Red vs Blue

When I worked in Commercial Radio back in New York State, it didn’t really matter when the Arbitron Ratings Book came out, because whatever station you worked for was destined to be #1.  Number one in adults 18-49, #1 in adults 34 and up, #1 country, #1 in news and talk, #1 FM rocker….it didn’t matter what the numbers said, it was how you defined your slice of the pie.

So with that, a HT to our friend Matt Cunningham at Red County, for turning us on to a web tracking site  They have been a number of discussions about ways to measure the readership for the political blogs in OC.  And there have been posts about the pending demise of Newspapers compared to the rise of blogs.   

Yet, the wrap of Yesterday’s LA Times had this message from editor Russ Stanton about the Times about their Internet presence:, which is increasingly becoming the destination of choice that busy readers turn to for breaking news coverage, also brings the series to multimedia life.

Our website just recorded its biggest month ever in June with 115 million page views, a 50% increase over last year.  Readers flocked to our online coverage of the overturning of the ban on gay marriage and the Lakers playoff run, and to a new database honoring California residents who lost their lives in the line of duty during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also embraced our new Olympics, Technology, Countdown to Crawford, and The Big Picture blogs.

The blogs in OC are arguing over readership in the thousands. The truth is, we’d struggle to make the circulation numbers of the Irvine World News. Once the newspapers figure out how to monetize eyeballs on the Internet to advertising dollars, they will survive and prosper.  And as bloggers, we need the newspaper to survive, lest our new world of blog journalism descend into stories and posts that publish rumor and innuendo over facts and good old fashioned homework. 

BNN rates TheLiberalOC #2 overall this week, showing that we’ve bounced back from our systems upgrade where readers came to the site but there was little new in the way of content.  We also look to Sitemeter as a benchmark for webhits.  But in terms of tracking actual readers, we’re holding our own with our friends at Red County in terms of people counts, with defines as:

People Counts are also known as unique visitors – they only count a person once no matter how many times they visit a site in a given month. People Counts are typically used to determine how popular a site is.

RedCounty still has twice the readers we do, but it shouldn’t be surprising in OC where Republicans are the largest party.  And while I’m sure we share some readers, both blogs provide the spectum on issues that affect all of us, though viewed through partisan lenses.  But in terms of People Counts, this is where Sitemeter fails because it cannot distinguish how often readers keep coming back to the site.  So, you could have a blog with high sitemeter listings due to a small number of readers clicking away on pages.

So in terms of monthly people count, here’s how we compare against our BNN rival:       4,115          9,252    

The numbers above represent the number of unique users for each blog during the month of June. There are other benchmarks, just go to www.compete .com and type in any three websites you wish to for comparions in multiple categories.

The numbers themselves – hardly impressive for a mass media outlet with a partisan touch.  Red County’s multiple properties and print edition place them in a different class than another other political blog in the OC. They may actually make money from blogging which is the true measue of success.

We don’t blog for ratings. 

We blog to write the stories that need to be written. 

We write the stories you don’t find in the partisan conservative press.  We’re here to be a voice, a resource for liberals and Democrats in this very Republican County.  We blog for three readers as much as we do for 3,000.  We’re happy to have you along for the ride.

  2 comments for “Red vs Blue

  1. July 28, 2008 at 6:29 pm

    Additional Ranking Data From Technorati also provides a rankig of blogs. Their ramkings take two forms.

    The first is their Authority Ranking. The higher the number the more authority the blog has.

    The Liberal OC: 82
    RedCounty-Orange County: 72 205
    Total Buzz: 123
    Orange Juice: 32

    Second, there is the actual Site Rank. Here the lower the number the better (Number 1 being best).

    The Liberal OC: 81,121
    Red County-Orange County: 95,322 39,228
    Total Buzz: 48,584
    Orange Juice: 230,018

    I guess all this realy proves is that sight rankings are all over the map. What really matters is whether or not the individual likes what they read and comes back. Of course, we hope you do.

    – Chris Prevatt, Publisher

  2. anon
    July 28, 2008 at 6:35 pm

    Right. And then so what some of the blogs do is post the info that casts them in the most favorable light and ignore the stats that are relatively unfavorable. The sad part is taking then taking the time to make a big deal about it or brag about it. It’s all creepily narcissistic.

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