May 28, 2010

The Insanity Of Web Metrics

Last week I wrote a post called "Why Creatives Are Always Confused." It was the most popular post I've ever written.

The link was re-blogged and re-tweeted a million times.

According to the hit counter I use, visits to the site skyrocketed -- tripling my normal traffic every day for a week, and some days hitting 4 or 5 times the normal traffic. The blog went from 40th most popular ad blog to 17th according to MediaBlips.

And yet, according to Feedburner, a service of Google, during that period, subscribers to my blog (which are generally quite consistent and grow or drop at an average of about a dozen or two a day) dropped by almost a thousand. One day subscribers dropped by 1,200 people.  The next day it went up by 800. On Saturday, when I posted nothing, it went up by 500. Then yesterday, when I had more visitors to the blog than ever before, it dropped by 500. Today it's up 900.

These numbers are completely chaotic, totally random, and thoroughly divorced from reality. Fortunately for me, this blog is a hobby. I keep track of these things only for curiosity purposes.

I feel sorry for people whose livelihood depends on these insane web "metrics."

I'm Nervous...
On Tuesday morning I'm doing a 90-minute closed-circuit TV broadcast to about a hundred TV stations in the US and Canada. Even Johnny Carson didn't do 90 minutes by himself -- and I'm no Johnny Carson. Worst of all, I have a 3-day weekend to worry about it. Would someone please pour me a drink.

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