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Most visitors, I suggest, focus on the frontpager stories and possibly the rec list diaries. I noticed that MyDD now has the option to look at comment numbers, recommendations, and "views."

"Views" is not a terribly helpful metric. Unless you combine it with a metric for rejections, it mostly tells you whether the headline+byline grabs interest or not.

I'm not familiar with MyDD, but one thing to keep in mind is that European Tribune is at least as much a think tank (however much we may hate that term...) as it is a news source, and that affects how the site works. But in the absence of quantitative data, such a discussion quickly becomes speculative, and I don't really want to start another meta-discussion - I think all the things that needed to be said about that subject are already in recent memory. So let's leave it here.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 09:29:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you look at the number of commments and recommends in the top diaries (in the single digits), interaction there is very sparse, whereas apparently traffic - as measured by views) is not (in the thousands).

What does it tell you when thousands visit a diary and only a handful recommend or comment?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 09:42:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It tells you that the interest in a diary or a diary topic well exceeds the number of people interested in commenting. From stats available from Daily Kos, it is evident that the number of visitors who are not registered exceed the registered members at least 4 to 1.

But when I look at who is commenting on these IP diaries, the same names keep cropping up time and again. The commenters are few, even though the number of comments they generate are many.


by shergald on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 09:48:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A lot of people, particularly in the States I'd guess, are not confident enough of their knowledge in the various major areas of debate here. Crappy education, anti-intellectual society, it has its effect. So it's understandable that people are scared to comment.

It's important to remember that and be kind and respectful to each other (unless someone is a complete a-hole) in order to encourage contributions from newbies. Us commenters should try to make comment threads a welcoming environment, and for example hold back from the lazy and unprovoked put downs and insults you sometimes see, even right here in this thread (I'm not referring to you).

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 10:33:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What does it tell you when thousands visit a diary and only a handful recommend or comment?

It doesn't really say all that much, because there are at least two different explanations: If you take views:recs ratio as a metric of rejection vs. acceptance, then it tells you that the diaries in question are uninteresting. If you take it as a metric of guest vs. regular (not logged in vs. logged in user), then it tells you that the subject is more interesting to guests than to regulars.

The data is inconclusive - we need funding for another study ;-P

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 09:49:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry Jake but your logic throws me. What you conclude from a views/rec ratio is just the opposite of what I would conclude. Most of the viewers are not likely to be registered members, but readers seeking information or expressing enough interest in a topic to read about it. They are unable to rec a diary by definition.

As I mentioned, the ratio of nonregistered to registered viewers is at least 4 to 1 at Daily Kos, and reached 10 to 1 during the last US presidential election when Daily Kos' visitor numbers reached 2 million. To say that those nonregistered viewers were not interested in what they selected to read is likely false.

Part of the problem here I think relates to the diversity of philosophies about the value of a political blogs like ET. You, and a small group of regulars, feel that debate in the comments section of a diary is the most important function of a blog or at least this blog. In fact, if something has already been debated, it is rendered old hat, so why diary about it, same-old same-old. The debate already resolved the problem. My view is that the most important aspect of this and other political blogs is the information it provides viewers, who in number exceed the highly active regulars like yourself by quite a bit. Why else would they come here?


by shergald on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 10:35:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Most of the viewers are not likely to be registered members, but readers seeking information or expressing enough interest in a topic to read about it.

Sorry, but you're simply flat out wrong when you take raw clicks as a measure of the approval of the content, without applying some sort of metric for measuring click-and-reject incidence. That's not even debatable, it's in every beginner's textbook on evaluating websites.

My view is that the most important aspect of this and other political blogs is the information it provides viewers, who in number exceed the highly active regulars

The information that European Tribune provides is in large part culled from the analysis contributed by the regulars in the comment threads. Disrupting the think tank function disrupts the feedstock for new information. For those who want to use European Tribune as a news aggregator, we have a perfectly fine Salon, which is where news are supposed to go unless we provide some sort of independent evaluation and processing.

Incidentally, news items posted in the correct place often see more activity than news items inappropriately posted as diaries.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 06:56:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clicking on a diary implies some interest in the topic, but it does not mean approval or that the viewer would recommend it if he could.

In the About section, I'm not seeing any reference to ET being a "think tank." There is reference to "dialogue" but no notion that it results in anything more than the dialogue that we are engaged in here, as an example. The notion of a think tank implies that its members or staff have expertise in something or other. That may be true with some ET members, but it is hardly the case that it could exceed some narrow area where considerable education and knowledge has been attained.

That I would say is pretty restrictive for a political blog.

by shergald on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 10:28:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Clicking on a diary implies some interest in the topic

Very nearly every web developer on the planet disagrees with you on this.

Clicking implies interest in the headline, not in the text. What matters to European Tribune is whether the text is interesting, since this is not a commercial site and does not require clicks to sustain a revenue stream. Spurious diaries that have attention-grabbing headlines but no content are therefore considered spam here, although they might be welcome at an ad-financed site (depending on their investment horizon).

I'm not saying that that is the correct reading of the statistics you cite - but it is a possible reading, and without more data on rejection there is no way to tell whether it is the above reading or your what-me-worry interpretation that is the correct one.

There is reference to "dialogue" but no notion that it results in anything more than the dialogue that we are engaged in here, as an example.

You're digging a hole for yourself now. Do you want to stop while you're only moderately behind, or do you want me to dig out a list of political actions and whitepapers that ET has initiated/participated in?

The notion of a think tank implies that its members or staff have expertise in something or other.

Judging by the output of the majority of self-described think tanks, I'd argue otherwise.

That may be true with some ET members, but it is hardly the case that it could exceed some narrow area where considerable education and knowledge has been attained.

That I would say is pretty restrictive for a political blog.

Yes. That's not a bug, it's a feature.

"Know what you're talking about, and be willing to explain it, or be willing to admit that you don't know what you're talking about and be willing to learn from those who do," is a more restrictive - elitist, if you will - code of conduct than what you'll find on most political blogs.

It is also what gives us our high signal-to-noise ratio, which is higher than any other generalist grassroot media I can name off-hand.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 08:55:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"You're digging a hole for yourself now." Will you please stop with this kind of idiocy? Of course viewers respond to the title of a diary. There's nothing else to respond to. It implies interest in the topic and that's all that is necessary.

Without carrying this discussion out any further, may I suggest that you completely revise the "About" section, because frankly, it does not describe your comception of this blog. You are far away from "political dialogue" as one can get. And this blog is just really too small to generate ad income, which would in any case be miniscule.

I'm really not certain ET is a good place for IP diarying, as it seems that a few of you, the highly active ones, are against it, and that has been true for the past two years at least. But more than that, it seems that, as one of several human rights injustices being perpetrated in the world, the site has little interest in human rights. For example, when did I last see a diary or frontpage story about Sudan, myanmar, and other similar situations in the world? And as far as the Palestinians are concerned, from what I understand, the "think tankers" here have already resolved the conflict to death. What more is there to say?

So may I suggest that you change the characterization of your "think tank" purpose here in your site description so that those of us who are interested in ongoing historical conflicts like the IP one will not bother coming.


by shergald on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 10:01:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Can I suggest you set up your own site and get your own readership. Don't like it here? Go away.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 10:20:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And that is just precisely what you're all about. IP go away. On the other hand, my post was not addressed to you, and was nonresponsive to it.

Just a question to you and Jake: is this your site?


by shergald on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 10:33:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, not IP go away. There's plenty of IP here.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 10:55:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, shergald go away, you're tiresome. If I were you, I'd get something done about the tendency to interpret criticism of you as a political position on the IP situation.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:13:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, please!

There is plenty of human rights blogging here, for instance:

Plenty of Sudan blogging:
Burma blogging:
* EU sanctions on trade with Burma by In Wales on October 25th, 2007
Israel/Palestine blogging:
This is just a quick and dirty search, no attempt to be exhaustive.
this blog is just really too small to generate ad income, which would in any case be miniscule
Well, it's also too small to generate a readership for you, so go find greener pastures.

Anyway, what this blog is not, is a single-issue sound chamber.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 10:57:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"this blog is not...a single-issue sound chamber."

Nor has it ever been in the two years I've been posting here. I posted a little more frequently during the Gaza Flotilla saga, and it apparently pissed someone off.

Who just put a week old diary of mine on the rec list?


by shergald on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:16:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
shergald:
Who just put a week old diary of mine on the rec list?
Somebody must have recommended it.

Here you go again with your authoritarian top-down view of how the site works. Nobody puts diaries on the rec list, diaries are automatically ranked on their time-weighted recommendations.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:25:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2006?


by shergald on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:42:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
2006: 1) when else are you going to have diaries covering the elections won by Hamas and the start of the Quartet boycott? 2) yes, we had coverage of I/P before you showed up.

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 01:47:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
shergald:
Without carrying this discussion out any further

Will you please stop there now? Your endless attempt to dissect ET is getting tiresome.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 11:25:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It implies interest in the topic and that's all that is necessary.

I'll just highlight that sentence and leave it at that, because no point I could possibly make could better illustrate the difference between education and advertising.

European Tribune is in the business of education. You appear to be in the business of advertising.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 11:26:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The title of this site is European Tribune. The focus is not on world politics, but on Europe. Many subjects impinge upon what happens in Europe, true, but essentially what brings the active community together is an interest in Europe and what it means to be a true European. The 'political dialogue' is thus focused, not global.

There are a lot of non-Europeans here too. But I'd guess the majority of our active US members have an understanding and interest in European matters. What happens in Europe also affects the US, and vice versa.

Politically, active ET members could be described as being on the Left, but  there is no central ET ideology, as I see it. Probably that expresses the European political condition.

Your diaries have occasionally been interesting within the context I describe above, and I have read them and recommended them. In the ET mix, these diaries have brought a wider acknowledgement of a very important problem, but it is only one of many problems that are discussed. (Which is not to say there is no interlinking of these problems). However, when one subject 'dominates' the diary list, and offers no illumination (the LQD), and when the diarist takes no part in any of the other discussions,  I suspect current ingratitude is from a drive-by mentality.

The active core of ET, the core that keeps it running, without the need for ads or other compromise, is a real community. People who respect (though not necessarily agree with) other members of that community. Whether you call it a think tank or consultancy or ginger group or whatever, these names are just other functions of community.

The active team (and founder/s), who run ET on a day to day and year to year basis, have not tried to mould ET in their image. The site has developed/evolved naturally. Little spats like your current one are part of that evolution. So thanks for that. But I do not agree with almost any of your comments in the last 72 hours or so. It's obvious that you never ever entertained the idea of fitting yourself into the community, rather than the other way round.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 11:35:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll agree with this. I've mostly been staying out of this because the spat seems unproductive.

But as I see it the problem isn't IP content, it's the fact that you seem to be here to talk and not to discuss or listen.

There should be no problem with discussing IP content on ET, because with Turkey's involvement IP is the most significant local foreign policy issue for the whole of Europe. It's going to affect the future of NATO and the future shape of the EU. And the humanitarian horror is impossible to ignore.

But C&P from news sources does little to educate or inform. And ET is not a one-topic blog. People's diaries centre around their interests, whatvere they are, but what makes ET interesting is the fact that individual posters participate in the community, rather than preaching to it.

Your diaries seem to have been mostly been preaching, not participation. Preaching isn't a good way to persuade people of the value of a cause, no matter how supportive they may be otherwise.

Having said that, I've found some of the recent personal attacks dispiriting and unnecessary.

But I think you have two choices - you can make more of an effort to fit in by contributing to other threads, or you can create a personal site.

Former regulars have done this, with some success, and if the site is good and interesting it may even get more traffic than ET does.

I don't think anyone here would find that an unwelcome outcome, or would wish such a project ill.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:16:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Some of my comments above and below respond to some of your concerns.

Will you quote something from any diary I put up recently where there is "preaching." That's a new slant I've not heard before. For the most part, my diaries are qualitatively no different than those of FairLeft's and other people interested in the IP area who post here and in the US, at DKos, for example.


by shergald on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:53:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not the content of the diaries, it's the lack of other content outside the diaries.
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:59:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Appreciate your comments.

As I stated above, for two years I have been posting here, then all of a sudden it pissed someone off, possibly the accelerated pace of covering events surrounding the Gaza Flotilla. I am not a dropby diarist, since no one will deny that I tend to the comments. I also read others' diaries, and enjoy the Eurobiography section, and sometimes the photo features.

As for being part of a community, my estimate is that only about 5% of the daily visitors (2000 at last look at the site meter), the ET regulars, many of whom diary or frontpage, fall into that category. I know others feel differently, but that's my estimate.

As for Eurocentricism, the site description is not so narrowly defined nor is the diary material, although a focus on Europe certainly dominates.

And for overpowering the site or rec list with IP diaries, that has really never happened until the last month or so during the Flotilla crisis. In a good number of cases in the past, my diaries never made the rec list and often no one even commented on or rec them. One cynic asked me why I bothered since no one paid attention to them. But we don't know that since only registered members can comment or rec.  

by shergald on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 12:40:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the point is that there is a group that keeps the site going. There are, as far as I can see, no rigid rules that keep this group together - other than a sense of sharing. There is a feeling, as yet fully  unrealised, that we can do something together. Shades of 'ask not what your country can do for you'.

The 5 % is natural dynamic outcome of self-organizing systems: 1% are fully active, 5% are active and 94% are lurkers. This is how dynamic systems work when people are involved.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 03:48:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You should use all three pieces of data. Recs, views and comments are all imperfect but tell us something too. It seems you can jump on the rec list with only one or two recs here, while views can't be 'cheated' in that way. Comments show interest, but also can be 'cheated' when people know comments have weight in getting on the rec list. Views tells us a little too much about headline-making skill.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 10:37:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't disagree, but it should be possible to tabulate "unique" views. I don't know if that is done now at MyDD, but it should be possible. Comments too can be inflated, especially by the diarist, who might add related material in the comments section. Only recs are unlikely to be duplicated. The problem with recs is that registered people who disagree with the tenor of a diary may not be inclined to rec, even though they have read the diary.

It is all imperfection, but these measures are all we have.

by shergald on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 10:43:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
shergald:
Comments too can be inflated, especially by the diarist, who might add related material in the comments section.
As has been pointed out to you repeatedly, the way this here community blog has chosen to cultivate over the past 5 years is to post related content as comments in the same diary, especially if the comment thread is recent, in preference to posting an entirely new diary, especially if the new content is just a clipping and link to an outside source of news or commentary.

That is not considered inflating the comment count since we don't particularly run a comment-counting competition so nobody much cares that "my diary has more comments than your diary".

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 11:20:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It might be possible to count comments by everyone but the diarist. But, as you said, anything can be artificially inflated.

fairleft
by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 01:02:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What, the diarist is not supposed to reply to comments about their own diary?

By laying out pros and cons we risk inducing people to join the debate, and losing control of a process that only we fully understand. - Alan Greenspan
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 01:17:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No, I'm saying if a site decided to use number of comments as one (still imperfect) measure of 'popularity', you could improve that measure by not including the diarists' comments in the comment total.

Enough meta. My sense is taht you and Jake are just irritated by 'too many P/I diaries'. I understand and am supportive of non-overwhelming-ness. But it's funny, because the 'problem' is entirely due to the fact that I've published 3 or 4 of them in the last couple weeks, adding them to Shergald's steady output, and that completely throws off the 'balance' here. So, because there are relatively few diaries published here, sometimes there are glitches (during times of particularly egregious Israeli conduct). It's just the way things go here, ebb and flow.

Not that I will lose interest in I/P, but as usual there are other things I'm very interested in. Unfortunately, right now it's the expensive and just up and running South African high-speed train line, which I think is a great example of HST white elephantism. And this site is semi-officially a pro-HST site, so I'm reluctant to post my perspective on that. If I do, though, I'll make sure to include some groovy train pics.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 01:32:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The glut was mostly due to the Gaza Flotilla saga, and its aftermath. Couple a week before that on average was no big deal. In fact, no too long ago, someone asked why I kept posting diaries when nobody was reading them. That's just the point: without data on views we don't know that. Equating recs and comments with with readership is just not valid.

by shergald on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 02:27:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"as much a think tank (however much we may hate that term...) as it is a news source."

Well as least you are willing to concede that the function of the site exceeds your more narrow conception. I would suppose that for me, I'm on the "news source" side of the picture. If the site does not provide news than its visitor interest might likely decline. In fact, I would have to say that most of the diaries do provide news.

by shergald on Thu Jun 10th, 2010 at 11:34:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
ET is basically just another place to post and discuss diaries -- mostly on current news but also about alternative power, trains, and photos -- with special focus on Europe. I.e., look at the diaries and that's what ET is.

The incoherent silliness of the attacks on you -- 'this is kind of a think tank' is one of those incoherencies, and so is the notion that 'views' is a terrible measure of viewer interest compared to comments or recs -- is because the attackers can't simply state that they feel there have been too many I/P diaries lately, especially two-three days ago when three of them were on the rec list. That was the trigger for these outbursts.

Anyway, I agree there've been too many I/P diaries lately. It happens once in a great while. Relax and enjoy Friday photography.

fairleft

by fairleft (fairleftatyahoodotcom) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 02:20:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes it does happen once in a while. And I agree with your summary.

Administration should gain the capacity to get diaries off the rec list, just as it can delete comments, and thus moderate the amount of IP if it should get excessive. Maybe the stay on the rec list is set too high. On the other I have been watching the "quantity" factor, and it should work out.

by shergald on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 02:46:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
shergald:
On the other I have been watching the "quantity" factor, and it should work out.

well done shergald.

please post comments in other diaries, as i feel you have wise things to say about other issues too.

thanks for being harmonic.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Jun 11th, 2010 at 03:13:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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