Social validation for the silent majority, Sunday edition.

Contravex Webalizer - October 2020
Do you notice anything funny here? Anything smelling a little fishy?

I’ll give you a moment…

OK how about those paltry “visits”? Does anyone seriously believe that the average visitor to Contravex is viewing 65(!) pages each time????i

Obviously not! What actually going on here it that, since the last little DDoS’ing episode in May 2019,ii all incoming traffic has been re-rerouted and filtered, and this confuses the shit out of the metrics counters, Webalizer included (as shown above). Awstats, for example (not shown above, or anywhere for that matter),iii only sees 10 unique visitors per month, which is why I ignore that “tool” even more than I did before the last big attack, which is saying something. So we can pretty much just toss the “visit” count out the window and focus on other things. For example, we can tell from the Webalizer metrics above that the switch to Sunday publishing schedule in May of this year was quite positively received (or is at least correlated with growth in readership since then).iv

All that being said, I’m clearly not a metrics-driven guy! Or to put it another way, the usefulness and value of this blog isn’t directly correlated to the quantity of readers. Unfortunately, given the relative paucity of comments, it’s also difficult to ascertain the exact quality of readers, but I’d like to think that those of you on the other end of this keyboard are the strong, silent, meditative type. That being said, I don’t really have “you” or even much of a picture of “dear reader” in mind these days, even if I refer to such hypothetical figures in text. I used to have “the other” in mind, but it’s been several very enjoyable years now that this blog has served almost exclusively as a public diary and testing grounds with which to interleave and interlink the otherwise loose threads that compose my internal monologue.

Gone are the days of trying to monetise this platform, much less catalyse productive debate (whatever that even means online), or even change anyone’s mind about anything. If you, dear reader, discover something new here, that’s merely a positive side effect of this project’s objective, if there’s any objective to this thing at all — and if there is, it’s almost certainly to catalogue the breadth and depth of my own interests and observations, and chart their evolution over time. Because while others may call me “Pete” on any given day, I’m hardly the same “Pete” year-to-year, or at least that’s my challenge to myself: to be a moving target.v

While it’s all well and good that there are “facts” statistics tracking the growth (or decline) in readership of this blog from month-to-month and year-to-year, and while bigger is definitely better,vi I derive far more joy in reading my own long-forgotten footnotes referencing arcane sources than I do in seeing 100`000 blades of grass become 200`000 blades of grass in the backyard. Not that I won’t seed and mow the yard all the same, but I don’t control the rain and the additional tufts don’t provide me that much additional support nor add that much additional beauty to my life. And while it’s somewhat reassuring to know that I’m not completely yelling at rocks, it’s even more reassuring to know that there’s still a place in this world for thoughtful reflection put to page and shared face-up. Once published, what becomes of my occasionally positive and increasingly boring dad-lyf musingsvii is beyond my ken, but suffice to say that you, dear reader, are not alone out there. There’s social validation in them there hills stats.

Appreciate you stopping by.
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  1. If we take each visitor to view a more reasonable-sounding 6 pages/visit, and we figure on closer to 2mn pages served in calendar-year 2020, we’re left with 333,333 visits, of which 20% are surely repeat customers, so something like 266,666 different sets of eyeballs each year but barely ten different commenters posting an average of two comments per go around the sun?

    Taking all this into account, we arrive at the very crude and possibly humbling realisation that there are something like 25,000 butts/voice in the digital world. Not exactly flattering for the “democratic” crowd but then again numbers don’t lie, at least not well enough to tell you that you don’t look fat in that dress.

    Besides, isn’t 1600-odd voices in a “country” the size of Canada’s plenty noisy enough? So what’s wrong with this future? Pray tell.

  2. It has to be said that the worst part about the re-routed traffic is that my beloved trackbacks were broken in the process. I tried a few different fixes to no avail. Clearly, I’m too lazy and poor to solve it! Sometimes you just have to accept the cold hard truth
  3. Before you go telling me that Webalizer doesn’t differentiate between “viewed” and “not viewed” pages the way Awstats does, I’m going to gently remind you that botz are people too. Don’t be such a racialist.
  4. In fairness to you, dear reader, the once-every-five-days schedule that I previously held myself to was pretty arbitrary, never made explicit, and only served to give me some writer’s discipline, not to make your reading more enjoyable. But I think this new Sunday schedule is a win-win for both of us.
  5. A “live player” to borrow a Burja-ism.
  6. Continuing on the “bigger is better” front, pre-DDoS stat-garbling, the average time spent on Contravex over the last few years was like 6 minutes per visit, which is a lot?
  7. Then again, maybe my life isn’t as boring as I think. None less than Dave “The Wealthy Barber” Chilton cold-called me this week to talk shop. I could’ve sworn it was an elaborate robo-call prank, but no, we followed up with emails and subsequent phone calls. Like, is this microphone actually on? Hello? Seriously?

One thought on “Social validation for the silent majority, Sunday edition.

  1. Pete D. says:

    Updated with quick maffs in footnote i.

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