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The 3000 Threshold

Daily Dot covered a scary story last week about a move by the Russian government to crack down on free speech.  Bloggers with over 3000 daily visitors will need to submit their blog for monitoring by the government.  The post explains,

Referred to colloquially as the “blogger’s law,” it stipulates that any site with more than 3,000 daily viewers must register as a news site, and be held to the same legal standards. The act of registering requires those bloggers to give their full identifies, so the law effectively criminalizes anonymous blogging for any Russian who can draw that many readers … Russia has been keeping a tight rein on its bloggers in recent years.

It obviously struck me because it’s a story of government aiming to control speech, and I was concerned for Russian bloggers affected by the law.

3000
But moreover, the number took me by surprise.  Because back in 2012, I wrote about how 3000 was this mental cut-off number for me that indicated that you had “made it” as a blogger.  And I need to say that I mentally set that as a “goal” somewhat arbitrarily in my 2006 brain.  It wasn’t based on research or a certain blogger.  I just started thinking about 3000 visitors as a goal.

So 100 sounded good. And then I wanted 200. Then I heard about people who had 1000 readers and that felt like a goal to hit. Then 3000. I’m aware that 3000 is an odd choice, but it felt like a threshold number to me at one point. When I first started blogging, there weren’t a ton of non-bloggers reading blogs, and getting 3000 people to read a post felt like you had major reach, at least by blogging standards. But would you say that 3000 daily visitors is a lot of people now? It all depends on your point-of-view: some would do anything to get that sort of traffic and others would freak out if their hits dropped that low; but I think we all can agree that 3000 visitors isn’t newsworthy. Not when Perez Hilton gets about 3000 visitors in the time it takes him to sneeze.

I guess it begs the question: what is it about the number 3000? How did Putin and I both come to the same number in determining the tipping point reach of a blogger? 

Do you think a person with 3000 daily readers has a wide-enough reach to deeply influence societal thought?  Or is 3000 a fairly low threshold, aimed to roundup a lot of bloggers?

And why have the threshold be visitors vs. page views? Page views tells us more about how the blog is read; whether people actually interact and look at the writing. Visitors can be logged by someone clicking over and clicking off moments later. Which matters more to you? Visitors or page views?

11 comments

1 Esperanza { 05.12.14 at 9:23 am }

Wow. Scary stuff. I’m glad I don’t live in Russia (not that I’m ANYWHERE near 3,000 unique visitors a day).

As for page views vs visitors I would have to say that I think visitors is more telling. Page views doesn’t necessarily mean interaction or participation. Sometimes page views just means I accidentally shut the window down and wanted to go back to finish, or I clicked through to a link, and the link was set to open in the same window (this drives me crazy, but I know some people prefer it to links opening in a new window) and then I finish the othe read and shut that window down, forgetting that I need to back to get to the post I was originally reading. Then I have to reopen the original post again. I do that all the time and I don’t think it’s necessarily an indication of participation, though maybe it is. I actually do that on your blog about 5-6 times for every round up. I’ve actually asked myself, “does Mel set her links to open in the same window so people will shut that window down by accident and have to reopen her page again? She must get a ton of page hits from people doing this every Friday!” 😉

Having said that, I DO believe that there is some significance to people reloading (or coming back to) a post to read comments. That does indicate a level of involvement that I think should be taken into consideration in some way. The problem is, you can’t know if that is why the page is reloading or if it’s just because it was left open in a browser and is refreshing itself every now and again.

My own blog gets about twice as many page views and actual visitors and I’m never quite sure what to think about that because I don’t know what is leading to the multiple page views by single readers. I really wish I knew, actually, what caused that. Are they coming back (or reloading) to read comments? Or is it just that they left the page open, or clicked away by accident and needed to get back? I suppose I’ll never know.

2 Mel { 05.12.14 at 10:32 am }

My links open in the same page because that’s how the template is coded. BUT I will say that I despise links opening in a separate window. It becomes a bunch of tabs I need to close down. So I would never do that to another person. Especially because having it open in the same page gives people both options (you can right click and choose to have it open in another window) whereas setting your blog so the link opens in another screen removes that option.

I had someone talk me into messing with the template and changing that for the LFCA. Never again. I’ve hated working on the LFCA since that day. It ruined the site for me.

3 The Gypsy Mama { 05.12.14 at 10:55 am }

Even though I’ve been blogging (on different blogs) for about 3 years now, I still consider myself a novice blogger and most likely always will be. Sure, it would be awesome to be famous like you Mel, but somehow I don’t think it’s in the cards for me. That being said, I like to look at pageviews. Since they are higher they make me feel more important!! haha! Also, since switching over to my new site (and becoming pregnant) I lost a lot of readers so now more than ever I care about pageviews! haha

4 a { 05.12.14 at 12:21 pm }

Clearly, Putin is reading your blog.

Net Neutrality! For people who don’t think it’s important, they should read about this.

I have no idea what makes someone’s reach wide. Page views, independent visitors, or an idea that takes hold and spreads independent of a post. Any or all of those three. Because regardless of whether you have 3000 discrete visitors, the ALI blogosphere extends beyond your website (which is definitely a hub).

5 Tiara { 05.12.14 at 1:50 pm }

Ha! I thought the same thing as A!! Putin must be reading your blog.

I have little understanding of blog stats, etc since until reading this I didn’t even know that page views were different from visitors. I am glad to now know why you have links open in the same window…it use to drive me nuts until I figured out the right click trick…& on my phone, if I tap & hold on the link, it allows me to open in a new window there too.

6 Lori Lavender Luz { 05.12.14 at 4:59 pm }

Wow. That’s a freaky coincidence that you both chose the same tipping point number.

This post will have me thinking for awhile. What does it mean to be influential on the Internet? Can we put a number to it?

Scary constriction there. I don’t see this ending well. And as we all know, we are all interconnected.

7 kateluthner79 { 05.13.14 at 2:04 pm }

I wonder how the work-around will happen… will there be something other than a blog develop in Russia? I’m also skittish about limitations on speech but it is far more fun to think about what the unintended rebound might be.

8 Elisha { 05.13.14 at 10:55 pm }

I would be stoked if I had on average of 3000 page views! hehehe! I have never really thought about visitors vs page views until now. My page views are higher so maybe I like those more 😉

9 Josey { 05.15.14 at 9:22 pm }

I had to laugh at the comments between you and Esperanza, b/c I purposely set links to open in new windows b/c it drives me BONKERS when links open in the window I’m reading from. It never even occurred to me that someone might feel the opposite about it!
I somehow went from about 6k views to 18k views/month in the past 6 months, but I’m blogging less than ever since my SIL died 2 months ago, so those numbers make no sense to me. I guess I’ll take it though?

10 Josey { 05.15.14 at 9:22 pm }

I had to laugh at the comments between you and Esperanza, b/c I purposely set links to open in new windows b/c it drives me BONKERS when links open in the window I’m reading from. It never even occurred to me that someone might feel the opposite about it!
I somehow went from about 6k views to 18k views/month in the past 6 months, but I’m blogging less than ever since my SIL died 2 months ago, so those numbers make no sense to me. I guess I’ll take it though?

11 Mel { 05.15.14 at 9:30 pm }

Whereas if I had a theme where the links opened in a different window, I would probably walk away from the blog. I hate it that much. It stops me from clicking on links in other people’s blogs where I know that will happen.

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