How KONY 2012 messed up my site statistics for the next 52 weeks

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So sad to think that might be the busiest day ever…

9 thoughts on “How KONY 2012 messed up my site statistics for the next 52 weeks

  1. But if it’s any consolation, it got you a bunch of new blog readers (which will also mess up your stats, cause those nasty little buggers tend to read off their readers, telling you nothing).

  2. 1) You should write a post connecting this to the perils of econometric modelling, or maybe the flaw of averages…

    2) I’m tossing this onto my towering pile of evidence that very few people will use Kony 2012 as a genuine opportunity to “dig deeper” (R.A.’s good point notwithstanding). A quarter million views in one week, and three weeks later it’s back to the same old same old.

  3. Can you say Black Swan? Somewhere Nassim Taleb is chuckling. Just another humble reminder of the sometimes complicated relationship between input and output.

  4. Sorry Prof. Blattman, this may have mostly been my fault. I have 400,000 very enthusiastic facebook friends, so most of these views were probably from me after i posted a couple of your links. I’ll try to be more cautious with my posting in the future!

  5. @Johrune Yes, I have. My comment had nothing to do with that.

    My comment was about whether most Kony 2012 supporters would “dig deeper,” in the sense that they would inform themselves the way Invisible Children said they would (see IC’s “Critiques” page), not about whether Congress would legislate in response to the campaign. Legislation on any given issue does not imply an informed electorate on that issue. You know you agree with that…

    Again, to clarify what I meant: if even HALF of the hundreds of thousands of people who visited Chris’ blog that week wanted to “dig deeper” (in the sense that they wanted a substantially more nuanced understanding of the LRA, advocacy, conflict, and development than what was presented in the Kony 2012 video) do you think that a few weeks later less than 10% of them would still be coming back to see what Prof. B. had to say about those issues? Probably not.

    It’s more likely, I think, that the vast majority of those people were like commenter Jim on Chris’ post about Invisible Children and the LRA from 2009 (go visit that post now to see what I mean), who read a whole two articles in response to the campaign and came to a conclusion on IC, the LRA, and Kony 2012 more or less immediately, and that’s about as deep as they’ll go. Notice that Jim concluded from Chris’ post that Prof B. is “lacking a moral compass.” Nice!

    Still don’t agree? See here: http://www.google.com/trends/?q=joseph+kony&ctab=0&geo=all&date=mtd&sort=0