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@Mack - the mood swings have been like a roller coaster lately. I wonder if they will arbitrarily take chunks out. Arbitrary seems to suit Web 1.0 ;-)

@Carolyn Ann - beautiful, I learned something new I will need to investigate - Erlang. Of course, intuitively I have been operating that way my whole career. But the boss du jour always insists on data and facts. In many instances I found that truth trumps facts. So there. Strangely enough, my number today seems to be back on the track it left weeks ago. Go figure! Agencies are not the only ones guilty of "not invented here" I could make a long list, but I promised that I would do no evil :D

I wonder if I get counted in your total Valeria... and if not then I guess I'm proof that the number is more of a very big ballpark than something that should be relied on as anything approaching an accurate headcount. I route all my RSS feeds, whether Feedburner or not, through Feedblitz and receive them as a consolidated daily email.
=) Marc

I've got this strong desire to be quite imperious: "once upon a time, when I attended a class at MIT", etc. (I actually did attend a summer course at MIT! But it was a long time ago, and I'm sure my mental acuity has diminished since those heady days...)

Google's Analytics tell only part of the story re readership; As far as I know, no one has ever sat down and studied network, blog and so on, traffic in a manner that does it justice. Some have tried to explain readership variation in technical terms; some have explained it in terms that indicate a less than comprehensible (er, complete?) understanding of the subject. (I have another term for that, but it's not nice.)

If we say "this is an application" - so that Valeria's wonderful words become the application, and then ask "how many read it?" at any given moment, track that readership over a certain (and useful) period of time - we'll end up with something that describes how network traffic works.

There will be a busy period - it'll be approximately a few hours long; this will be followed by a period of inactivity, and then another smaller burst of demand. Afterwards, once most people are ensconced in their apartments (there's a reason I make that assumption), there will be another small burst of readership - aka "traffic".

(The reason being that readers with kids, will more than likely be doing different things to the single, or married-no-kids group.)

This will, without a shadow of doubt, define - not follow - some pattern in human behavior. Other activities can be defined around Valeria's readers; likewise, their reading of Valeria's blog can be predicted based upon their other activities. I'd guess that some will head to Valeria's blog as one of their morning routines; others will read it after lunch. Still others, when they get home Obvious, right? Except, if you know a little about your audience - you can target them for your marketing, depending on what time they read. (Google, for all it's wonders, still hasn't figured this one out. I've often said that when you hire only the "brilliant", you end up with a competent, but extremely dumb, organization.)

Anyway, in telephony, this is all measured in "Erlangs" (which happens to be the name of really neat programming language; and also the last name of some guy who had the wit to figure out how to measure network traffic. It's more the pity that no one figured out to how to tell the computer network guys about his work. (I tried; but have you ever tried to tell a room, full of geeks who know how the world works - despite their own impressions - that their latest "innovation" was thought of, about 50 years ago?)

(Tongue firmly in cheek) Once marketing figures out that they can tune a campaign to Erlang measurements - watch out! :-) You can - you just have to know what an Erlang is.

(If you're on a Mac, you're in luck: simply head to Wikipedia. Everyone else, on Windows machines, you'll have to arduously type in the wikipedia address, and then query for "Erlang". :-) )

The simple version: think of how TV ads are placed.

Oh, Valeria: if you have a variance of about 400, per day, it simply means that 400 people are out (or otherwise not available) on any particular day. Which, oddly enough, sounds about right.

Imperiously, :-)
Carolyn Ann

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