My bump and his

A few days ago saw a nice bump in the number of visitors to this blog; some amused soul had posted my definition of a triple blind experiment on Reddit’s science section and whomp there’s eight times the folks a normal day sees.

(And the absolute numbers? Egads, don’t you know that’s the net equivalent of dropping pants / upping skirt and waving your privates in everyone’s face? Which is to say, unless you’re a John either Scalzi or Holmes, someone who can outweigh the breach of manners with something really impressive — don’t do it.)

(Also, it’s not the size of your readership, but how you use it.)

Was feeling irrationally smug about this bump, for a while; then Charles Stross, the sci-fi author, writes these words on his blog:

we’re down to only 18,000 readers per hour!

Apparently his post on a British politician either deluded or involved in something weird, “Did somebody just try to buy the British government?“, was picked up by the twittering giant* Neil Gaiman, and Stross’s post had, over a period of 24 hours, 1.44 million views.

Perspective’s a wonderful thing.

* * *

* : Yes, that famous writer Neil Gaiman. And “twittering giant” doesn’t mean he’s seven foot seven and incessantly talks in a chirpy voice; just that his Twitter account, neilhimself, has 1.5 million followers.

Which I have trouble visualizing, since that kind of a readership would be, for a newspaper, somewhere in the top five in either the US or the UK. Or almost a third of the entire damn population of Finland. There are countries, Estonia comes to mind first, with a population smaller than the number of Neil Gaiman’s Twitter followers. A quick look at Wikipedia seems to show that of the 224 countries in the world today, 74 have less people than the Tyrannidom of Neil! And he has more followers than the 34 smallest nations taken together! (The cut-off comes between Tonga and Kiribati, in the 100 000 people range.)

If I had to tweet for that kind of an audience, I would shit the kind of a terror-log that’d be worshipped as a sacred iron pillar in Delhi. But Neil Gaiman, he doesn’t do that kinda shit.

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