What do those counts actually mean?

I’ve just been alerted to a Bing re-upload that has more views than youtube. Basically this song has smashed 1 million views in the first week. Absolutely crazy! – Mike Dawes

Mike Dawes recently got overexcited that the hits for Somebody That I Used To Know, his improvisation of a mediocre Gotye number had passed one million hits. I advised caution.

I do not know where he got his numbers from. When I checked, bing a little over half a million, youtube a little under half a million. If he is adding the two together totally meaningless.

That we place value on the number of hits, number of visits, means they have value. That they have value means they have become a currency, like cowrie shells. If a currency then we have to be alert to fraud, counterfeiting and debasing of the currency.

What do we mean by hits, how do we measure?

This blog counts the number of unique visits. That is if you visit once, twice, ten times or a hundred times, you are only counted once.

I get statistics for the number of visits each day, top articles for the week, top articles of the day.

Twitpic on the other hand counts each and every visit. You visist ten times, you will be counted ten times.

Two weeks ago NeverSeconds was at two million hits and I watched it pass three million. The visits on the count were clicking up much faster than one a second. Two weeks later, now over six million visits, the visits are clocking up at a little less than one a second.

At a guess, the count is of individual visits. This is reasonable as something new is posted every day and there would appear to be a large worldwide following reading the blog.

A new posting on twitpic will immediately pick up a few visits. This appears to be robots following key words and hashtags. Again reasonable as at the end of the line these will lead to humans.

For the record these are the hits clocked up by Mike Dawes on youtube sampled every twelve hours (plus or minus a couple of hours) since release of Somebody That I Used To Know on Tuesday of last week (19 June 2012):

  • early hours Wednesday morning 301 hits
  • early Wednesday afternoon 5,615
  • early hours Thursday morning 22,596 hits
  • early afternoon Thursday 114,579 hits
  • early hours Friday morning 164,174 hits
  • early afternoon Friday 255,524 hits
  • early hours Saturday morning 283,113 hits
  • early evening Saturday 328,809 hits
  • early hours Sunday morning 345,219 hits
  • evening Sunday 380,197 hits
  • early hours Monday morning 385,177 hits
  • early afternoon Monday 409,030 hits
  • early hours Tuesday morning 419,657 hits
  • Tuesday afternoon 439,208 hits
  • early hours Wednesday morning 449,339 hits
  • evening Wednesday 466,526 hits
  • early hours Thursday morning 487,106 hits

You will see exponential rise until last Thursday. At the weekend it started to level off, but still steady growth.

The very observant may have noticed that the count stuck on 301, then moved forward. There is a reason for this. At 301, youtube introduce checking.

Were Mike Dawes on bandcamp (I find perverse he is not), he would be getting stats on what was happening. Additional benefits, people would be sharing, downloading, gigs can be posted etc. It also provides e-mail address of those who download, very useful for future mail outs.

Had Mike Dawes been on bandcamp and one hundred thousand had paid one dollar each to download Somebody That I Used To Know, that is a cool $100,000 less 15% to bandcamp.

To repeat, it is perverse not to be on bandcamp.

I agree with Steve Lawson when he says it is more important to be on twitter than a record label.

At the weekend Steve Lawson and Andrew Dubber launched a record label, Any And All Records. That weekend alone, over one hundred signings.

Myspace is a waste of space, only be there for legacy reasons. Facebook steals personal data. Spotify follows the facebook model and pays artists a pittance.

But it is no use simply being on twitter, you have to make effective use.

An example of clueless use of twitter is the West End Centre, a cultural space in Aldershot. They tweet gibberish. A world music festival in Farnborough, Hampshire Welcomes the World , was very poorly attended because they failed to tweet information about it. And they were one of the organisers!

The number of followers is crude if meaningless measure of twitter. A far better measure is tweetlevel.

Tweetlevel gives a rough idea of twitter influence, but should not be taken too seriously, and certainly do not tweet, never tweet, to effect a metric.

  • Imogen Heap – @imogenheap – 87.5
  • Paulo Coelho – @paulocoelho – 86.6
  • Steve Lawson – @solbasssteve – 82.8
  • Keith Parkins – @keithpp – 71.2
  • West End Centre – @teamwesty – 51.7

Never write, perform music to influence a metric. It will simply produce bad writing, bad music.

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