Planet Lotus seems to be the new TinyURL

by Volker Weber

sic :-)


It, and this, is just cheap blog whoring tactics to raise numbers that nobody really cares about.

Andrew Pollack, 2008-08-14

Yes Volker, stop doing that right now!

Ooops, my bad. Wrong link.

Ben Poole, 2008-08-14

Ben, why is it, that you always understand me? :-)

Great weather, Andrew. Or in a much longer explanation:

I agree that it should not matter, but it does. People tend to follow the herd. Large numbers lead to larger numbers, or in a swarm effect: more fish. And "more fish" does matter, since you are not writing this for yourself, or do you? A site like Digg (or Connections for that matter) leads more people to "popular" links. Making a link appear more popular leads to more people following that link, which ultimately means more readers. Pimping your posting on Twitter with a link through PL helps you achieve that. Apparently, a lot of people have recently discovered that effect, so it was time to level the playing field. And thus, this demonstration.

On a larger scale, you can see the same thing here: Can we get to 300? As Yancy quickly pointed out in the comments, "278 Lotus blogs updated hourly" does not mean there are 278 Lotus blogs updated hourly. There are quite a few "resting" blogs in that number. But bigger numbers are good. They do matter.

Alright, long text. I prefer smaller ones. Sic. :-)

Volker Weber, 2008-08-14

I'll be the first to admit that, when an article on PL seems useful enough that I want to blog about it, I intentionally now use the PL link in my post. The reason is not to artificially inflate the hit count - it's an attempt to help centralize the tracking of the hit count. On the whole, if someone's reading my post and has already seen the post I'm linking to (whether through PL or directly from an RSS reader), they're not going to click through, because they've already seen that content. But if they do click through, I'd prefer that PL know that they did. If, as a result of several people linking to the same post this way, something floats up to the "Hot" section, I don't necessarily think that's a bad thing: it's just a numeric measure of how many authors found the target content useful enough to want to share it, and how many readers found the various descriptions interesting enough to want to know more.

Not everyone listed on PL blogs just to satisfy an attention craving.

Tim Tripcony, 2008-08-14

Tim, I would be the last to accuse anybody of attention craving. I was just trying to demonstrate how you can easily make a boring posting interesting by raising the hitcount. These things are easier to show than just argue.

And it has worked well enough that Yancy nailed it to zero. :-)

Volker Weber, 2008-08-14

Some of us avoid clicking on PL links because we find the hit count too much of a Lemming Manipulation Engine. And others click multiple times (from multiple machines even) to mess with people. Not sure how accurate the numbers are, given how many cynical, sneaky, snarky types we have in our community (most definitely including myself...).

Rob McDonagh, 2008-08-14

Vowe: The introduction of short links was to broaden off property Link Love. If you like someone's post you can advertises it in a way that gives that user the clicks back at Planet Lotus. Any other use is unwelcomed. There for what you did in this post was Self Link Love which is... sic. A lot of bloggers take these numbers seriously and your thumbing your nose at them and the PL readers; based on your comments above. You have a popluar blog, you can trick people into clicking a link, we get it.

Andrew and I went back and forth in an IM all about terms that should be applied to the gaming of the click counts. I can't stand writing up such info so there isn't any; yet. I let the community as a whole speak through comments like those above to gauge specific situations.

As for playing with click counts, its all pretty transparent, if something seems too high, its too high and everyone can investigate; just email me. The methods aren't rocket surgery. If someone is practicing deceptive tactics I'll take action. I put a lot of time into the site and I want everyone to have a fare shake and know the numbers are genuine and outside forcing a login its impossible to make counts perfect.

As for the number of blogs, there are 278 active blogs, (and more to be put on line) sitting in my inbox. How active they are is open to anyone to view, simply click on Blogs on the main page, there is a sort by the last post. There are, now, well over 300 blogs in the system if you include the ones I've unpublished for what ever reason.

Yes, I did knock your count down to zero. The fun ended after the "a moose once bit my sister" episode.

Yancy Lent, 2008-08-14

May I suggest that PL lose hit counts and Hot Blogs? That would create and guarantee a level field.

Bruce Elgort, 2008-08-14

Too Level

Yancy Lent, 2008-08-14

Yancy, counters are very hard to get right. Digg is constantly fighting with this. Bruce made a good suggestion. I don't think that the counters add anything important. The authors do, but the count does not. I click on pretty much everything that x writes and nothing on what y writes. Rob says he avoids clicking on certain post because it would increase the link counter. That's not a good thing.

However, take it only as a suggestion. It's your site and you set the rules.

I think I made it pretty clear that I think PL is not a link truncation service like tinyurl or snurl (my favorite) - although I said the opposite (great weather). Using it as such is intended to increase the click counter which pulls more people into the swarm. The demonstration has worked. I don't claim I invented it, but I have seen it used often on Twitter.

As far as link love is concerned, all link truncation services are bad. One has to link to the real content in order to get Googlebot on the right track. Of course I don't know whether Google already takes that into account, but they will certainly do it for the big sites first, and for PL later.

Volker Weber, 2008-08-14

And what's wrong with level?

Bruce Elgort, 2008-08-14

Good God, there are a lot of people in this so-called community with major sense of humour failures. Any site that aggregates content, and presents click-through rates, is going to be played.

Which makes the clicks pointless, end of story. As for this:

A lot of bloggers take these numbers seriously and your thumbing your nose at them and the PL readers

Really? That’s pathetic.

Ben Poole, 2008-08-14

Humour is reserved for the British. But we try to learn. :-)

Volker Weber, 2008-08-14

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