It’s difficult to gauge the popularity of blogs on Blogger, because even those who add a counter can start the count at whatever number they’d like. Many local political blogs allow for commentary, and sometimes those build a bit of steam and go into the double-digits, but with responses anonymous it’s virtually impossible to determine how many come from the same person.When I first started this blog, I didn't have a hit counter. The reason? I didn't want folks to see how poorly it was doing, traffic-wise. But thanks to the kindness of other bloggers in Ulster County, including Robin Yess and the Rochester Republicans, traffic became surprisingly good very quickly.
So, for a while, I had a third-party hit counter at the bottom of the page. A few of you may have seen it. The problem was the counter I used, from Statcounter.com, didn't allow me to input the actual original numbers from Google Analytics. It instead started from zero and didn't reflect any of the traffic that came before. I figured it was no big deal that the hit counter didn't reflect the first 5000-or-so visitors, but the numbers you saw at that point lagged far behind the actual numbers. And I couldn't figure out how to adjust them to reflect reality (I'm not that adept with this kind of thing).
But this shows you what I know. Google actually keeps track of traffic through its own system. The numbers that you see with Blogger, the platform this blog uses, come straight from Google. There is no way to game these numbers. I suppose it's possible to log in from multiple IP addresses and click away for a while until you have the desired number of hits, but this would be a tedious and convoluted process. And then I discovered, through playing around with the various features of the Blogger platform, that Google had a hit counter that is simply a reflection of the numbers that come straight from Google. So, I deleted the hit counter from Statcounter.com, and loaded up the one from Google itself. What you see now is the actual traffic this blog has seen from the very first post onward.
Most days, the blog generates about 200 hits. The record for a single day is 312 hits. Traffic has been down over the past few days, however, as I've been AWOL for a bit (real life sometimes intervenes). But I have no doubt that the traffic will pick up again as I devote more attention to the blog.
Anyway, the Kingston Times doesn't know what it's talking about when it comes to blog traffic. And this blog isn't gaming the system when it comes to traffic. What you see is what you get.
As to the KT's lament over mean anonymous bloggers, there's this little little thing called the Bill of Rights. And there are a whole host of reasons why a free and open society, such as ours, should welcome this kind of anonymous commentary. Sure, there are a lot of idiots out there who like nothing more than to be inflammatory; but there are also folks who have something to say, but for whatever reason decide they would like to, or simply must, remain anonymous.
I'll have more about why this is important in the coming days. I promise.