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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