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Sunday conspiracy humour

Written By: - Date published: 8:04 pm, March 22nd, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: humour - Tags: , , ,



Barnsley Bill* has discovered (updated to here**) that Alexa reckons 11% of our visits come from India. Apparently BB thinks this means we are paying someone in India to fake our stats.

This has ignited another round of hysteria among the rightwing nutters (commonly known as wingnuts) about The Standard. There has been a recurring theme from the wingnuts  of  ‘exposing’ this site and their technical incompetence at doing it – it has all of the symptoms of an addiction*. BB is probably getting distressed that his (and other wingnuts) confident predictions that The Standard would die when Labour vacated the 9th floor have proven to be bullshit. It is a pity that they are incapable of reading or believing the simple About that explains this site – it is just too mundane for their warped version of the the way the world works.

It looks like Barnsley Bill doesn’t read a reliable source of information on technical matters. I’d suggest The Standard where there was a post on this very subject in December.

That post showed that Alexa is a crappy readership stats counter that can easily be thrown out of whack by one person. It only counts visits from people with the Alexa toolbar and bugger all people have Alexa. A single regular reader of the site who lives in India and has the Alexa Sparky tool bar would be enough to throw it out. Alexa also looks at the IP and tries to reverse it to find the country of origin, which is a procedure that frequently gets false results.

Which is why Alexa is a joke. We use Google Analytics and WordPress Stats ourselves and it’s the Google Analytics numbers that we supply for the NZ blogosphere monthly stats at Tumeke. So I’ll say it slowly for the technical illiterates like Barnsley – we don’t fake our stats, we’re more than happy with them as they are. However perhaps you should look at some of the wingnut sites that have some very suspect stats and rankings.

Sorry to ruin the conspiracy theorists fun. This ‘evidence’ that we’re juking our stats is in the usual order of a Wishart ‘expose’ in Investigate or what Whaleoil thinks is conclusive proof. Anyone who isn’t a wingnut considers it to be crap. But I’ll give the conspiracy theorists something else to chew on instead.  Since The Standard began in August 2007 there have been 22 UFO sightings in New Zealand, that’s more than the total for the previous 6 years combined. Can anyone really believe that’s just a coincidence?

* I thought I’d share my favourite memory of Barnsley which is this sentence in a comment on the roughly the same topic (The Standard and who we are and how the site is run)

Tane said; ‘that’s hilarious OO. There are nine of us who do this voluntarily and on a casual basis. ‘

Bastard, I read this and laughed so hard I sprayed Johnnie Walker from both nostrils all over the keyboard.

It is always interesting having such a spirited and persistent conspiracy theorist doing posts and comments. Persistently incorrect.

** update – looks like BB decided to update his post. I wonder why? You may also think it is an idiot who takes 3 days to verify something as basic as what Kiwiblog’s Indian percentage is. He still hasn’t picked up on the evil Netherland SEO services in this comment on other blogs :twisted:.

17 comments on “Sunday conspiracy humour”

  1. Thanks for the post. I’d wondered about Alexa. Seems pretty useless. My own Google stats show my (year old) blog averages about 75 visits / day……sometimes more (300 on one day last week) and sometimes less (56 so far today – Sunday – including 2 from India reading about USB pen drives).

    Readership has more than doubled since I started using Twitter just over 2 months ago….including a fair number of hits from India looking at my posts on tech subjects – like Ubuntu Linux, pen drives (above), Adobe AIR, PCTV nano Stick and others. My more general political posts get NZ traffic and my ‘global’ political posts get global traffic. Just as one would expect. My posts about minor stuff that interests me tend to be read by me and my dogs….and maybe some guy in Romania. Trying to work that one out.

    Barnsley Bill and people like him are a toxic part of the Net. Don’t waste too much time or thought on them. (not that you do, anyway………just saying…)

  2. infused 2

    “Alexa also looks at the IP and tries to reverse it to find the country of origin, which is a procedure that frequently gets false results.”

    Wrong. Uses GeoIP which is %98 accurate.

    • lprent 2.1

      Yes and irrelevant – it is not 100%. Do you understand using statistics on small populations? Did you read my December post and understand the implications to the population size of Alexa users?

      In this case, between 1 and 2 people per hundred (it is apparently 98.7%) would have an incorrect country location on average in a large sample.

      All it takes is one address to be allocated to an incorrect country from the small population of users who use Alexa toolbar on our site to change the percentages. How big an effect would happen depends on the population size – ie how many people use Alexa.

      Based on the response of Alexa to my putting the toolbar on my browsers, I think that there are less than 20 people (and probably closer to 10) who do, out of the thousands who regularly read the site on a weekday. Otherwise my use wouldn’t have had such a marked effect. If I’m correct and about 10 people use Alexa Sparky, then there is a significant probability that GeoIP gave us a false country for one, and therefore we got a significant population.

      Given a small population of Alexa users it could be that one was reading from India from a internat cafe with alexa sparky installed that week.

      I’d add that last year and early this year for our site, I’ve seen large percentages from Poland, Netherlands, USA and few other places. The percentages for particular countries rise and falls rapidly over the weeks.

      In essence Alexa is crap because too few people use the toolbar. That is the real significance of BB’s observation. However instead of looking at it, for instance looking at a few other sites in alexa, he just jumped to a hypothesis that he’d prefer to believe. Sure isn’t smart thinking. If he’d been smart he’d have looked to see what was happening on other blogs..

      Right now for instance

      Kiwiblog.co.nz users come from these countries:
      New Zealand80.7%
      United States2.3%
      United Kingdom0.8%

      Thestandard.org.nz users come from these countries:
      New Zealand81.3%
      United States5.9%

      Publicaddress.net users come from these countries:
      New Zealand67.0%
      United Kingdom7.4%
      United States2.6%

      Whaleoil.co.nz users come from these countries:
      New Zealand87.0%
      Other countries5.6%

      etc.. Yeah Right – Notice any trends here ? Looks like the evil Netherland IT companies are at it as well….

    • ghostwhowalks 2.2

      I was trying to use a local web site which is restricted NZ IP addresses but it said I was outside the country.
      when I rang them and gave my IP address they said that was listed as Hawaii.
      Yes it seems Xtra is borrowing addresses. A quick disconnect of the telephone line for a few minutes meant I was moved back across the pacific

  3. I don’t understand why you would bother responding to this kind of rubbish – by doing so you’re just giving him the attention he so craves. Perhaps if the little V-wannabe had done his research he would know that if a site was faking it’s traffic the IP addresses would come from all over the place as the botnets employed in this are global.

    [Update – His post has been deleted. I think he owes the writers of The Standard an apology.]

    • lprent 3.1

      Because it is quite amusing to demonstrate that given a range of possible hypotheses, a wingnut will automatically jump to the one they prefer – the one with a conspiracy. It appears to be an inherent attribute of the wingnut view of the world.

      Whale does it, Wishart does it, No Munster does it, BB does it, etc

      BTW: I suspect that BB just looked at kiwiblog Indian percentage. He updated his post with the 3% odd that KB gets. Still hasn’t picked up on the terrible Netherland SEO’s that other blogs MUST be paying for

  4. Everyone, it’s the Ian Wishart school of truth coming into play, “I haven’t been sued for saying it, so it must be true!”

  5. My ears are burning..
    Have not updated the post or deleted it…
    No apologies being offered either.
    vero “corrupt 24” .

    • lol BB – I thought there were only nine of them :-)

      No – must be 24 – my captcha was “confirming 24”

    • lprent 5.2

      Ummm never seen anyone snort whiskey out of there :)

      However your post is still technically incompetent. Were you being spiritual at the time?

  6. you simply failed to put the link in properly at the beginning of your post

  7. lukas 7

    ** update – looks like BB decided to update his post. I wonder why?

    Looks like LP forgot the l in the html at the end of the link.

  8. lprent 8

    Umm that is weird. You could be right. I was distracted with some code at the time. Worked when I first tested it. Guess the finger slipped when I edited. I’ll update the post when I get near a computer. There I’d no way I want to edit from an iPhone

  9. Phil 9

    This has ignited another round of hysteria

    Since when does a couple of blog posts count as ‘hysteria’?!

    Get over yourself Lynn, thestandard is not special

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