ANYBODY OUT THERE???

We recently received a message from one of our readers asking the amount of people that read our messages ever week.

The person asks..

…How many readers do you get each week? Do you ever print a blog and there’s nobody out there to read it…?

-Kyle

So Kyle is asking us if we have ever released an edition of ALOL and nobody ever read it. The answer to that question is…maybe!

To set the record straight. We do receive weekly reports on how many online “hits” we receive in a day’s time. However, the report doesn’t state the length of time each hit represents. Let’s say that on a given day, a Monday for example, we get 5000 hits. Out of that 5000, a number might linger enough to read an edition in full. Others might read the first half of an article to later move on. Another selection might look at the headline for a few seconds and log off. As to the rest? We can’t say. However, there are people checking in each day and week to see that we are out there.

That is, we assume that these hits come from humans. Granted, I am sure that there are robots, or “bots” that hit on us for various attempts. These bot hits are not to be confused with what’s called “click bate”, where each hit or “click” represents a payment to us from an advertiser that places an ad or a link to the advertiser’s website. This anti confusion doesn’t really apply to us since we don’t carry ads where we would receive a stipend from the clicks the ad gets.

There have been cases of “click fraud” where an ad is placed on a website, and the host of the site is paid when somebody from a different IP address clicks on the ad. Hosts were accused of employing bots that could spoof IP addresses and click on the ad for the host would receive a larger amount of the revenue that if one replied upon a human that could click on the ad.

For the record, an IP address consists of a series of nine or so numbers that each party connected to the internet is assigned. Call an IP address similar to a license plate number on a car. The number itself shows no specific ID from the parties behind the number, yet those numbers can be traced to the specific parties. Usually, an IP address is only checked if that address is behind some form of cyber crime or judgment that goes outside of ethical reasons or purposes. But this is all besides the point of this article.

Anyway, as to how many ghosts we get, each issue is rather hard to say. This is akin to a radio or any over-the-air broadcast that may come around. There isn’t any real way to determine how many are listening to a radio show, especially if the radio show is being aired live. In my early days, this writer was once a DJ for a small radio station located in the smaller community back in the middle 1980s. I had the 10:00 PM-2:00 AM shift in the middle of the week. (Wednesday night-Thursday morning.) The station would go off the air between 2:00-6:00 AM for maintenance. So I was the last person on the air before signing off.

We did take phone calls for requests, etc., So the number of phone calls I would receive within an hour’s time was our poor-man’s version of a radio station rating. There were a few nights on my shift where I would receive no phone calls. This was either that nobody had any requests, or nobody had a real reason to call the station. Or even maybe that nobody was out there that was listening. So I would play records, ramble a bit between songs, mostly reading public service announcements or whatever the programming manager wanted me to say on the air, and that was about it. Granted, I did wonder if I was speaking to deaf ears, but that didn’t matter much to me. Just as long I received my fair share of being on the air, when that was OK!

However, unlike radio shows that come and go, back issues of ALOL remain on our website just as long as the website is accessible. So if you don’t read this article on the week that it’s released, you can always go back and read it long after the fact. So we may get our hits now, later, or never at all! That is the nature of this cyberbeast.

However, Kyle, among others, are tuning in to this site to see what we can cook here. So somebody’s reading our musings. So much for being ghosted!

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