If tree falls in forest ...

by Volker Weber


These are link counters. Every time somebody clicks, the counter goes up by one. Disregard the blue circles. The first column tells you how long the links have been up. Two of those line items have been pimped through Twitter to push them higher. But why? Nobody's looking anyway.


Perhaps they have been "pimped through Twitter" to get people to read the posts, not to pump up link counts. If, as you say, nobody cares anyway, why worry about it?

I sometimes use the Planet Lotus shortened link on Twitter because I need a shortened link anyway, and I like to see the planetlotus name out there. You never know when somebody will get curious about the Planet Lotus thing and check it out. It stands out a bit more than a bit.ly link, and it stamps me as a Lotus-oriented person.

If nobody is looking anyway, what's the harm in that?

Ben Langhinrichs, 2010-10-04

PlanetLotus is a useful URL shortener.

Ed Brill, 2010-10-04

Sooo... it's ok to use twitter to push your blog posts, but it's not ok if to use twitter to push your blog posts if you use the a nice "short URL" PL provides?

"The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks."

Craig Wiseman, 2010-10-04

It's perfectly OK to do both. As long as you are not fooling yourself with the PL counter. Very much like the "352 Lotus blogs updated hourly". I leave it as an exercise how small that number is in reality.

Volker Weber, 2010-10-04

Time for you to de-list from PL then, Volker?

Stuart McIntyre, 2010-10-05


Volker Weber, 2010-10-05

Because your assertion is "nobody's looking anyway". Which surprises me, since 10% of my blog's referrers come from planetlotus.org these days (and I don't use the PL URL on Twitter frequently, maybe once in every five posts).

So if nobody is looking and ceci n'est pas un blog and you don't think the community is relevant, why are you on the aggregator?

Ed Brill, 2010-10-05

You seem to assume this posting is about you. It's not. But since you say, you only use it every fifth time, how do you choose when you use it? What is the deciding factor?

Volker Weber, 2010-10-05

At least this time someone heard the sound of the falling tree. About all the other trees I am still not sure :)

Lucius Bobikiewicz, 2010-10-05

I wonder how many more people will persist in misreading the “Ceci n’est pas un blog” thing ;-)

Ben Poole, 2010-10-05

I have put it on the FAQ a long time ago. But it helps to not be invited to the claque briefings.

Volker Weber, 2010-10-05

Lucius, getroffene Hunde ...

Volker Weber, 2010-10-05

Stuart, now I understand:

Volker Weber, 2010-10-05

No, this post isn't about me, it's about Yancy, which is disappointing.

I simply don't tweet about every blog posting. And when I do, sometimes I'm somewhere where I can wait the ~5 mins for PlanetLotus to refresh (which can be prompted) and generate a PL URL...other times I need an immediate URL shortener, so I might use bit.ly. Also Bit.ly is shorter than PlanetLotus.org's URLs, and sometimes I need more characters to fit in a tweet.

Ed Brill, 2010-10-05

No, it's not about Yancy either. If it were about Yancy, then this behavior would benefit him since it makes PL look larger than it is.

Volker Weber, 2010-10-05

Volker, my point is simply that you seem to be suggesting that PL has lost its significance in a supposedly shrinking community. If that is the case, then take a stand and de-list from the site.

I de-listed 8 months or so ago, and discovered through correspondence from a number of readers that they do still use and reply on PL, and they want my blogs listed there.

Along with Ed I'm not sure quite sure what your point is on this one. My goal is just to get the info I share to the widest audience that has an interest in reading it. I'm sure that's not disimilar to yours...

Stuart McIntyre, 2010-10-05

So you are suggesting that I should copy your mistake? ;-)

If you are not quite sure what I am alluding to, then you should consider that inflating the PL hit count is simply irrelevant. Even if you disguise http://planetlotus.org/75c40c as http://bit.ly/auu5Fg and post it to 9000+ followers (elsua, edbrill, yourself) it only renders 300 clicks within the first hour, and may touch 10% when it tops out. How many Notes users are out there?

It's all OK as long as you don't fall into your own trap.

Volker Weber, 2010-10-05

I still don't understand why you care, Volker, unless it is because it looks like somebody gets more hits than you do. Disguised or not, I would imagine that a lot of Ed's or Stuart's followers ARE Notes users, and how else would they find out? Aside from that, I think you are being a trifle disingenuous, since it has traditionally been true that getting a higher PL count did garner some new readers. People want to know what other people are reading. Of course, the approach Ed and Stuart and others are taking does weaken that a bit, but again, so what if they don't matter?

What seems odd is that many of your own efforts seem aimed at increasing hit counts. Not that I blame you, but it makes it more mysterious why you would think it odd of someone else. It is hardly a mystery that Ed or Stuart or I or you or most bloggers want people to read their posts. There are different approaches, but most boil down to either getting a lot of eyeballs with an interesting title or getting loyal readers. I've seen you do both. I've done both. I imagine Stuart and Ed have done both. Again, so what?

Ben Langhinrichs, 2010-10-05

Looks like I have to repeat myself. Hit counts on PL are irrelevant. Twitter is the bigger driver than PL. Lets look at three Twitter links:

http://bit.ly/90EceO points to http://vowe.net/archives/011799.html
http://planetlotus.org/75ab0c points to http://vowe.net/archives/011799.html
http://bit.ly/96uAXE points to http://planetlotus.org/75ab0c GOTO 2

#2 inflates the hit count on PL, although people never visited PL intentionally. #1 and #3 increase the hit count on bit.ly, where #3 also inflates the hit count on PL. If you use either #2 or #3, you don't know what your real hit count is on PL. You are just "winning" a race that hardly anybody is watching.

What really matters is how many people read your post. And that number dwarfes both the larger Twitter hit count and the smaller PL hit count. As of now, the hit count of this post is 2450 for today, with a total of 127 on PL since yesterday. Not counting reads from the front page.

Volker Weber, 2010-10-05

What I find irritating is "some people" have figured out very simple ways to trick the blue circles.

Steven Joseph, 2010-10-05

That approach (#1, #2 and #3) is silly, I'll grant you. If I use planetlotus as a shortener, I don't need to use bit.ly, and vice versa. When I do use planetlotus links occasionally, it identifies the content as being from my more technical blog, while bit.ly links usually go to my writing blog or elsewhere. I don't give a hoot about the link count on PlanetLotus, but it is handy to let people know the destination without having to click on the link.

I just don't quite understand why it bothers you so much. Is it that it inflates the importance of PlanetLotus by making it look like more people use it? I guess that could bother someone who was buying advertising there and thought they were getting more eyeballs than they are. Beyond that, it hardly seems important.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2010-10-05

Ben, #1 is what most people on Twitter use. Doesn't have to be bit.ly, but it is usually baked into the client. One of the reasons to use these services is the analysis they provide. #2 and #3 are prelevant in the yellow bubble. Let's make an example:

This tweet uses http://bit.ly/auu5Fg which points to http://planetlotus.org/75c40c where it hits the counter and then points to http://www.edbrill.com/ebrill/edbrill.nsf/dx/new-lotuslive-release-today. It's used (currently) by 13 other tweets which all hit the same counter on PL.

Why am I pointing this out? People are starting to believe their own propaganda. Count the number of followers on those Twitter accounts and then look at the counter for that article on PL. It's all one big illusion.

Volker Weber, 2010-10-05

Nice "frog-mouse war". Made me laugh.
Good night all. :-)

Hynek Kobelka, 2010-10-05

Now you made me curious? What is a frog-mouse war?

Volker Weber, 2010-10-05

me too and google is your friend...

no time to read though so maybe someone can explain the meaning?

Dirk Rose, 2010-10-06

It should mean "insignificant conflict" or a "quarrel over an insignificant cause".
In german it would be "Froschmäusekrieg". (In czech "žabomyší válka" :-)

Probably its not used in english, so i should not have tried to translate it :-(

Hynek Kobelka, 2010-10-06

Much better than thinking about Daimler.
Illusions do work and if you can have them without taking drugs that's better still.

Henning Heinz, 2010-10-06

Hynek, in English we would call such a thing a “storm in a tea-cup” :-)

Ben Poole, 2010-10-06

In case anyone's interested, the portuguese expression is very similar to the english one: "Tempestade num copo de água" (a storm in a glass of water)

Pedro Quaresma, 2010-10-06

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Ceci n'est pas un blog

I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.


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