Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Learning as we go along -- six-month review, and greatest hits.

I've been puttering around at this web address for about a year now, fiddling with the blog for six months, and posting more or less regularly on it for a little more than two. Most of this time I've tried to keep it a private little experiment, keeping it out of listings and not doing anything to expose it to the public at all until just recently.

But one can't hide on the Internet. Tom Maguire, Tim Worstall and Andrew Samwick added it to their blogrolls for some reason, and Roland Patrick, who seems too ornery to have a blogroll, has linked posts to it. (Thanks, fellows.) So the visitor count has risen from the nillions to actual positive numbers nonetheless.

And then there are the search engines. Looking at the web stats it seems there are more spiders crawling around on the web than ... oh, in an old science fiction movie about spiders taking over the world.

It's old wisdom among marketing mavens that no matter how smart you are, you don't know what the public wants until you test, test, test, and you'd better be ready for surprises. So I've tried to be eclectic in making posts here, out of curiosity to see what kinds of things might draw a response. And it's true -- even with such low traffic some items draw way more attention than others, in ways I'd never have guessed.

That sex sells is no surprise, but that the Tara Reid post immediately got hundreds of hits through search engines was a surprise to me. I mean, this hidden little blog must be about 10,000th on Google's list of Tara Reid references, so the people who came through it to arrive here have got to learn to search more efficiently, or to get a life, or something.

That Mafia boobs sell as well as Hollywood ones was surely a surprise to me. The single most popular post continually to this day has been the one about bungling Mafiosi, posted back in June just to see how cut-and-paste worked from the NY Post online edition to Blogger.

Other posts that I thought were rather interesting have been ignored ... so I'll ignore them here too.

But anyway, for the Wayback Machine's permanent record, here are the greatest popular hits of the first six months of a blog that almost nobody reads, in order...

True crime stories (the entire June archive!)

Social Security privatization basics: How can privatization possibly help?

Entrepreneurial rise-and-fall story: NYC's Bill Gates of bathroom attendants brought down by justice.

Innovation in radio tomorrow and yesterday.

Arnold on the TV news, and dumb crimes of the week.

Accountability for performance in the NYC public schools.

You had a complaint about our national health service?

Merry Monday -- dead white European male's holiday version.

The question the 9/11 Commission didn't ask.

Dust to dust, ashes to antique shop.

If you're going to flash the cameras don't be cheap with the surgeon.

What's the lesson? A site dedicated to air-headed breast-flashing starlets, bumbling criminals and Social Security seems the way to get the blogads.

So here we go...