I read the fake news today, oh boy
In his latest bragfest which is seen above, Norman Lebrecht perpetuates the falsehood that Google Analytics measures people - ie. human readers. What Google Analytics actually measures is website page hits, which is very different to human readers. A page hit is a measure of a connection between any online device and the Slipped Disc server. The online device may or may not be read by a human, and, as a previous post explained, a large proportion - an estimated 50% - of page hits are robots and not human eyeballs. Which means the real Slipped Disc readership is in all probability around half the claimed 164,188.
What I find puzzling and sad is that everyone professionally involved with social media - and that includes Norman Lebrecht who is certainly not stupid - knows that Google Analytics does not and cannot measure people. Lebrect could easily have explained in a simple sentence that Google Analytics need to be discounted by an estimated 50% to give a measure of human readers. This would give a figure of around 80,000 page hits by readers*.
That corrected daily readership of 80,000 is still impressively large: it is many times larger than On An Overgrown Path's readership and considerably larger I would guess than any other classical blog. Slipped Disc is, for better or worse, undoubtedly the most widely read classical blog. So why the need to knowingly overstate readership? Why the need to undermine the credibility of the whole classical blogging sector by peddling transparently fake news? Well, the answer to those two questions is provided by an influential journalist who wrote in the Evening Standard newspaper back in 2006 that "classical web-chat is opinion-rich and info-poor". And who was the influential journalist who wrote those wise words? It was Norman Lebrecht of course.
* But note that the 80,000 is an estimate of total hits by reader, not hits by unique readers; because the same reader often returns more than once to a website during a single day. So, once again, the claimed readership will be materially overstated. Talking of fake news, is not the same thing as unique readers.
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I'd also say that 80,000 hits out of a total human population of nearly eight billion people is not terribly impressive.
Hank no, you are certainly not alone. And it is not just musicians I have lost respect for; it is record companies, orchestras, other journalists etc etc
At this point, I mostly follow because, well, there's not much else out there besides his and yours and a handful of others that don't post with nearly so much regularity. Podcasts tend to last about a year or less and burn out (fortunately, the Classics for Kids, 5 minutes each (though 1 minute of that is just the opening/closing 'credits' work) is still going, so I have something to play for my 6 year old).
I usually 'read' by skimming through my RSS feed first on feedly (used to use Google Reader), so I only click through to the ones that actually look informative, rather than the personnel posts.
I am very much with Hank re the whoring that is going on. I suspect that with musicians it boils down to 'Grant NL an interview and a flow of positive PR shall be yours. Don't, or otherwise cross him, and you'll become a non-person or he'll subject you to endless denigration if not outright calumny'. Far, far too many play it safe. In their cases, one might get the impression that they are all dear friends of Norman's, given his perpetual use of first names and nicknames. He's not stupid -- he's pretty clever. But clever is not intelligent (as his books on music demonstrate), and he seems unable to pull back as he approaches the line over which lies rather pathetic name-dropping. I rather doubt if 'Slava' sent Norman an admiration-saturated birthday card without fail. Grigory Sokolov sure as hell doesn't. Now there's a musician who truly has Norman's number, as we know.
One thing I have not seen mentioned is that he customarily adds posts throughout the day, and that must surely means return visits by those who revel in it, i.e., people who love a drop of sex and scandal; those who enjoy pouncing on his errors and deliberately misleading, clickbait headers, and right-wing trolls who only weigh in his not infrequent politically charged posts. That just leaves the relatively few who scan for the occasional post of some genuine interest. On the whole, it is the National Enquirer of music blogs. In that sense it might be the 'go-to' site for news of a certain sort, but it simply cannot be compared with those blogs, most obviously this one, which seek to furnish insightful, well-researched or informed by first-hand experience, articles on music and its practice. To say that the novels of Dan Brown have more readers than those of Henry Green is to make a vacuous statement.
March 8, 2018 at 6:29 pm
Firstly, those Google analytics stats don’t actually measure discreet viewers, so many could be reapeat visitors who click on the site more than once a day.
Secondly, many (estimated to be upwards of 50%) of the clicks registered by Google analytics are by other machines or bots, not necessarily actual people.'