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Thursday, December 28, 2017

FOUR MILLION PAGEVIEWS

The not-at-all-solipsistic John Scalzi is given cause to suspect that blogs are dead:
As I noted in early July, visitorship to Whatever — as in people actually clicking through to the front page of the site — has undergone a collapse this year. I speculated as to why at the link, so if you’re interested in that, check it out there, but the relevant bit now is that I estimated in July I would end up with about 4 million visits to the site in 2017. As of right this minute (6:18 am, 12/28/17), Whatever’s visitorship for the year is: 4,110,902. Right in line with my expectations.

Am I worried? Well, no. One, four million visits in a year to a personal site is still nothing to sneeze at.

I will note that there is a very high correlation between the most visited pieces on the site this year and my linking to it on other social media, most notably Twitter. Twitter and Facebook are also consistently the top non-search-related sites (by far) for referrals to my site. This strongly suggests something I’ve long suspected, which is that Twitter and Facebook have at this point largely consumed and digested the former blogosphere, enough so that at this point, I wonder if I should even call Whatever a “blog” anymore. The name is beginning to get a fusty smell to it.
Sure, that's possible, I suppose. On the other hand, the decline from 8 million pageviews in 2012 to 4 million in 2017 - I'm sure we're all shocked to discover Scalzi is being deceptive again, this time by substituting "visits" for "pageviews" - in addition to the 30,953,348 "visitorship for the year" that VP has as of right this minute tends to suggest that intelligent people who like to read commentary simply aren't all that interested in Whatever anymore. It appears I am far from the only person who once read Whatever back in the day who no longer does so.

But the posturing is informative, as it demonstrates a classic Gamma perspective. You see, the Gamma doesn't mind at all that he's observably in deep decline, so long as the decline is right in line with his expectations.

Secret King wins again!

UPDATE: Scalzi realizes he got caught... again.

John Scalzi@scalzi
TFW someone mewls pathetically and at ridiculous length about a terminology error you made on your site, but he has a point, so you correct the error.

If it was anyone else, I would have assumed it was simply a mistake, but in this case, we're dealing with someone who blatantly lied to both Lightspeed and The New York Times about his site traffic in the past. So, one can't reasonably give him the benefit of the doubt.

That being said, good for him for correcting his error. Let's hope this will lead him to correct his previous "errors".

Labels:

65 Comments:

Blogger Dexter December 28, 2017 3:42 PM  

McRapey still has a blog? Huh. Is it still all cat pictures and his daughter lifting more than him?

I'm surprised he isn't spinning it as "my blog has declined because I'm too busy to post because I'm so busy writing books for Tor."

Anonymous Mr. Rational December 28, 2017 3:43 PM  

Too funny.

Anonymous E Deploribus Unum December 28, 2017 3:51 PM  

The year would not be complete without the obligatory "State of the Scalzi" post. I find the two blog readership trajectories terribly amusing.

Blogger tublecane December 28, 2017 3:52 PM  

Why does everything about Scalzi make me want to punch him? Every single word he writes sends a nerve impulse to my fight center. (I won't call it fight-or-flight in this case). You'd think the sheer weight of his faults would invoke a modicum of sympathy, like when confronted with an annoying child or cripple.

Actually, I'm not reflexively angered by everything about him. I kinda liked Old Man's War when I read it years ago. But most everything else about him is triggering.

Blogger tublecane December 28, 2017 3:57 PM  

How could his site have declined, considering since 2012 the fascist threat has risen (it CAN happen here!) and Scalzi is "with it" enough to say he mocks fascists on his masthead? I mean, don't potential visitors know there's a war on?

Anonymous E Deploribus Unum December 28, 2017 4:03 PM  

I won't call it fight-or-flight in this case

Fight or fight?

Anonymous Brick Hardslab December 28, 2017 4:05 PM  

I don't read him nor visit his site. So apples to apples where does he stand? He's declining. Do you count Castalia house and alpha game in with VP or is VP increasing all on his own?

Blogger Ivaneus December 28, 2017 4:06 PM  

You can't even call it a fight in all honesty, because calling it a fight implies that both sides have a chance of winning.

Blogger Troushers December 28, 2017 4:07 PM  

"Ah, yes, as I expected, my wife has taken my daughter and run off with a butch lesbian. Entirely in line with my predictions. "

Blogger Jeff aka Orville December 28, 2017 4:08 PM  

"My dog is dead. Therefore all dogs are dead," says John Scalzi.

Oh and John, that fusty smell is your career moldering away.

Blogger VD December 28, 2017 4:10 PM  

Do you count Castalia house and alpha game in with VP or is VP increasing all on his own?

No. As I said, that 30.9 million is VP alone. AG + CH would add another 5 million pageviews or so. But I don't bother adding things up until the year actually ends.

Blogger Doug Cranmer December 28, 2017 4:11 PM  

OK. That's pretty good. :)

Anonymous Anonymous December 28, 2017 4:11 PM  

Gamma versus alpha.

https://goo.gl/BJ6K5z

This needs no further comment...


Anonymous Brick Hardslab December 28, 2017 4:17 PM  

I can't remember what the numbers were some years ago when you first compared VP to Skalzis place but if I remember correctly they were a lot closer.

Sounds like he's fading fast. Since his blogging was an important part of his self promotion his lawn must be big enough. He doesn't care if it gets bigger.

Anonymous a deplorable rubberducky December 28, 2017 4:18 PM  

Troushers wrote:"Ah, yes, as I expected, my wife has taken my daughter and run off with a butch lesbian. Entirely in line with my predictions. "

Seen his wife? She's going to run off with a nice little lipstick femme, I'd predict.

Blogger Michael Thompson December 28, 2017 4:23 PM  

Well, there is also the fact that Whatever is essentially an author site with a smattering of politics occasionally, while VP is essentially a political blog with a smattering of science fiction commentary occasionally.

Political blogs get more traffic.

Whatever's also been around for years. I think Scalzi is on his third generation of pet pictures on it, which means that a lot of people have heard his thoughts on whatever and have now moved on. Reading one person's blog for over a decade probably isn't something I want to do, no matter how engaging I think the person's thoughts are.

Blogger Jeff aka Orville December 28, 2017 4:23 PM  

And the question we all really have for John...is the book written yet? Tick, tock. Tor is waiting and that advance is starting to look like a really bad decision.

Blogger Shimshon December 28, 2017 4:28 PM  

Upon seeing the title of this post, I thought you were going to announce your first 4M page view month. Ah well, this is nearly as good. It's been a while since your last post on McRapey. No doubt the trolls will be out soon enough talking up how obsessed you are with his success.

Anonymous Weak December 28, 2017 4:29 PM  

troushers wins the internet today

Blogger Adam December 28, 2017 4:34 PM  

To paraphrase Spinal Tap's manager Ian Faith, his popularity isn't waning, his appeal is just becoming more selective.

Blogger Geir Balderson December 28, 2017 4:41 PM  

After finding out about Scalzi from this blog, I proceeded to see how disgusting a human? being he really is. The only one 'fusty' around here is his self-promoting sissified ass.
How this vermin ever rose thru the SF World is most disturbing.

Blogger Wynn Lloyd December 28, 2017 4:42 PM  

I've started to see him as a mascot almost. Like the noid for VP.
I kinda don't want him to fade away. He's the perfect visual aid to make deluded gammas see their flaws.

Blogger Lovekraft December 28, 2017 4:50 PM  

Is he approaching the decline stage where he spends his ample free time in his housecoat at the local mall asking people if they want a free back massage?

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 28, 2017 5:02 PM  

"Yeah, that metric that I used to boast about, that you're beating me handily in for the last couple of years? Totally unimportant man. Nobody cares about blog traffic any more. Twitter followers is where it's at."

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 28, 2017 5:06 PM  

Hold your sides for this one. I found a gem.

First up, the general collapse of blogs, which has been happening for a couple of years now, really seems to have accelerated in the last year. I notice this anecdotally, first in that the number of personal blogs referring visitors to the site has dropped significantly, and secondly in that when I do the occasional Google search on “Scalzi,” ... very very few blogs show up anymore;

Ha! Ha! Ha! (*gasp...wheez...gasp*) Ha! Ha! Ha!

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 28, 2017 5:15 PM  

Maybe I need to read whatever more often myself. There is some comedy gold here.

From his review of Last Jedi: 1. I enjoyed it and it was a solid entry into the canon, which means that Disney has now made three solid Star Wars films in a row (The Force Awakens, Rogue One, The Last Jedi) which is a thing George Lucas never managed to do. Disney puts a premium on entertaining you, and it shows.

Disney is not going to buy Collapsing Empire, John. It. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen. You can get up off your knees because nothing is coming through that glory hole.

Anonymous Nathan December 28, 2017 5:28 PM  

"Disney is not going to buy Collapsing Empire, John. It. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen. You can get up off your knees because nothing is coming through that glory hole."

Considering the new writers for the Star Wars books, I think he's trying for the certain payday of a Disney book deal. And, sad to say, he would be an improvement. (As an aside, looks like the failure track for science fiction writers is print-Marvel-Star Wars now...)

Blogger Cataline Sergius December 28, 2017 5:29 PM  

Here's another one. Word Counts and Writing Process.

Today I wrote 1,850 words on Head On, my novel which is coming out next year. In any year previous to 2017, 1,850 words from me in a single day would be an okay day — slightly below my general average of 2,000 or so that I can reliably pump out on a daily basis, but not so far below that I would worry about it. The 2k daily goal is fungible. Some days I’ll get 1,850 words, some days I’ll get 2,300, and over time it all comes out in the wash.

Okay, not unreasonable as these things go.

But there is a point where quality has to enter the equation. Is the word count producing something other than just words.

From The Collapsing Empire: “I’m a little busy at the moment,” Kiva said. She’d just finally gotten herself into a groove, so fuck Waylov (not literally, he was awful) (*Were you behind on your word count when you wrote this John?*) if she was going to get out of the groove just because he walked into it. Grooves were hard to come by. (*Yep, behind on his word count*) People have sex, and he was unannounced. If this was what he walked into, it was his fault, not hers. (*Waaay behind. This is three in the morning crap that most writers would be hideously embarrassed about having written the next day.*) The assistant purser seemed a little concerned, but Kiva applied a little pressure to make it clear festivities were to continue.

He was clearly just pounding on the keyboard like a monkey during the creation of this paragraph. These things do happen but normally an editor fishes them out afterwards.

Which means either PNH doesn't care what Scalzi does anymore or...and this is so much worse...Scalzi fought for this paragraph.

Anonymous Nathan December 28, 2017 5:37 PM  

"Which means either PNH doesn't care what Scalzi does anymore"

PNH's new hotness is former io9 columnist Charlie Jane Anders and its significant other--and has been ever since Sad Puppies and the surge of bad press from Gawker, io9, and Gizmodo.

Anonymous Faceless December 28, 2017 5:40 PM  

@26
It isn't 2014 anymore. He won't be allowed to start a book with a rape scene and make a fart joke. Disney doesn't generally do menstruation jokes, either.

@15
Well, a lot of us have been here well over a decade when it was a little link at the bottom of the WorldNetDaily column. Herr Scalzi used to make a point about the blog numbers, so it's his own metric that has been flogged to death.

Blogger Silly but True December 28, 2017 5:45 PM  

So the reason why Scalzi doesn't have enough time to write is because he sits around googling his own name? What a piece of work he is.

Anonymous Laz December 28, 2017 5:49 PM  

"Reading one person's blog for over a decade probably isn't something I want to do, no matter how engaging I think the person's thoughts are." Yeah, I thought thebsame thing when I started reading VP years ago...

Blogger Thucydides December 28, 2017 5:57 PM  

The only even marginally relevant pint in the post was that most people are referred to blogs and other sites via Social Media rather than looking them up directly.

Of course, once you are referred to a site, you usually are hoping for something entertaining, intellectually stimulating or even diverting (like those cat video sites) to make coming there worth while.

Which makes me wonder. If you can create 'bots to do things like follow you on Twitter, or Friend you on Facebook, is it not possible to create a 'bot to manipulate your page views as well, so anyone looking at the metrics can "see" 4 million page views?

Blogger Koanic December 28, 2017 5:58 PM  

Scalzi cleverly titled his blog with his reaction to its decline.

Anonymous Post Alley Crackpot December 28, 2017 6:02 PM  

ARE YOU TIRED OF WINNING?
ARE YOU TIRED OF WINNING?

WE SHALL NEVER BE TIRED OF WINNING! :-)

Blogger 4499 December 28, 2017 6:09 PM  

If Scalzi wants more visitors to his blog, he should shimmy into his muumuu and take another outdoors photo. Of course, first he'll have to butter up his dog. Heck, there could even be a series of photos of him in his muumuu buttering up his dog. Who wouldn't want to see that, him in a muumuu buttering up his dog?

Anonymous Steve Canyon December 28, 2017 6:27 PM  

Flee and Squee

Anonymous vfm 42 December 28, 2017 6:43 PM  

Here's a fun fact. He tweeted 17k times in the year at a minute per tweet, that comes to (carry the 2). 35, 8hour days tweeting. He spent a month of the year just tweeting, what a waste.

Blogger VD December 28, 2017 6:50 PM  

I thought you were going to announce your first 4M page view month.

Not quite. 3.94M VP+AG is as close as I've gotten yet. But perhaps next year.

Blogger Kona Commuter December 28, 2017 7:16 PM  

Sorry for posting this OT but http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/cnbc-director-accused-spying-teen-nanny-bathroom-cam-article-1.3723183?cid=bitly

Blogger rcocean December 28, 2017 7:26 PM  

Disney won't hire Scalzi. They want female writers, black writers, Hispanic writers, Asian Gay midget writers, etc.

They don't want Straight white male writers unless they're related to a Disney Exec or are already a big screenwriter.

There aren't that many "Straight white writer" slots open, and Scalzi isn't going to get one.

Blogger Dave December 28, 2017 7:30 PM  

Facebook discovered using red flags make people want to click even more. Scalzi should try it on his posts.

Facebook announced that it will no longer use "Disputed Flags" — red flags next to fake news articles — to identify fake news for users. Instead it will use related articles to give people more context about a story.

Why it's happening: The tech giant is doing this in response to academic research it conducted that shows the flags don't work, and they often have the reverse effect of making people want to click even more.


https://www.axios.com/facebook-drops-fake-news-flags-because-they-had-reverse-effect-2520310212.html?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=organic

Blogger James Dixon December 28, 2017 7:55 PM  

> Reading one person's blog for over a decade probably isn't something I want to do, no matter how engaging I think the person's thoughts are.

I'm pretty sure I've been reading here for something like 15 years now. Vox keeps it interesting.

Blogger Firefly December 28, 2017 8:22 PM  

I'm still rather new, but it's not only Vox who keeps it interesting. The commenters here open up discussion, and it's encouraged. Out of curiosity I looked at Whatever, and found that the content was unremarkable and the comments even more so. It seems to me that all they ever can do is sing scalzi's praises. I'm sure it's encouraging for him, but it's dryer reading than a phonebook...

Blogger ((( bob kek mando ))) - ( the Original Militant Apathist ) December 28, 2017 8:29 PM  

OT, these are the people who fought Hitler to a standstill?:
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/dec/26/panic-on-oxford-street-as-armed-police-respond-to-reports-of-gunshots

Blogger ((( bob kek mando ))) - ( the Original Militant Apathist ) December 28, 2017 8:42 PM  

gotta lurv the lickspittles:

"johntshea says:
4,000,000 visitors is a COLLAPSE!? Okay, I see you got twice as many in 2012, but 4 MILLION! Bravo!"

1 - we lose 4 million views
2 - we make it up on volume ... ?
3 - Profit!

Blogger Ned December 28, 2017 8:50 PM  

@ 41. rcocean There aren't that many "Straight white writer" slots open, and Scalzi isn't going to get one.

Scalzi and wife could come out any day now and remedy that.

Anonymous DaveInjustice December 28, 2017 8:59 PM  

@scalzi
TFW someone mewls pathetically and at ridiculous length about a terminology error you made on your site, but he has a point, so you correct the error.

The butthurt is strong...

Tfw you don't care but immediately read this after it's posted and correct it. Bets on whether he deletes the tweet and pretends he never changed it?

Blogger Mr.MantraMan December 28, 2017 9:01 PM  

Twitter should be renamed Bitchy, it's the way it's trending.

Blogger Double E December 28, 2017 9:07 PM  

Reading one person's blog for over a decade probably isn't something I want to do, no matter how engaging I think the person's thoughts are.

So even if the material is engaging you are just going to stop reading because its been a decade? That's arbitrary and stupid.

I've been reading Vox's blog since I was in my college dorm room in 2002. Not only has it not gotten stale, its gotten better.

Anonymous Sevron December 28, 2017 9:46 PM  

Even for kissasses, this must be embarrassing.

Blogger Sterling Pilgrim December 28, 2017 9:56 PM  

Worth Consideration... Is China Alt-Right already? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zoomb3qptg

Blogger Snidely Whiplash December 28, 2017 9:58 PM  

So even if the material is engaging you are just going to stop reading because its been a decade? That's arbitrary and stupid.
It's slf image. He'not that kind of person.

Blogger L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright December 28, 2017 10:39 PM  

His personal blog aside, I think he has a point about Facebook and Twitter. I was just thinking this week about the fact that I used to visit lots of websites. Now, I visit Facebook...and maybe six others.

Blogger wreckage December 28, 2017 10:54 PM  

Right, so there couldn't possibly be any sort of correlation between: people visiting his blog; people recognizing his name; people reading his books; him actually publishing a freakin' book?

Blogger wreckage December 28, 2017 10:55 PM  

@53 Yeah, I mostly do FB and then one or two blogs that I am following at a given time.

Anonymous E Deploribus Unum December 28, 2017 11:07 PM  

Now, I visit Facebook...and maybe six others.

That might be more a girl thing. Men I know usually have a list of favorites or an RSS feed. But maybe I'm out of touch ...

Anonymous lil ol me December 28, 2017 11:13 PM  

U don't understand Common Core...
8Mill = 31mill
What da hell is wrong with you distinction people..??

Anonymous Corrox December 29, 2017 12:12 AM  

+1 on the not really reading blogs anymore.

2008-2012 or so I used an RSS-reader and had a couple of hundred blogs in my feed. These days I just read Vox Popoli, Westhunt, Sailer and a few others.

Now I mostly listen to podcasts, watch technical stuff on youtube, and use Reddit for the brain dead just-opening-random-tabs-stuff. I probably regularly visited maybe 5%-10% as many sites in 2017 as in 2010.

Blogger John Bradley December 29, 2017 1:56 AM  

first in that the number of personal blogs referring visitors to the site has dropped significantly, and secondly in that when I do the occasional Google search on “Scalzi,” ... very very few blogs show up anymore;

"No, no, no... It's not that his popularity is waning, it's just that his appeal is becoming more selective."

Blogger linesy December 29, 2017 1:59 AM  

Beat me to that comment.

Blogger Tatooine Sharpshooters' Club December 29, 2017 2:36 AM  

@45 - I'm seeing the same argument as proof that the NFL hasn't taken a hit from their convergence follies: "Look at this big revenue number! Sure, it's a lot less big than previously big numbers, but still, it's big! Only a total tinfoilhat retard could say the NFL is in trouble, look at the big number!"

Anonymous Mel Brooks December 29, 2017 10:17 AM  

Disney Exec: "Qualifications?"
Scalzi: "I write SF with rape, lesbians, feminism, and rape."
Disney Exec: "You said rape twice."
Scalzi: "I like rape."

Blogger Anthony December 29, 2017 12:21 PM  

Scalzi's blog would get lots litre engagement - views, decent comments, etc., if he had any new books out.

It would be interesting to compare his trajectory with other SJW writers. How do his views and comment counts over time compare to Seanan McGuire, Mary Robinette Kowal, Charlie Stross, etc.?

Blogger SB Wright December 29, 2017 5:11 PM  

Over Christmas I saw "The Collapsing Empire" at the local chain bookstore. It was in the "Bargain Priced" section, at $6.97 for the hardcover (I see it is about $14 on Amazon for same). Vox or anyone else knowledgeable in publishing: is this a normal price reduction for a book that came out ~9 months ago?

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