Sterling has had some things to say about statistics that can be used to describe one’s weblog, recently. He commented on Technorati rankings, readability metrics, and even a full bias-disclosure gauge that is lamentably not automatically operated.
Readability for SOB looks something like this image. You can get your own site readability analysis (as well as an explanation of what some of these terms mean) by clicking the image. The first thing that struck me about the readability measures for my writing is that now, several years after the last time I checked, my “readability” is climbing (which means the “Flesch-Kincaid grade level” is dropping).
The Technorati ranking for SOB is about 238,724 with 139 links from 14 sites detected. Alexa, meanwhile, places my ranking (outside the weblog ecosystem) at about 3,378,473 for the last three months. I’ve got a long way to go if I want to catch up with Wikipedia. I’m tending to get between 100 and 200 visits a day this month, though of course probably two thirds of those on average are repeat visitors from other days.
Site logs are showing about a 33% advantage for Windows over Linux, in terms of percentages of each OS amongst visitors to SOB. Firefox holds a similar lead over Internet Explorer, though, so Microsoft isn’t an undisputed win over open source software. Other operating systems and browsers are showing much more trivial comparative representation here.
Anyone thinking of entering politics to pursue public office, or considering employment with a government bureaucracy, or even pondering whether or not to register to vote, should go to Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble or anywhere else they need to go to get a (possibly used) copy of PJ O’Rourke’s book Parliament of Whores. As it is explained on the cover, “a lone humorist attempts to explain the entire US Government”.
He’s more than a humorist, of course. He’s a thinking human being with significant experience watching the machinery of US government and politics at work, as a White House correspondent for Rolling Stone, among other “respectable” journalistic professional pursuits. He’s also damned entertaining to read.
I spent two and a half years examining the American political process. All that time I was looking for a straightforward issue. But everything I investigated — election campaigns, the budget, lawmaking, the court system, bureaucracy, social policy — turned out to be more complicated than I had thought. There were always angles I hadn’t considered, aspects I hadn’t weighed, complexities I’d never dreamed of. Until I got to agriculture. Here at last is a simple problem with a simple solution. Drag the omnibus farm bill behind the barn, and kill it with an ax.
Having read the chapter on US agricultural policy that precedes that incredible statement, I have to disagree. I think he’s being a trifle too kind.
Find this book and read it. It’s more important for forming a well-reasoned view of needed short-term governmental policy than anything else I have ever read. Seriously. Despite the fact it’s about a decade and a half old, now, the only changes it needs take the form of increased emphasis: what was true when it was written is even more true now.