It ain’t the absolute height of the spike…

Boing Boing: Infographic of blogosphere traffic spikes. Xeni points out a curious feature of the Technorati infographic, where a point labeled “Kryptonite lock controversy” is as high as “Indian Ocean tsunami.” I say: it’s not the absolute size of the spike, it’s how it relates to its surroundings. (Uh, bow chicka chicka bow bow.)

Based on my experience interpreting online traffic, the metric of merit when comparing two events isn’t absolute amount of traffic (posts, page views, unique users) but the delta they cause from the normal volume of activity. Look at the time period around “Kryptonite lock controversy”—the spike, while high, is part of a consistently high series of spikes that appears to run from July through shortly after the election. In other words, not dramatic, considering the overall blogosphere activity at that time.

The tsunami, on the other hand, reached the same peak of activity in the middle of a seasonal down period in blog posts—in fact, as I recall, a seasonal down period for Internet activity as a whole. In other words, it’s a hell of a lot more impressive that a bunch of bloggers got off their haunches after the holidays to post about the tsunami—when they weren’t inclined to blog—than that they posted in a period of otherwise high post activity.

(This is the second in a series of occasional posts where I offer my meager expertise to interpret a BoingBoing post about online traffic trends. Maybe I should make this a series. Maybe even a sidebar.)

History is bunk, of course

Whiskey Bar: Scenes From the Cultural Revolution. A simple compare-and-contrast between rhetoric and incidents from the current conservative backlash on college campuses and Mao’s “Cultural Revolution.” But we don’t need to worry about the implications of the comparison, right? Because America is different…

The Left has taken over academe. We want it back.

Mike Rosen, Rocky Mountain News columnist
CU is Worth Fighting For
March 4, 2005

In this great Cultural Revolution, the phenomenon of our schools being dominated by bourgeois intellectuals must be completely changed.

Central Committee of the
Communist Party of China

Resolutions of the Eleventh Plenum
August 1966

For those on the right, true freedom requires more diversity—which, to them, means more conservatives in faculty ranks. “If the system were fair,” says Larry Mumper, sponsor of the Ohio bill, “Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity would be tenured professors somewhere.”

Fighting Words 101
March 7, 2005

“We will strike down the reactionary, bourgeois academic savants! … We will vigorously establish proletarian intellectual authorities, our own academic savants.”

Lin Piao, Deputy Chairman
Communist Party of China
Speech to Red Guards
August 18, 1966

Hat tip to Fury for the link.

New mix: “cool covers”

New mix, “cool covers,” published at the Art of the Mix—I didn’t bother publishing it at iTunes because I had a less than 50% “found rate.”

This is the first mix on which I’ve experimented with using spoken word fragments as linking tracks. I used a software package called Amadeus II to do the editing. Good software; reminds me of SoundEdit Pro, the first editing package I ever used back in 1989 or so.

(Republished from a post that was made yesterday that disappeared.)