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What the heck happened November 8-9?

Anomaly

I glanced at the Google Analytics for this web site, and the chart showing the number of unique users looked totally wrong. Here’s what I’m talking about:

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Shark attack?

The November 8 number is 5,337 with 6,752 on the 9th. That’s far more than normal (November 5 had 607). On a normal monthly report, about 38% are new visitors, with most being returning readers; on these two days, the new visitor number was 93.5%. So these were not my regular readers.

Where did they come from?

They came from all over. Here’s the top of the chart of locations:

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So what was it?

Most of the hits were referred from reddit.com. Reddit is a social media site where registered users suggest articles, which are voted up or down in popularity. Someone must have suggested an article from my site, and 10,000 people clicked on it. As best I can tell, the article is not recent, but one called “False Flag Operation” from last March, the debunking of a Internet photo of Michelle Obama titled “Hooray for Communism.”

So much for my site’s 15 hours of fame.

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“Obama Times” added to the Bad list

H/t to Orly Taitz for a link to the “Obama Times,” a blog with a massive number of anti-Obama articles started in 2009. Its articles appear primarily to consist of links to stories at other web sites. While not a pure birther play, it has birther linked content, for example:

The site is operated by “Don the Kook” who describes himself as a “Patriotic American” from Dallas, Texas.

Fogbow fields fresh forum format: folks find few flaws

Visitors to The Fogbow forums today found a new look presented by new forum software, IP Board. While many topics are covered at The Fogbow, I know it as the most active of the anti-birther online venues. Existing content and user accounts were migrated to the new software. You can read the details of the conversion process and what’s happening here and listen to “Foggy and Dr. Ken Answer Questions about IP Board” tonight (25 August) on RCRadio at 8 PM (UTC-4).

Popular Politics Internet Radio with RCRadio on BlogTalkRadio

I personally like the new look that I find cleaner and easier on the eyes. The new software has a few cool features; for example, if you hover your mouser over a user’s hyperlink (not the avatar), a little window pops with information about that user including what they are doing.

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Search is neatly consolidated into a single search bar with options:

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There is also a mobile version of the forum, accessible automatically on mobile devices (here shown on an iPhone) with a button (not shown) at the bottom to switch to the full site:

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A number of rough edges remain after most of the big stuff has been ironed out. Externally-hosted user avatars didn’t convert, so those users will have to upload those images. The nifty search is also not working. Firefox users will be flying without a spell checker, although Chrome is said to check spelling OK. At present the venerable [sekrit] tag isn’t implemented (I think it’s called “spoiler” now). In a few instances, the BBCode isn’t being interpreted.

So go check it out.

Are you blogging more… But enjoying it less?

Borrowing an advertising slogan from Camel cigarettes, I introduce this research article about the Orly Taitz web site. I have never fully trusted poll numbers on birthers because a poll respondent does not necessarily tell the truth, nor do polls measure birther enthusiasm. One other source for information comes from the public participation on birther blogs.

I have published site statistics from this blog covering the past 3 years, and at the present time interest measured in page views on this blog is on the decline. What about birther sites? Generally birther web sites do not publish their activity statistics. Orly Taitz has a page hit counter2 of dubious value, and as of last month, verified numbers from her site are available at Alexa.com, but there is no historical data.

One way to value site engagement is to look at comments1, and while it is tedious to do, it is possible to count comments on a WordPress blog by crawling the entire site, and this is what I have done for Orly’s blog. Here’s the result  from March of 2010 to the present:

TaitzComments

The high point is January of 2013, the month Barack Obama began his second term as president. Of course any measure of comments at the Taitz site is affected by her moderation policy and the fact that she deletes comments and articles. Also this doesn’t account for any technical errors in my data-gathering software, or historical data loss.

Just for comparison, here are the comment numbers for my site added for the same period:

WebComments

Given statistics that suggest Taitz has twice the number of page views than here, the relatively small number of comments is really striking.


1Most blog visitors do not comment, so comment numbers don’t equal visits, but comment numbers can be studied over time. One thing of note is that visitors here have more to say about the articles than they do at Orly’s site. While the average article here has about 65 comments, the number there is around 4. Of course Taitz has many times the number of articles that I do.

2The Taitz hit counter first appeared in November of 2011 with an initial value around 22,518,751. Here is a chart roughly showing monthly values over the prior month using historical values from the Wayback Machine:

TaitzHits

While her comment totals are tapering off the past few months, her hit counter seems to be trending up.

Counting Obots

Thanks to a commenter here for pointing me to a comment at Birther Report by a commenter named Rhodalicious. It’s the quote of the day now, and a longer version of this despairing remark about inactivity from the Cold Case Posse appears in the Quote Archives.

These days it can be hard to tell whether a commenter at a birther site is a birther being outrageous, or someone imitating a birther being outrageous, so I took a moment to look at the Intense Debate profile for Rhodalicious to get a sense of where they are coming from. I rather liked this one:

In about 5 billion years the Sun is going to run low on fuel. At that point, it will expand to become a "red giant" star, and its diameter will exceed the orbit of Earth, meaning that the Earth will be incinerated.

I’m hoping that Sheriff Arpaio and Mike Zullo will see fit to release their evidence at least a few years before then.

I found a pattern of frustration about the Cold Case Posse’s inaction, but I found something else more interesting: There is a screen shot from a profile page, I presume from The Fogbow, showing the number of users on the site. I won’t reproduce it here, but you can view it from the Intense Debate link. Someone had said, How many of them [Obots] are left these days — 6 or 8? The comment’s reply was that The Fogbow had more than 8000 posts in June and on the day he checked there were 1,247 users online in a 24-hour period. Rhodalicious notes that at least one person online (and I recognized others) was a birther.

Fogbow down: Obots absquatulated?

Update: Fogbow Back up.

imageFirst it was Orly blocked by an “attack page” warning, and now probably the foremost anti-birther web site, The Fogbow, is down. It’s down, grounded. Trailing clouds of glory, it’s down! (Talk like that makes me hungry.)

You know, I was seriously considering moving this site to the company Foggy uses. :shock: Whatever the problem is, it effects many sites hosted by his company, so unless this is a massive false flag operation, Foggy is not en route to Belarus or Paraguay or wherever Obots are supposed to absquatulate to, when “any day now” becomes today.

8 PM (6/28/2014)

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8:09 PM (6/28/2014)

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8:52 PM (any day now)

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9:20 PM (6/28/2014)

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9:28 PM

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