Numbers don’t add up

Stop the Presses column by Chris Graham

312_stopthepresses.jpgI read somewhere once that the average blog has one – yes, one – reader.
This, of course, makes absolutely no sense.
Consider, for example, that this blog – and I hesitate to call it a blog, because it also happens to be the web portal for a legitimate newsgathering operation; but let’s go with the terminology for a sec, if only because we get accused often of being bloggers, mainly by self-styled detractors – can get in the order of 10,000 unique visitors in a single day.
Also consider that this is not at all a remarkable number – not when you consider the kind of traffic that, say, The New York Times or or HuffingtonPost or insert-name-of-favorite-blog here gets.

We could even factor in any ol’ blog that my friend Eli or his cousin Earl or somebody like that has up that gets on the order of two visits a day or five visits a week or eight visits a month from people not named Eli or Earl or whatever.
Even those would be considered above-average blogs if you accept for a fact that the average blog has one reader.
This is where things start to get a bit hazy.
For every blog with two or three readers even in a year, there’d have to be a bigger number of blogs that get zero readers.
You throw in blogs like mine, and that’s a lot, lot, lot more that get zero.
Which brings me to this question – is a blog a blog if nobody is reading it?
Kinda like the old quandary about whether a tree falling in the woods makes noise if nobody is there to hear it, huh?
My answer to both of the above is … OK, I think the tree still makes noise, but a blog isn’t a blog isn’t a blog if nobody reads it.
Because you have to consider that nobody means not even the person doing the blogging – and the person doing the blogging is going to end up reading their own blog even if they only end up there by accident.
I’m quibbling here, but I think this is important.
Now, if you want to argue instead that the average blog has two readers, well, that one would be harder to go up against …


Chris Graham is the executive editor of The Augusta Free Press.

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