The Dim-Post

March 31, 2011

About the blog and myself, plus: the most terrifying graph of all

Filed under: blogging,personal — danylmc @ 10:16 am

The high court injunction I received a few days ago inspired me to check the statistics page for my blog to try and figure out how many people actually read it, and by happy accident it turned out that I was only a few days away from my two millionth page view which will happen sometime today. This graph shows monthly readership since I started the blog back in mid-2008.

The big trough is my summer sabbatical. Average number of views on a weekday is about 6,000. On weekends it’s much lower. Average visit length is 3.40 minutes.

I do juke the stats. People mostly read blogs when they’re supposed to be working, so I often write a post in the evening to be read first thing in the morning when everyone gets into the office (as I’m doing now). Then in the very early hours of the morning I read the news and write something time delayed to be posted at about 10 AM when people take their coffee breaks. And I’ll generally post something brief at lunchtime. If I haven’t eaten this will be something horrible about one of the news websites. If I’m fed I’m generally more good-natured and less predictable.

For someone who lives in Wellington I am surprisingly out of the loop. I know some journalists, and some press secretaries, and a couple of MPs, but most of my observations are made by observing the process via the media. I’m frequently wrong, but I like to think I’m wrong on my own terms and not through buying into the groupthink that often dominates political classes. I’m also wrong in good faith – I believe all those inaccurate statements and false predictions when I write them. I don’t assert them because I want to deceive my readers, or because I’m paid to promote a certain party or lobby group, which goes to show that my business sense is as poor as my political insight.

My wife Maggie works in the press gallery, and some of my writing incorporates her inside knowledge and the sundry gossip she picks up, but far less so than you might think. If a big story breaks and I call her to find out what’s happening she’ll generally just tell me to stop bothering her, and she often refuses to discuss politics when she gets home from the office, or, if she will talk politics she frequently precedes her commentary with statements like: ‘that thing you posted on your blog today was such bullshit.’ So she is less useful to me than you’d expect.

In philosophical terms I’m what liberal thinkers call a value pluralist: I believe that many of the values our society strives for are in basic conflict with one another, and the best we can achieve at resolving these conflicts is a series of unhappy compromises, beneath which the ground constantly shifts. So I don’t believe in utopia, or the class war. I do believe that in the last thirty years the balance has tipped far too far in the direction of the values prized by the wealthiest and most privileged members of society, which leads to a system that preserves and maximises their wealth and privilege.

I believe that the free market is an excellent solution to problems of value and allocation of scarce resources. I don’t think it has magical powers. It is not moral.

I am now a convert to twitter, and I check it a few times a day and make occasional tweets, so if you like you can click the link in the sidebar and join the scores of spam twitter accounts that started following me after I made a sarcastic comment about Prince William.

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31 Comments »

  1. Does the 2,000,000th get a prize?
    Congratulations, anyway

    Comment by Leopold — March 31, 2011 @ 10:39 am

  2. In philosophical terms I’m what liberal thinkers call a value pluralist: I believe that many of the values our society strives for are in basic conflict with one another, and the best we can achieve at resolving these conflicts is a series of unhappy compromises, beneath which the ground constantly shifts.

    I suffer from a near-total inability to comprehend people who aren’t pluralists of one sort or another. I can tolerate them, and I can approach understanding, and I’m always interested in trying to figure out what winds their clocks, but I can never really understand them. Pluralism just seems so obviously self-evident I find it hard to grok that anyone could believe otherwise.

    Based only on your writing, Danyl, I suspect you might be likewise afflicted.

    L

    Comment by Lew — March 31, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  3. That’s an impressive readership,even more so if you account for many more peole who keep up through RSS feeds on eg Google Reader and don’t visit the site regularly (though they do miss out on what is generally a high standard of comments by doing so).

    Comment by homepaddock — March 31, 2011 @ 10:44 am

  4. So I don’t believe in utopia, or the class war
    Yes, therein lies the problem with our two biggest political parties. One is fundamentally utopian in outlook and believes that all it needs to do is find the right policy mix to land us all in paradise. The other is more dystopian and believes that all it needs to do is find the right policy mix to save us all from each other.

    Comment by Neil — March 31, 2011 @ 10:54 am

  5. @neil, which is which? @L, grok nice 2000 A.D reference.

    Comment by will — March 31, 2011 @ 10:58 am

  6. “I believe that the free market is an excellent solution to problems of value and allocation of scarce resources.
    Surprised to read that. I would have thought that those who support the free market would just be those who gained by it. Is that you? Maybe I am misreading your words.

    Now if you were to collect a dollar for each view……

    Comment by ianmac — March 31, 2011 @ 11:01 am

  7. Im all for pluralism in things like taste in music, favourite recipes, etc. But when it comes to politics – Im always fucking right.

    Comment by k.jones — March 31, 2011 @ 11:08 am

  8. ‘right’ as in extreme far out leftyness

    Comment by k.jones — March 31, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  9. @Will, what is this 2000AD you refer too?

    I grok some a lack of etymology of counter culture vocabulary.

    Come, walk on some grass, it loves it.

    VMS

    Comment by Valentine Michael Smith — March 31, 2011 @ 11:23 am

  10. @L, it was Heinlein originally and then the alien narrator in A.D I believe.

    Comment by will — March 31, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  11. Posting blog readership stats? I guess Danyl’s finally out of ideas. :-P

    Comment by MikeM — March 31, 2011 @ 11:26 am

  12. If you’re going to go on a foodless media-rant today, may I suggest you attack Garth George’s column. “Confused Misogyny” seems to be today’s theme.

    I understand if you consider this task “too easy”

    Comment by Brad — March 31, 2011 @ 11:31 am

  13. ah I see the alien beat me to it damn it :)

    Comment by will — March 31, 2011 @ 11:49 am

  14. It is interesting to hear what drives you and is not IMHO not a sign you have run out of ideas, quite the contary

    Comment by Raymond A Francis — March 31, 2011 @ 11:51 am

  15. Ianmac, if you can prove to me that the free market has not ever benefitted you in any way, I will eat my socks.

    Comment by Bed Rater — March 31, 2011 @ 11:56 am

  16. “alien narrator”?

    that was Tharg you measly earthlings!

    Comment by dfmamea — March 31, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  17. As any Squaxx kno, that’s ‘Earthlets’ or ‘Terrans’, if you don’t mind…

    (or Humes if being addressed by Ro-Jaws)

    Comment by Jet Simian — March 31, 2011 @ 12:14 pm

  18. About values ….
    ” In philosophical terms I’m what liberal thinkers call a value pluralist: ”
    = Low risk.

    About wife ….
    ” So she is less useful to me than you’d expect. ”
    = Extremely high risk.

    Comment by Bruce Hamilton — March 31, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

  19. I’m not sure that referring to your wife as “less useful’ is conducive to future good health and happiness.

    If you’re limping the next time i see you I suspect I’ll know the reason why

    Comment by Felix Marwick — March 31, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

  20. Thanks for sharing your background. It is interesting to hear where you’re coming from. I’ve not come across the “value pluralist” description before. It seems so obvious to me. “For every complex problem, there is a solution which is simple, neat, and wrong”. H L Mencken

    Comment by Brent — March 31, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

  21. @Will, “Which is which?”

    As per quantum mechanics, depends on the observer

    Comment by Neil — March 31, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  22. Bedrater: I am sure that Free Market has benefited me in some ways. But that is what I would say after the surgeon had amputated my leg. “There is some good there Doc but I would rather have my leg back Doc. Please?”

    Comment by ianmac — March 31, 2011 @ 1:07 pm

  23. And despite the sabbatical there were a heap of people still clicking in, hoping you had caved. :D

    Congrats on the 2,000,000th Danyl.

    Comment by Ataahua — March 31, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

  24. Oh arse – punctuation failure. I didn’t mean to imply there were 1,999,999 other Danyls out there.

    Comment by Ataahua — March 31, 2011 @ 1:52 pm

  25. I’m not sure that referring to your wife as “less useful’ is conducive to future good health and happiness.

    Rather irritatingly, when I do post something based on her analysis, it will often attract many links and compliments (‘fascinating insight from the Dim-Post today’), so on the whole it is best not to ask her.

    Comment by danylmc — March 31, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

  26. when I do post something based on her analysis, it will often attract many links and compliments

    Nice save.

    Comment by Ataahua — March 31, 2011 @ 2:48 pm

  27. “Nice save”

    Nice attempt at a save. I’d say probability of an actual save is around 1/100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 or so.

    Comment by will — March 31, 2011 @ 5:56 pm

  28. Of course the reason you were served with the injunction was because who you are married to. Sad, maybe. But true nevertheless.

    You bring good balance IMHO. And your thought patterns are provoking.

    I sometimes think that if I was in parliament, and had to hire some bloggers to advise me, then who would they be?

    Scarily I come back to you, Macdoctor, Farrar, Whaleoil and possibly Blair Mulholland.

    Odd, aye.

    Comment by Gooner — March 31, 2011 @ 10:08 pm

  29. Pluralism just seems so obviously self-evident I find it hard to grok that anyone could believe otherwise.

    Congratulations, Lew!
    You’re an economist.

    Comment by Phil — April 1, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

  30. excellent stats well deserved.
    keep up the fantastic work, easily one of the best blogs around.

    Comment by the sprout — April 1, 2011 @ 6:56 pm

  31. Oh dear o dear o dear. Who else saw Closeup with the Greens wondering why their April Fool about a Greens sponsored krumping tour of Aotearoa wasn’t considered out of character. The video footage of bad synchronised Green ‘dancing’ was simulatneously priceless and deeply embarrassing. :)

    Comment by will — April 1, 2011 @ 7:03 pm


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