Give Me All Your Money
David at ISOU says that if only all 5000 or so of his daily visitors would vote for him at the Weblog Awards, he would have the competition sewn up.
It makes me wonder about the level of commitment of weblog readers. Commitment may be the wrong word, as it makes you guys sound lazy. Maybe engagement or emotional investment would be a better term. I wonder how many of my readers reach Sortapundit on purpose. How many accidentally clicked a link and closed the window before the page loaded fully? How many scanned a post and never returned?
Obviously the number of people invested enough to comment on the posts will always be far fewer than the actual readership, mainly because very few people care that much about my writing (and rightly so. I don't think I'd find your diary or yearbook engrossing, either).
I've often thought (fantasised, I suppose) how great would it be if every one of my readers gave me a dollar each time they visited? I figure I'd net about $680 dollars a day, and a little under $250,000 a year. A quarter mil is not to be sniffed at. Even if the donation was just 10 cents a visit I'd make $25,000 per annum - I could live reasonably comfortably on that, spending my days blogging and watching reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond.
I'd like to try a little experiment. Don't worry, it won't cost you anything (until the day I make you join my cult and sign over all your worldly possesions to me). Leave a comment, any comment, at the bottom of this post. You don't have to register, and the comment could be as simple as '$'. I just want to see how many people are paying attention enough to post. Thanks.
p.s. You know, if any of you feel like it *scuffs ground with toe, hands clasped behind back* there's a tip jar up there on the top right.
On a slightly similar subject, John Hawkins at Right Wing News is surprised at just how little traffic is generated by a link from a mainstream news source following a few recent mentions from high profile online news sources.
These websites do major traffic, but wouldn't it be interesting to know how well read particular columnists are? That would tell us a lot. For example, could it be possible that more people actually read Glenn Reynolds over at Instapundit each day than read Howard Kurtz? Does Charles Johnson over at Little Green Footballs actually have more people laying eyeballs on what he writes each day than say any one column at MSNBC? I'd love to know....
The point, I think, that links what I was talking about earlier with what John is saying here is that it's all about how engaged the reader is (on that point, James Joyner uses the same term here). I have no idea who draws the highest readership, but I'd wager that the average Charles Johnson post, partisan and tendentious it will be, gets more engaged readers than the column of your choice at MSNBC.