A.S.S.

High on the WTFIUWT? list of experiences, a close encounter with ASS.

Earlier, I cruised on over to WUWT and noted that he’s claiming WUWT hit 40 million — that’s MILLION — hits.

Momentarily blinded by the burn of anti-science, I was just so disgusted to think that WUWT, Climate Depot and Climate Audit taken together beat Real Climate and Climate Progress.

I swear, reading some of the commentary at WUWT reduced my IQ by several points. Yeah, sure, I can afford to lose a few points 🙂 but still. It’s disheartening.

Luckily, I cruised over to Climate Progress, a must-stop on my daily surfing of climate blogs and sites and what do I see?

Hits charade: WattsUpWithThat hypes itself with dubious webstats, while lowballing other blogs

He set me straight:

Memo to Watts:  “Hits” are what people use when they want to hype or inflate their webstats. I don’t know anybody who touts hits anymore, other than Watts.  They don’t really mean much.

A typical explanation of just what Hits are, “Hits, Page Views, Visitors and Visits Demystified,” concludes “It is evident it does not make a lot of sense to count Hits.”  So, of course, it is the perfect metric for the top anti-science website in the country.  It’s interesting that not one of his commenters have bothered to tell him this!

Of course, as someone who writes a blog, I know the difference between hits, visitors, page views, and visits since it’s summarized quite nicely by the org that manages my counter.

I admit to feeling a temporary sense of defeat about the collective intelligence of the internet at the thought that Watts had so many hits but I guess that in the battle of hit counts, sheer idiocy triumphs over intelligence.

When we look at actual eyeballs on pages and reading content, Climate Progress clearly wins:

Of course it does. There’s real honest to goodness science and policy content and news there rather than just denialist anti-science blather.

Phew!

I just visited Alexa and note that the top science blogs on climate change / global warming are Real Climate, Tamino and Rabett Run. Part of my daily intake of high fibre vitamin and anti-oxidant rich climate science information and news and commentary to keep the old neurons firing! You know, to fight A.S.S. – Anti-Science Syndrome.

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About Policy Lass

Exploring skeptic tales.

21 Responses to “A.S.S.”

  1. So WTFUWT is a knee-jerk blog…go figure. Lots of hot air, yet incredibly little (if any) substance. A McD equivalent of faux science, or alternatively a one shot hit of misinformation. WTFUWT dependent, “I’ll have a shot of misinformation to go please….”

  2. Great article Policy Lass.. and yet another example at how, even at the most basic level the denial movement is happy to distort actual data? Even their own?

  3. Susann, the graphic you provided does not prove your point. The graphic is clearly marked “Daily page views per user.” At WUWT, visitors commonly read two articles per day. Watts typically posts two articles per day, maybe more on some days. WUWT is currently drawing about 3 million page views a month, or 100,000 a day. He has, on average, 50,000 loyal readers come to his blog each day and read two different articles. That’s pretty impressive.

    If you compare Alexa’s “Daily Reach” statistics, you will see WUWT has, on average, more than double the traffic of Climate Progress. Most recently WUWT has had three times the traffic. Your analysis is anti-science.

    BTW, did you see this article? http://www.thelocal.de/sci-tech/20100327-26163.html Not only are the Germans losing their fear of climate change, the Leibnitz Community (an umbrella organization for many climate research institutes) is calling for the resignation of Pachauri from the IPCC. That is what I call real Climate Progress.

  4. Susann, I should have explained my analysis a little more. At Climate Progress, readers typically read 4 or 5 pages per day. Why so many more than at WUWT? I’m not sure. Perhaps they do not visit as often so they have to read more to catch up. But the “Daily Reach” measures the number of unique visitors to each site, a very important metric. The total number of page views is closer to be sure. Page views is another term for hits and it is important in any assessment of how well a website is doing.

    Regarding your blog roll, you should spell Roger Pielke Jr’s name correctly. And you should add his father’s blog, Climate Science. His father is the climate scientist.

  5. Ron Cram :
    Susann, I should have explained my analysis a little more. At Climate Progress, readers typically read 4 or 5 pages per day. Why so many more than at WUWT? I’m not sure. Perhaps they do not visit as often so they have to read more to catch up.

    Nope. It’s because it’s not worth going back to any articles at WUWT, and even the comments at Climate Progress are more informative, more interesting, more reliable, and worth catching up on. You have to face it, Ron, WUWT is pretty much a copy & paste dog-whistle propaganda rag and really boring.

  6. Ron Cram :
    He has, on average, 50,000 loyal readers come to his blog each day and read two different articles. That’s pretty impressive.
    Well, impressive to those who believe that McDonalds is healthier than home cooked food while denying that the weight gain and cholesterol will kill them.

    Ron Cram :
    If you compare Alexa’s “Daily Reach” statistics, you will see WUWT has, on average, more than double the traffic of Climate Progress. Most recently WUWT has had three times the traffic.

    The laws of physics are not driven by popularity or opinion. Tell me, Ron, do you similarly praise Fox News?

    Ron Cram :
    Your analysis is anti-science.

    Something you’d be an expert on. I imagine it’s a bit like gaydar.

  7. Page views is another term for hits and it is important in any assessment of how well a website is doing.

    No, it’s not. That you’re unaware of this is no surprise. That you post authoritatively despite ignorance is no surprise, either.

  8. dhogaza, you are correct. I was under a misconception. A single page view may result in multiple hits on the server. But the main point is page views. WUWT still leads all other blogs in page views.

    Susann, that’s how you handle it when you are mistaken and someone points it out. You research it and see they are right and admit it publicly. You would do well to follow that example.

  9. Susann,
    Remember that conversation we had about certain disciplines being more skeptical of climate alarmism? The NY Times covered the story, at least the weathercasters. See http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/30/science/earth/30warming.html?hp

    The writer mentions geologists also but calls “economic geologists” (a term completely unfamiliar to me) by which she seems to mean non-academic geologists. But in my experience even the academic geologists are more skeptical than most scientists. They are used to seeing wide variation in climate in past geologic periods and so the claims something unnatural is happening seems pretty bogus to most of them.

  10. Ron Cram :
    …non-academic geologists. But in my experience even the academic geologists are more skeptical than most scientists. They are used to seeing wide variation in climate in past geologic periods and so the claims something unnatural is happening seems pretty bogus to most of them.

    I’ll believe that when I see the evidence for it.

  11. J Bowers, Cram is disseminating nonsense again. Last fall the Canadian Geophysical Union got over 90% support from members for a joint letter with CMOS urging the Canadian government to reduce GHG emissions. This is who and what they represent:

    The CGU began as a society dedicated to the scientific study of the solid earth and has evolved into one that is concerned with all aspects of the physical study of Earth and its space environment, including the Sun and solar system.”

    We have had this discussion before with Cram, but he keeps coming back with more nonsense and the same misinformation.

    He then has the audacity to say:

    “Susann, that’s how you handle it when you are mistaken and someone points it out. You research it and see they are right and admit it publicly. You would do well to follow that example.”

    So Cram’s advice is clearly “do as I say, not as I do.”

  12. Well, I guess I can’t believe it then. Ta. 😉

    Oh, guess what an ‘economic geologist’ does…

    http://www.gostudy.mobi/Careers/View.aspx?oid=443
    “An economic geologist studies mineral deposits and the processes leading to their formation. This information is extremely useful to mining companies as it helps them to locate and understand the nature of the resource they are mining.

    Economic geologists apply geological principles to solve practical problems in the mining industry. Their training equips them to run the Geology department on a mine, and to organize a programme of prospecting in the field.”

    Ho hum.

  13. It’s interesting that a good portion of WUWT “readers” spend very little time there. I think many check in to his blog briefly and daily looking for some juicy tabloid-quality dirt, like someone browsing the tabloid headlines while waiting at the grocery line. Most of his readers are mainly interested in politics, and his site is sort of the Drudge Report of global warming denial. Interestingly, alexa.com reveals his site to be about as popular as the National Enquirer (using the “Reach” metric). It’s also interesting that a crowd that brushes off the scientific consensus on global warming as a “religion” is one that is most eager to tout the size of their cult.

  14. Or maybe many of his “readers”, like me, head over there when someone points out some particularly idiotic post, shaking my head in disbelief, thinking, “no, even Watts wouldn’t post something *that* stupid”. Just to be proven wrong again …

  15. Rattus Norvegicus Reply March 30, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    I’m with Dhogaza on this one. Only in my case it is proactive. I can hardly wait to see what idiocy Steve Goddard, Bob Tisdale or especially Willis E has come up with.

  16. It only matters if you are selling ad space.

  17. OT, but in some cheering news, the UK House of Commons Committee exonerates Jones 🙂 And I am not surprised.

    That ought to spoil Anthony’s evening. But being in denial, he’ll just call it “white wash”, and then go on to distort their findings. A he will with Sir Russell’s and other investigations when they, largely, exonerate CRU.

  18. An interesting quote by Riley Dunlap, to substantiate the importance of these numbers, disregarding their validity:

    Mainstream climate science…if we’re going to look at what’s in these books we might say comes to, in the most simplistic way, three points; global warming is occurring, human activities are producing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute, and warming will produce harmful impacts on humans and other systems, and as a result many people argue that we need some kind of policies. The denier, sceptic response is…basically, in order to undermine climate science, they take issues with each of these three points, and you can see this in media, congressional debates et cetera, or on Fox News.

    Basically, the flowchart of contrarianism should outline the three counterpoints and, more interestingly, should underline the fact that it’s a PR process.

  19. Source of the above quote: Climate change scepticism – its sources and strategies

    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/scienceshow/stories/2010/2859986.htm

  20. Watching the Deniers Reply April 8, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    The last link is well worth it! Seriously, read or listen. Some great insights.

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