By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
The Gossip Wars: Episode 32609
So now… Sharon Waxman does another piece about Nikki Finke that is both overly generous and not generous enough. Nikki responds with vague splatter.
As I explained before, none of the “reporting” bureaus actually know anyone’s real traffic. They are based on surveys of a very limited number of people. Sharon’s holy grail that she is using in this analysis is Quantcast, whose numbers must be suspect based exclusively on the information offered by the site. For instance, Variety’s traffic peaks in late December… not. They estimate that 605,709 people visit Variety each month… and that they generate only 750,190 visits. Uh, no again.
Of course, I can tell you that regarding MCN, the numbers are off. But more odd, the website that has the second highest affinity with MCN, after Variety, is something called “canhegetit” which seems to be a gay site with porn bent. What that suggests to me is that someone who comes to MCN a lot and who is on their survey list, also likes gay porn. But I don’t think this is a clear definition of our primary readership or which sites they most frequent. In addition… they claim we have 41,966 monthly readers… but 0 visits per month. Oy.
What amuses me, however, is that Nikki (and others) has forever been screaming about the Alexa ratings as regards this site… and I have been explaining forever that Alexa’s rankings come from Google toolbars and MCN’s heavily industry readership clearly does not rock many Alexa toolbars. Didn’t faze her. And then Sharon throws Quantcast’s b.s. at her and the world has come to an end. Love that.
(I shouldn’t be surprised… I used to get nasty e-mail from Nikki on a regular basis complaining about my temerity in commenting on other journalist’s work… something she’d never do. Until, of course, it was in her interest. I still do it for the same reasons I always have: 1) because if we dish it out, we should be able to take it (when it’s actually about the work), and 2) in the hope of unearthing more accuracy.)
As for Nikki, I broke down what her traffic really looks like earlier this week. Its not rocket science. And the notion that Charlie Koones was willing to drop $500,000 on buying Nikki’s site is a hoot. But to answer the question that Sharon has posed to her by someone at Variety, no, hiring another reporter instead of buying Nikki would not make a lot of sense for Variety. Nikki gets more attention than any one reporter or critic, however disgusting the attention. At the same time, thinking that Nikki could be monetized by Variety is also absurd.
But Sharon… really… learn what facts are facts and which ones are guesses. Throwing around web ratings and getting sucking into the “uniques” vs page views thing (or worse… not even considering it) is extremely weak tea. Think about the notion of Variety actually having 600,000 readers, instead of 60,000 in any given month, which is probably around the realistic number of actual people. Same with Nikki’s alleged 200,000 readers… most of who come up on Quantcast and Alexa and others via Drudge, not via regular readership.
Of course, it is in Sharon’s interest to believe in these tracking services because Quantcast is already claiming that The Wrap has over 100,000 readers… which is obviously inaccurate. Meanwhile, Alexa has traffic for The Wrap behind not only MCN, but behind The Hot Blog as a standalone, while Quantcast doesn’t have enough data to analyze The Hot Blog, but has MCN with less than half the readers of The Wrap.
It’s all a messy, blurry joke, folks. One that is probably costing me money. But still… the numbers are a jumbled mess that have people self-selecting which services they choose to believe because of which ones make them look better. I choose “none.” But I certainly would never hold any site up or down based on these random and often inaccurate surveys.
Finally, Nikki showed her truest colors in a post yesterday…
NBC Security Freaks Over Research Leak, in which she gloats about the effort to secure test screening research from the press, and in this particular case, Nikki, who ran it in full with the intent to harm and no insight whatsoever.
Do you get it, writers? She is not your friend. If her ego is fed by chasing Ben Silverman around – always via whatever source has been after him from the start of his tenure and has fed Nikki every single piece – then the writers of Parks & Recreation be damned. Nor does she care about the actors in the show… or the many other union employees of NBC, etc, etc, etc. And caring about journalism… HA! Nikki cares about Nikki. Nikki cares about being respected… even more so when she least deserves it. Nikki fears being found out to be the con artist that she has always been – which is why she has never been able to hold a job in her long career – and fear is her only tool.
It’s not funny, people. It’s not just about embarrassing the bosses, who are such easy targets. This person is the embodiment of everything she claims to be against… except for one small element… she’s ever done anything of value in her entire career… not one insight that has ever meant anything… not one contribution that has actually improved anyone’s lot in life beyond the momentary thrill of shaking your fist at the giants.
I am going to keep beating this drum because it’s what I do… and because, in the end, however boring, it’s really important. It takes a village to raise our standards. Let’s not be too lazy to do so.