Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Santorum Explosion

The Timblog blew up this weekend.

Here are the daily number of hits I got near the end of last week:

Aug 24: 24
Aug 25: 80
Aug 26: 98
Aug 27: 201
Aug 28: 225
Aug 29: 220

Here's what that looks like in a graph:

My previous record had been 44 in a day. That record almost doubled on Friday, then doubled again on Saturday. I had three days in a row of 200+ page views.


People are suddenly flocking to the Timpage. WTF?

Thanks to blogger's detailed stats, I was able to surmise that it's just one post that's getting all the attention: a post titled Evolution of Marriage I wrote in defense of same-sex marriage in February 2010. In the past week alone that one post has received 697 page views. Holy shit! That blows away the previous record for one post, the one about hair, which received 345 hits over an entire year.

I also know from Blogger stats where those new page views are coming from. A famous blog, Spreading Santorum, has sent hordes of readers my way. It's all coming from one particular post: http://blog.spreadingsantorum.com/2011/08/its-hard-to-clean-up-santorum.html. But why?

The post itself does not mention me or my blog anywhere. I couldn't find any links to my Timpage anywhere in the text or comments or blog rolls. All I could find was that they use an image that I had used in my Evolution of Marriage post.

If you click on that image on the spreadingsantorum blog post, instead of just opening the image, it opens up my "Evolution of Marriage" post.

I don't own this image. In fact, I just stole it off the interwebs. (After some investigation, it appears to have been created by a graphic artist named Ariah Fine: http://tumblr.tryingtofollow.com/post/60574427/traditional-marriage-a-timeline-poster-prints.) I assume the writer of the spreadingsantorum blog found it from my blog through a google image search. But instead of just stealing it without attribution, like everyone else does on the interwebs, they "credit" me by linking back to my blog.


Although I'm flattered that Spreading Santorum, a blog associated with one of my writing heroes, Dan Savage, has noticed little ol' me, I'm not thrilled by the jump in numbers. These aren't people flocking to read my blog. They're people following a link from an image. Ninety percent of them will immediately see they've stumbled on some boring personal navel-gazing blog and go away, like a driver who's found she's made a wrong turn into a private lot.

I may pick up a few new readers, but is it worth the skew in numbers? I'll be happy when my page hits calm down to a more accurate number, and I know that the numbers are not artificially inflated.

My page views for August are at 1,549, shattering the old monthly record of 635.

Even before the santorum hit the blog, I was headed toward a record month. But now it feels like the record is tainted, and there's no way I'll ever be able to beat it without another blow up-- without getting santorum all over me.


Jolene said...

Ha! That is awesome. Um, congrats? ;-)

Tim said...

Um, thanks? :)