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.
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?