Saturday 13 October 2012

Half a million page views: laudable or lame?


I noticed from the Stats that yesterday this blog broke half a million page views. It is running at somewhat more than 1000 page views per day - which is about double what it was when I began daily blogging.

Probably lame. But then of course I deliberately don't do the things that might increase usage - blogroll, linking, be topical etc. I hope (inter alia) to make this blog a bit of a haven from topicality and commercialism.

(These things seem to work, because whenever I break the rules and write a topical blog with links to high usage sites, I do get a lot more page views recorded. E.g. the recent posting on the death of Eric Hobsbawm, which also mentioned Mencius Moldbug and attracted his fan base.) 

But I can't really decide whether 500K PVs is something to be pleased about, or just rather sad - considering the blog has been going on a daily basis for more than a couple of years.

But my impression is that page views bear only a very indirect relation to the health of a blog. I have had unprecedented numbers of views over the past days - but people were merely looking at

...which seems to have been linked from somewhere. Yet on these same high viewing days I have had very few/zero comments.

And even the number of comments seems a poor guide to measuring the kind of impact I hope for. I had a email from a reader who said that a zero commented blog post had been one of the crucial factors in him becoming a Christian. What more could one ask?  An infinitely valuable outcome.



Donald said...

Maybe not so many views but your blog is hands down the best content I read every day. I have posted many of your articles to a group of young Christians and we have had really good discussion about them. Quality over quantity as they say.

Hugh said...

Dear Professor Charlton,

You have my vote for LAUDABLE, and I hope you keep up the good fight.

I discovered your blog about one month ago, and have read every entry since. I usually agree with what you write, and never fail to find food for thought and reflection in you writings.

With regards commenting, I find it easy to comment on blogs dealing with politics or economics, but it is far harder to comment on matters of faith. I would either need to write at length, or risk superficiality or inaccuracy, hence my lack of comments to date.


dbk_999 said...

On the subject of mass internet eyeballs, I was pleasantly suprised to read the below article in Forbes, ostensibly on the Facebook IPO. In reality, the author uses it as a vehicle to expose the entire 20th century western economy as mostly a system to fund distraction and frivolity.

Ive read the authors blog ("ribbonfarm"), and he is apparently a scientific atheist of Hindu backround,so his Occams razor intellect hasnt gone quite far enough. Like Mencius he's almost there,
But wont draw the final conclusion. Conversion of people like this, if not to Christianity, then at least to public beleif in God and salvation would be laudable, if not likely.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Donald - Thank you.

@Hugh - I shall try...

@dbk - yes, interesting.

He knows what it frivolous, but has no idea of what is not frivolous; except for essentials for life like basic food and shelter; but that too is frivolous unless people can do something non-frivolous with their lives.

In the end, religion is the only non-frivolous thing.

Yep - I think he is on the path...

Jonathan C said...

Of the hundred-odd blogs I follow, this is the first one I check every day. People sometimes talk about "profound thought" as a rarefied thing accessible only to philosophical scholars over years of hard study, but here we have a source of everyday profundity.

Of course, that means it's not for everybody, nor for most bodies. The few of us you are writing for recognize just what a treasure this is, a stabilizing rock orienting us to reality in a society thick with lies.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, the posts here (and often the comments) are of such a high quality, one feels rather intimidated.


Bruce Charlton said...

@Jonathan C and ChrisB - Many thanks for the kind words; which I must immediately try to forget; or else I would stop blogging for fear of messing-up...

Matthew said...

I make sure to check your blog every few days, it really is one of the most consistently good blogs around. I think it's great to keep it as a "haven" from current events, the topics you do blog about make most other things trivial by comparison and put things into perspective for me. This is actually my first time commenting, I don't really think I have much to add except to concur, but I am definitely grateful.

I hope you keep up the good work. :)

Bruce Charlton said...

Thanks, Matthew.