Monday, July 06, 2009

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum

Above image © Stephen Sondheim

On Friday ... I noticed a small uptick in traffic. I investigated.

Apparently, The Cult Of Mac Blog @ WIRED had linked to my "3Gs prototype on eBay" story.

My normal daily totals are usually around 5000 hits these days. Some days I see 8 or 9000. On days where I have a good story, I can see as many as 40,000 visitors. My highest one day total is 540,000 - yeah FIVE HUNDRED FORTY THOUSAND!

I did a story on Steve Jobs and a story about a MATCH.COM date gone wrong in 2006 - both of those stories got quite a bit of attention around the web. Mostly - I get a spike when a large website picks up one of my stories and properly links here.

I've had Google Adsense and Amazon affiliate links set up for almost three years now. My average off of both of these sources of revenue is about $100 a month.

On the day my infamous court case got on the front page of Slashdot, and recycled around the web - I received $1482.17 in Adsense revenue, $118.00 in Amazon affiliate revenue, and had two "offers" for advertising on my blog.

At that time, I wasn't advertising my USB Network Adapter.

Over the years - I've had a number of stories DUGG, Slashdotted, etc etc - I have yet to get "Grubered" - but I would expect the traffic would be significant if I ever do.

I was upset to find that on Friday afternoon two of the top 50 websites for geeks on the net - Engadget & MacRumors - had linked to the Cult Of Mac entry - that linked to me. Engadget, took it a step further and linked to an obscure website called Electric Pig, which linked to Cult Of Mac, which linked to me.

* Engadget's improper crediting almost seemed blatant

I wasn't receiving any recognition from a story that I had reported on A WEEK PRIOR and already been aggregated in MacSurfer for - due to my own article submission.

MacRumors:Prototype iPhone 3GS on eBay? (No, No Matte Case)

Engadget: iPhone 3GS prototype scooped up at airport, now on eBay

Both Engadget AND MacRumors didn't properly credit me for the story - which I posted within 23 minutes of the auction being posted and had up on several mac News feeds within a few hours. It may sound like I'm whining - but we're talking about possibly thousands of dollars that I was cheated out of because news sources THAT KNOW BETTER didn't properly footnote their stories.

I tried to salvage some of the hits by commenting more than I could here in the forums of the two websites regarding this "prototype" - the trail of lies and vitriol spread by the eBay seller (which commented in both forums) is quite the spectacle. Hit the links above and read the story.

End of rant ...

If any of you feel sorry for me (ha ha) click on a Google adsense ad to help make up for this!


FYT said...

From Engadget Editor In Chief through email:

Rus -

I took a look at your post, and while I understand your frustration, I think the situation is more about standard practice than intentional snubbing.

The way we link is thus:

We read the news > we find a story that looks interesting

Now, the place where WE FIND the story becomes our "Via" -- the place where WE first SEE the news.

Then we hunt down the SOURCE or READ link -- that's the final, most original link we can locate in relation to the story. If it were a press release, it would be the manufacturer's PR page. If it were a product announcement with corresponding product page, it would be that. If it's an originally sourced / written piece of news from another site or publication, it's that (say, an editorial or investigative piece in the NYT, as an example).

In this case, the source was eBay -- not your blog. Had we found it via your blog, you would have been... the via. As it is, we found it via another site, so they get the via, and the READ link goes to the source, again, eBay.

I can see how you might take this as a snub, but this is the way we (and many many other sites) link and have always linked. If we tried to look for the original via on every story, we'd never get any news written. It's just the nature of the beast.

Hope this helps you understand the process, and hopefully you'll feel less like we've snubbed you here. In the future, by the way, if you have a story you want to share with us, you can email me directly.


Joshua Topolsky
Editor-in-chief, Engadget

I am a lover of children's literature said...

At around 30 to 50 hits per day, I think you got me beat! The London Times linked to one of my stories once and pow.... I got one or two hundred hits per day for a week or more!

Fortunately, I'm not really trying to get hits, my blog is just therapy to help me over come my extreme fatigue syndrome that I suffer from, otherwise I might just get a little jealous of you Philip. lol.

Hope you get even more hits in the future. Cheers.

FYT said...

Well ...

Thanks ... I'm not doing this for a living and I never post a story to get hits.

I was just making the point that it could have cost me thousands. Thousands is always nice.

MacRumors Arnold Kim changed the story ... That was a nice surprise. A little late ... but a nice gesture.