Saturday, June 25, 2011

Department of Documentation, Pop-Up Blog/NBA Draft Edition

I'm more of a word-user than a data-understander. I don't know that Gladwell has taxonomized those particular Types of Modern Information Worker, but what I mean is that I don't totally understand how to read internet data. I know that 'uniques' are a thing you want, and I understand numbers well enough to know that a large number of page-views is more than a smaller number of same. So I'm pretty much qualified to serve as a cyber-security consultant to most members of the House of Representatives, but also essentially a ignoramus on the fine points. But I suspect, from looking at the data for this pop-up NBA Draft blog I did with a few other people, that it was kind of a success.

I don't totally know what a pop-up blog even is -- it just seems like the right term for the thing, which was a sort of spur-of-the-moment collabo between Bethlehem Shoals, Brian Phillips, Tim Marchman, Joey Straight Bangin Litman and Jason Johnson and Michael Katz, the iced-out fashionistos at Clyde Frazier Approves. (And also me) Overall, I think it worked pretty well as an exercise -- we all enjoyed ourselves and typed some things about the draft in real-ish time and stayed off the howling heath that is Twitter for awhile. As a prototype for the Future of Internets it's probably not much: there wasn't quite as much talking-to-each-other as there could have been. But much of the writing, not surprisingly -- given the people involved -- was VERY DOPE. I even wrote something that I like about Jeremy Tyler, and I barely even know anything about Jeremy Tyler. It was supernatural. Gods and monsters and Bismack Biyombo's freaky arms. The whole thing.

So I know, because I've read it over, that it was pretty good. Words, there, which helped. But I looked at the stats on the site yesterday, and was surprised/delighted/confused to see that the site got something like 5,100 pageviews over the course of its first 24 hours of existence. About a fifth of those came through Twitter, another couple hundred through a mention at Deadspin, a 150 or so through Tumblr (all Shoals, there) and the rest... are magic? I don't know, if that's in the stats, I can't make sense of it. (There have been another couple hundred since, which is weird given that nothing has gone up -- or will go up -- since I said goodnight following the selection of that Hungarian guy)

Now, 5000-plus pageviews seems like quite a lot to me, although I'm not really sure/really not the guy to ask if that's actually true in either absolute or relative terms. But, but: it was a lot of fun, and I'd do the hell out of it again, whatever those numbers mean. And, and here's the silly thing about even looking at things like blog-stats, I'd do it again just as much if half or twice as many people read it. Of all the good things to have happened in my writing life over the past year, the opportunity to not just get the time of day but to actually build with the dudes linked above (and others I respect as much) might be the coolest. I can't quantify that, either, but I know it and I'm grateful for it.

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