Sunday, March 19, 2006

Who reads Politizine?
An interesting thing happened this week. I got an email from SiteMeter, one of the companies I have counting the number of hits I get on this site. I don't recall when I signed up for SiteMeter. It was a while ago; maybe a year. One of the interesting things about the company, unlike other site counting companies, is that SiteMeter measures doesn't multiple count IP addresses, therefore it gets the most accurate count of people visiting the site.
In the early days of blogs and Web sites, people were hired to sit and visit the site all day, clicking away, in order to boost the numbers of people visiting the site. A company could then say, we have 1 million readers per day ... when in actuality, they had 10 folks working 8 hours per day clicking away in the back room of an office somewhere. Companies and geeks can't do that anymore; technology has advanced to the point of being able to track all kinds of information on the Web.
Anyhow, they sent me a site summary of visits, page views, days of the week, and time of the day for me to look at. This was the first time I have received this data from them and it is pretty cool. Being a numbers person, I found it all quite fascinating.
For example, in the last year, Politizine has had 8,722 hits and 11,739 page views for an average of 24 hits per day and 35 page views per day. This means that there is an average of about 24 random or regular readers to this site on any given day. Since the numbers fluctuate, from a high of about 55 to a low of about 18, it can vary, depending on what I have posted or when people are looking for new posts. On average, each reader accesses 1.4 pages of this blog. Meaning, readers probably only look at the front page. Here is what is even more interesting - or kinda pathetic, in some ways: The average reader spends a little over 2 minutes on the page. This means most folks aren't really reading too deeply into the page [or it is a safe assumption that people aren't]. Or, what could be happening is that some folks come to the site for a few seconds and leave, while other folks spend four or five minutes on the site.
Some other interesting data: During the week of numbers which were sent to me recently, most readers visited the site on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; numbers drop over the weekend; most readers visit the site at 5 p.m., between 9 and 11 p.m., and even around 1 a.m., meaning they must be casual readers and not reading it on their work hours.
On Monday, March 13, however, three viewers in the 8 a.m. hour accessed 10 pages of the site. Again at 11 p.m. that day, five viewers accessed 11 pages. On Tuesday, March 14, six viewers accessed 11 pages. On Thursday, March 9, four different people viewed the site at 1 a.m. and four different people again at 9 a.m. Pretty interesting, eh?
It is all anonymous; so don't think SiteMeter is the PATRIOT Act for blogs. They don't send me IP addresses or anything like that, just the random visit numbers.
However, to all the readers of Politizine, thanks for checking us out and I hope you enjoy the content. Please feel free to interact at any time. :-)

Back to business: Isn't it intriguing that newspaper editors always seem to save their best for the Sundays [or Saturday night, however you think about it]?
Here is the latest on the Dems attempting to co-opt the Republicans on security: ["Political offensive targets Bush"]. I certainly hope this doesn't mean that they will be riding around in tanks, looking all tough and silly.
Can I wonder out loud if this is the best strategy? What about the budget going crazy? All the "economic indicators" say things are great but we all know they aren't. Ask anyone who works at Dunkin' Donuts or Wal-Mart how things are. There has to be a better message than "We're better for Vets." Although, let's see the Republicans go after budget-busting with cuts in the VA system like they tried to do a couple of years ago. Yikes. Not a smart move.

Novak: ["Gore vs. Hilary"]. Ugh. Please, say it isn't so. Please, please, please. I fear that the insiders, in trying to put in some early caucuses between Iowa and New Hampshire, are essentially trying to set it up for an early win once again. One or two of these folks will be in the lead and the rest will fall under the bus, all under the guise of being "diverse" when in actuality, there will be no diversity at all. How is a Gore or a Clinton diverse?
It is clear that Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and anti-NH primary motivator, has been doing a good job of organizing folks. And, may I speculate, that our folks here in New Hampshire may not be doing such a good job. I'm not on the inside; I don't know. I'm just speculating. And sure, the state party is working on 2006 stuff. But before you know it ...
However, candidates are coming here; which is cool, especially from a news perspective. A few quick caucus states thrown in might not hurt our process; but then again, it might be harmful and not the best solution to the process problem. Instant front-runner, instant nominee, which is exactly what both major parties don't need in 2008.
Does anyone recall how boring the Gore vs. Bradley race was in 2000? The only interesting thing about it was Bradley actually talking about how bad race relations are in this country. Unfortunately, he allowed himself to be badly handled, strategy-wise. So boring was that primary that supposedly independent-minded liberal voters were flocking to vote for Sen. John McCain! How sad and hypocritical is that?! Those voters essentially crushed Bradley's campaign.
Insert mocking liberal voice here: "Oh, John McCain is a straight-talker. I don't care if he is pro-life or a member of the Keating Five, I'm going to vote for him anyway because he talks straight ..." They can vote for a conservative Republican in McCain because he supposedly talks straight, but they can't vote for conservative Republican Pat Buchanan who actually tried to save American jobs and preserve our country's standard of living? That makes no sense at all.
Insert mocking liberal voice here: "Globalism is great. All the peons from third world nations will do the dirty work and we can sit in life-long-learning libraries and never really do a hard day's work ... I think I will go think about something ..." Oh boy.
Now don't get me wrong, the mocking free trade slave businessman's voice will say the same thing ... without the thinking in the library bit.
Globalism, as a theory, is wrong. It doesn't work. We can't build a stable world of nations by enslaving them economically, the same way we can't build stable neighborhoods in our cities without home ownership. All you build is despots and dictators and people who need to be kept "under control" with weapons. It isn't working.
But back to the primaries. It's Sunday. I feel like a manifesto or how about a traveling road show concept?
Let's have a free-for-all. Let's have a totally bloody mess of a primary in 2008. Let's have eight to 10 candidates from each party beat the daylights out of each other ... or even having civil conversations with each other ... for their perspective nominations.
Let's set a time limit on it, say, January 1, 2007, as the starting gate. All candidates interested should make up their minds at that point and declare.
Then, the traveling road show would kick in. It could be like Howard Dean campaign's venture into the red states early in 2003 only instead of one candidate, it will be all the candidates, with each party organizing the events to coincide with each other over a specific period of time.
Let's make them all go out to the other states and talk to folks at supper halls, downtowns, and college auditoriums all across the nation. The would have the morning to walk around, with afternoon lectures and nightly debates in the evening at some auditorium.
Pretend it was a Battle of the Bands on tour for say six months, visiting each city over 100,000 people, traveling from one state to the next to the next. C-Span will tape it all; the mainstream press would help pay to finance it and then get the tapes as they go along.
The American people could actually meet these folks and the rest of us speculate about it from our couches. Voters and supporters can donate online when they have time to the candidates they like best.
The traveling road show can be scheduled between Thursday and Sunday. Monday through Wednesday, would be at the candidate's discretion to do what they want, like spend time with family or revisit other states.
Let's not have a return to the past, again, and again, and again, which delivers nothing but the worst of the worst, with the usage of shallow, sound bit snippets of nothing but gobbly-gook, all dictated and controlled by large campaign contributors and stuck-up cocktail party crowd blatherings.
Let's try something different. Let's try something informative and fun.
Let's also get the national media to agree not to cover horse race issues like money raised or polling data and instead, invest all the time, money, and energy spent on polling and data to really investigate the issues of the day. They can create long-form news content, on par with a "60 Minutes" segment, addressing these issues and candidates over a period of time, using footage from C-Span and material gathered on their own. Let's also get the national media to agree not to call the elections before every vote has been counted in either a primary or national election. If it takes days, it takes days. This is the presidency, after all.
After all this is done, everyone will have been given a taste of the candidates and the last person standing will have the best shot based on ideas and ideals - and not money, looks, and plastic.
Then, the voters of Iowa, then New Hampshire, and then one or two western and/or southern states with primaries or caucuses, get a chance to really eye-ball these folks even deeper - after everyone else has had the six month roadshow. This process would have brought the Iowa and New Hampshire experience to other states - and not stolen our experience from us.
Then, after the primaries are over, we do the process all over again.
Let's get the national media to agree to give equal coverage to the so-called "fringe" candidates of the two major parties and independent parties. Let's also get them to agree not to call Naderites, Libertarians, and Reformers, "spoilers" of any kind, except of a spoiled rotten and corrupt political system. Again, all candidates who are on the ballot in enough states which total a winning electoral college outcome will be put on a traveling roadshow on Thursday through Sunday to tour all the cities and states of America again, and debate and discuss the issues with the people of America.
Let us, as voters, writers, and speculators, demand a better process from the voting system, the media, and the public at large.
And then, the best person to run the nation will have won. And, while we won't all be happy, we will know everything and anything about the person who needs to lead the nation. It will have been a great experiment in civic responsibility and a good time by all.
Peace demonstrations: There are peace demonstrations all over the place for the third anniversary of the Iraq invansion. But the media coverage hasn't been as good as it has in the past. Oh well; what can you do?

Recent surge in violence: Boy, check out this: ["Deranged, Disconnected, and Dangerous "]. If this doesn't say it all, I don't know what does. Three years worth of the same catch phrase? That sounds like a problem to me.


Charlie said...

I'm really hoping for a good primary battle in both parties for the 2008 Presidential nominations. Hopefully we can finally get some good discussion on a range of issues. As of now, it looks like there are quite a few possible candidates lining up on either side.

My preference is for Chuck Hagel.

polizeros said...

Sitemeter tends to undercount, as do most of the remote site trackers. So you're no doubt getting more hits than you think.

The March 18 demos were worldwide, we had 20,000 in LA, 25,000 in SF, at least 50,000 in London.

Tony said...

Thanks for your comments guys!