Mood: not sure
Topic: independent media
We first heard about the big case of notorious Gordon Wood being sent down for murder mid morning Friday 21st November. That's the 24 hour news cycle then, we concluded.
Time enough to get some useful things done free of media monitoring - 2 loads of washing for a start. What about a little weeding to grow tomatoes as spotted in a Marrickville terrace front yard close enough to pick and run. This turned into alot of weeding and a new compost dump and a tan.
So then we got to thinking about other domestics - like the layout of the micro news SAM website - yes there is a segue in here finally. It is slow and clunky with the host server all the way over there in the USA (safe from then Howard regime business cronies here in Oz at start up Jan 2007 re upcoming federal election Nov 2007).
Little SAM needed a white background colour in the body to speed up a tad. We also needed to get the news story in the top right corner where the eye defaults. Then after trial and error we liked yellow background for the side panel, green for the main title (SAM name and mission), and blue for the links. Yellow, green, blue. That's weeding under a blue sky! That's the golden wattle. That's Australia. That's our soul.
As it happens we were already making some inquiries in parallel about how to monetise a blog, as you do, and by serendipidity about Technorati, and Alexa, blog web information sites. So we registered with Technorati for the first time. We're ranked about 3 million of say 150 million blogs in the world. Woohoo. We have an 'authority' of 2 which is just above the lowest of 1. But more of that dubious cred amongst bloggers below.
Now this is where the zero stats figure for 3 days comes in. Yes there is the second segue folks. We always knew this was a clunky, not very interactive, probably specialist micro news blog website. As such we have come to understand quietly, secretly, that we don't mind if our audited circulation is humble. We care about cred as a specialist service, and real politik effectiveness.
That's partly why we have lower case in the header. It's not really about us, it's about the message.
We take heart from the blacklist by the talkback staff on the phones at a certain abc radio breakfast show. We are not Joe Average after all. We do exemplify the 1:9:90 rule of hyper engagement being a 1 in the ratio of activity, 90 being the passengers in the democracy. We are a citizen but obviously that's not enough.
For instance we notice the logical inconsistency of the ABC ramping up the profile of the Medium Media like the Cumberland press guy, and other Big Media personalities in Fairfax and News Corp while blacklisting the micro guy. We notice too the systemic bias of same ABC show running Lab/Lib-Nat spin doctors and party liners bet never it seems, we repeat never, a rep of the 10% Greens Party. Someone like Ben Oquist for a time (now back in harness) or a retired Green MP or whatever. Even a Democrat like Athur Chesterfield Evans though not Cheryl Kernot please. There was even a whisper from big Deb this might happen but alas.
So getting back to Technorati - they provide a feedback service on what other blogs are reacting to your blog. Given SAM's editor virtually never reads or comments on other people's blogs we hardly care what they say or write. It's the Big Media stupid!
Well almost don't care. There's alot of emotional violence to avoid on the net much like dog poo on the street, but you can't help getting a whiff sometimes no matter how innocent. I had about 26 responses, some nice others not. Tim Blair was making an effort to sledge a few times about 10 months back (that's good, the right enemies), and one Monica Tan at ninemsn.
We responded to Ms Tan as follows just now:
I noticed you sledging my humble micro news website, only because I 'claimed' my blog on technorati recently. It was an old post about my talk at New Matilda which is by the looks an ALP front operation.
As reaction perhaps to Crikey as a pseudo wet Liberal free market operation.
It seems to me your comments to the effect of being "crappy looking political blog" are assuredly right compared to your own high production values. But then shallow looks are indeed superficial.
You work at ninemsn you say, which is on the slide maybe, maybe not. That suggests you're fairly snobbish and patronising conservative political person. Well that's your right but it's no guarantee.
Here's where your takeout is misconceived:
The SAM blog is not about good circulation per se (that means of itself, it's from Latin! ha ha).
It's about real politik timely strategic analysis. It's not the 20K per month readers. The audience is probably only ever about 1000 political staffers across the Australian parliaments. It's the one influential reader that I'm about. It could be Kevin Rudd. It could be Barak Obama. It could be Laurie Oakes. It could be Tim Blair. It could be an executive producer of 9 Sixty Minutes. It could be a NSW stateline reporter.
3 of these 6 examples I can verify. Another 1 of 3 is highly likely. 2 of 6 is very unlikely but still conceivable. I do stuff to undermine Big Media like your ninemsn. And it's working. They echo my concepts and angles - with their high production values - so often I've lost count. I call you guys my echo chamber. It's very satisfying too.
Feel free to disagree, be dismissive, contemptuous or whatever. But I'm getting better at this, and I'm doing it for nothing. While you are losing circulation it seems while relying on the professional cred to make your living. On the other hand being totally financially independent I have the capacity to make and break people's careers .... in politics I mean depending on their performance and my analysis - because I am trustworthy. It's like giving evidence in court from a totally unbiased perspective. One becomes the professional honest broker.
That's the ngo activist campaigning reality Monica, so now you know a little about why I feel justified condescending to you about my forte.
Good luck with your media career. As it happens my latest post has zero hits for 3 days running about W Bush regime looting the USA treasury in the last 2 months of the Imperium. Which is a record in reverse. No post can be zero, especially SAM with 20K pageviews per month. It's piqued my interest. Rather than being concerned about it, which I was a little to begin with, now I'm fascinated. I'm going to delve into the meaning of it and like the martial art of Jiu Jitsu enlist the force of the incident to my own purpose. Like I often do.
Have a good weekend.
So now we are thinking it could be interesting to ride this zero stats per day thing all the way to the beach. Are people so in denial of W Bush's failure after the Iraq tragedy/fiasco that they can't bear to read or hear Democracy Now! draw back the curtain in our last post? Arguably it is the most important post we have made in the last 23 months. Not one reader?
Maybe they are just noting the headline in their RSS feed and going direct to YouTube or the Democracy Now website via google. But not every one of them. Some would click through via SAM.
As they say in the law of evidence (being a lawyer), there is no such thing as absolutes. Zero is an absolute that doesn't happen. Just as perfect never happens. We smell a curious quandary.
Like the incessantly scratchy phone that regularly rings and tells me I have the wrong number. Do tell. Is this marketing software gone haywire? Another manifestation of Telstra's huge complaints record lately? Or something a bit more dodgy in the land of spookery? A little tutorial run for trainees perhaps at the expense of a blogger? One never knows. So far we've come up with ... zero (!) explanations for the clicks and whirs mid conversation like a Star Wars r2d2. Surely Glen Stevens is not worried about the little SAM spark.
It reminds us of a little proposed home phone repair work in the old factory, which we hasten to add is illegal under the Federal Communications legislation. Didn't do it, you can't prove we did it, it wasn't us, it wasn't our fault etc etc refer Bart Simpson, our lawyer.
Postscript 24 Nov 2008: Not really sure but it looks as if we might have broken the traffic counter with our Nov 19 post below on the notion of 'W Bush looting the treasury in the last 2 months'. At the least our traffic metric from our host server stops at Nov 19, 2008 as per this screenprint taken 24 Nov 2008, five days of zero traffic: