Friday, January 22, 2010

Hyperbole, damned hyperbole and statistics

Apparently, according to Sunny Hundal - he of Liberal Conspiracy that so hates dodgy hyperbolic reporting in the media,
The website publishing spoofing the airbrushed posters of David Cameron – – has become the most popular politics site in the UK.....

Launched only two weeks ago, ‘Airbrushed For Change’ had received 105,928 visits, of which 89,827 were absolute unique visitors..... [the] busiest day to date was Friday 15 Jan, when [it] received 20,343 visits.
Oh dear *facepalm* that's one epic fail on your own standards sunny boy.

Let me start out by saying, fair play to Clifford Singer who set up allowing lots of people to duly take the piss out of a leading politician with much pant wetting and ejaculatory splurging some of which has produced funny jokes and others which have had low sperm counts.

However, lets be serious with Sunny's fantastical hyperbole and, dare I say, fantacising about such things as "most popular". What we have here is not being "the most popular politics site in the UK" but rather having a great big traffic spike causing a lot of visitors over a very short time period.

This blog has had traffic spikes too, for example this generated in a single day over 60,000 page impressions with over 25,000 absolute unique visitors by the time the day ended, didn't make me the most popular technology blog in the UK though and if I'd said so it would've been idiotic.

Statporn is lovely, but a sites popularity can not be garnered by taking a two week snapshot in the middle of a spike's downturn. Sunny's comment is the sort of nonsense that if a right wing blogger were to post it, it would results in someone like Tim (I'm not Mental!) Ireland or Unity writing a lengthy essay about what complete dicks we were (don't expect one form them though).

If you want to know what the most popular websites in a particular genre are you're going to have to take a much a longer view with your time-frame and look for consistency of traffic, you know..... find a trend? It's bit like the difference between weather and climate, something that Sunny and friends constantly remind the evil climate change deniers about.

Has been successful in terms of generating traffic? Hell yeah, Clifford has produced a nifty toy for people to play with. Does represent the hyperbole of Sunny "I only like serious journalism me!" Hundal's post? Err no it doesn't. It's about as accurate a statement as saying the most popular food in the UK is whatever food product sold the most in two weeks.

Footnote: Cue responses about how this post is all about jealously defending the beloved Church of Cameron, that "they don't like it up'em" and other such things.

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