two weeks ago and have compared the Daily Hits numbers from my 

Harvard weblog server over a 24-hour period with the Site Meter results.  On one

representative day, I found that Site Meter Page Hits were 5.9% of the Harvard Hits, and 

on another they were 4.7% of the Harvard Hits.  

 

tiny check   Where do they get these slogans?  New York City wants to trademark a new    

tourism slogan “The World’s Second Home” — which is only going to remind folks of

the line about it being a nice place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.    In general, I

think telling people your self-proclaimed status is not very effective.  If they want the home

theme, why not “New York City — Make Yourself at Home” or “We’ll Make You Feel at

Home”?  On the other hand, who travels to feel at home?

 

tiny check All kidding aside, for a moment, Steve Bainbridge has some very good questions  fedupski

for his fellow conservatives on private Social Security accounts.  Check his TrackBacks and

decide whether their answers are persuasive.

 

“tinyredcheck”  Speaking of weblog persuasion, Lisa Stone at Legal Blog Watch quotes a couple

Law.com luminaries who seem riled by the MSM-weblog-what’s-journalism? debate.   Prof. Eugune

Volokh thinks the analogy of webloggers to lynch mobs is very weak.  And J. Craig Williams wonders 

After all, if you have a legal question, who would you rather hearthe answer from? A newspaper

reporter who asked a lawyer? Or from a lawyer who’s also a highly respected law professor?”  While

I agree that some weblogs are journalism (but many don’t even try to be), I also believe that:


(1) Webloggers have the ability to create giant “opinion bubbles” that are based on weak or

misunderstood facts, yet have persuasive or coercive force that is totally unconnected to reason,

logic, virtue, or facts.   The “lynch mob” effect is fueled very often by such anger and vile — and

ideologically-based agendas – that the target can be easily overwhelmed and left without allies.

(e.g., the Durango Cookie Case, where the girls were flooded with gifts and tv invitations and

Mrs.Young ended up flooded with hate mail and phone calls, and death threats, before she had

any chance to get her facts out.)

 

(2) I know of no source more likely to give a skewed response on an issue than a law professor

who’s already stated an opinion publically on the issue in question.   There are some legal

journalistswho do a darn good job at figuring out the law without asking a lawyer or a law

professor.

 

(3) Too many folks with weblogs have a hard time understanding that their opinion is not

necessarily truth and comes filtered through their own ideological and experiential perspectives.

 

I know this last blurb violates yesterday’s pledge to keep things short, but Lisa made me do it.  noYabutsS

6 Comments

  1. The most accurate counter I’ve seen is Statcounter  www.statcounter.com). It counts IP addresses that comes to your site, and most importantly, it doesn’t double-count. E.g., If I visit your site 5 times today, most likely you will have five “unique visits.” Hell, I’m not that unique! Sometimes, if I am in a comment war with someone, I will visit a blog 4 or 5 times a day. I suspect others check in frequently to their favorite sites, thus inflating readership numbers.

    Statcounter eliminates that problem.

    It also gives the relevant data of returning visitor. Due to my high page rank, about 50% of my hits are from Google. That doesn’t mean much to me, as I want people to read me, not just arrive to my site because there was an intersection between their search term and my blog.

    Thus, I track two things: Unique visitors (as measured by unique IP addresses over a 24-hour period), and return visitors.

    Based on the stats I’ve seen at dozens of blogs, I suspect that few (2%)blogs have over 100 people reading them. Likely, few people have 50 daily (return) visitors. Sobering, ‘eh?

    Of course, what I am telling you is the dirty underbelly of legal blogging — No one likes to admit that very few people actually read legal blogs.

    Comment by Mike — February 17, 2005 @ 8:37 pm

  2. The most accurate counter I’ve seen is Statcounter  www.statcounter.com). It counts IP addresses that comes to your site, and most importantly, it doesn’t double-count. E.g., If I visit your site 5 times today, most likely you will have five “unique visits.” Hell, I’m not that unique! Sometimes, if I am in a comment war with someone, I will visit a blog 4 or 5 times a day. I suspect others check in frequently to their favorite sites, thus inflating readership numbers.

    Statcounter eliminates that problem.

    It also gives the relevant data of returning visitor. Due to my high page rank, about 50% of my hits are from Google. That doesn’t mean much to me, as I want people to read me, not just arrive to my site because there was an intersection between their search term and my blog.

    Thus, I track two things: Unique visitors (as measured by unique IP addresses over a 24-hour period), and return visitors.

    Based on the stats I’ve seen at dozens of blogs, I suspect that few (2%)blogs have over 100 people reading them. Likely, few people have 50 daily (return) visitors. Sobering, ‘eh?

    Of course, what I am telling you is the dirty underbelly of legal blogging — No one likes to admit that very few people actually read legal blogs.

    Comment by Mike — February 17, 2005 @ 8:37 pm

  3. This is interesting, Fedster.  Thanks for taking the time to share.  Since I can always use a shot of humility, I shall give StatCounter a try.  Like you, I also go back several times I day to a site where I expect replies to comments or there is an interesting debate taking place.  StatCounter’s ability to filter out repeaters is a great feature in a free utility.  [The repeat notion reminds me of Saratoga Racetrack, which counts each of the times -- for some, it's 40 or 50 or more -- that some folks pay for general admission entry on souvenir hat, bobble-head, or t-shirt days, when giving its headcount stats for the season.]
    As always happens to the boy who points out the emperor’s scanty wardrobe, I’ve been scorned by the poohbahs of the blawgiverse for suggesting that the numbers are so small.  Your 2% number is probably high in the universe of all weblogs (even active ones), but might be about right for lawyer weblogs.  The low numbers of actual human beings reading weblawgs also solves the riddle of there being so few Commentors, among a famously opinionated group.  The percent of commentors to actual visitors might actually be rather high.  Of course, when you figure how long it takes to write some of the lengthy comments, you start wondering what the median time spent at the weblog might be.  Lots of really fast readers.  More humility seems warranted.

    Comment by David Giacalone — February 17, 2005 @ 9:16 pm

  4. This is interesting, Fedster.  Thanks for taking the time to share.  Since I can always use a shot of humility, I shall give StatCounter a try.  Like you, I also go back several times I day to a site where I expect replies to comments or there is an interesting debate taking place.  StatCounter’s ability to filter out repeaters is a great feature in a free utility.  [The repeat notion reminds me of Saratoga Racetrack, which counts each of the times -- for some, it's 40 or 50 or more -- that some folks pay for general admission entry on souvenir hat, bobble-head, or t-shirt days, when giving its headcount stats for the season.]
    As always happens to the boy who points out the emperor’s scanty wardrobe, I’ve been scorned by the poohbahs of the blawgiverse for suggesting that the numbers are so small.  Your 2% number is probably high in the universe of all weblogs (even active ones), but might be about right for lawyer weblogs.  The low numbers of actual human beings reading weblawgs also solves the riddle of there being so few Commentors, among a famously opinionated group.  The percent of commentors to actual visitors might actually be rather high.  Of course, when you figure how long it takes to write some of the lengthy comments, you start wondering what the median time spent at the weblog might be.  Lots of really fast readers.  More humility seems warranted.

    Comment by David Giacalone — February 17, 2005 @ 9:16 pm

  5. Weblogging
    Webloggers
    It is so refreshing!

    Comment by Martin — February 17, 2005 @ 11:42 pm

  6. Weblogging
    Webloggers
    It is so refreshing!

    Comment by Martin — February 17, 2005 @ 11:42 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress