The Corner

Slate’s Doohickey Cont’d

I thought this was interesting:

Hi Jonah,

Please don’t use my name 🙂

I’ve done work in web analytics consulting for a number of these companies and Slate’s numbers are laughable. NDA rules prohibit me from saying more than “Slate’s estimates do not represent the whole of the readership” of many of those sites.

What’s really interesting to me, however, is the distribution. When you take a summation of the percents of all the sites, you get a 60/40 conservative/liberal split. And if you consider that a “leaning site” is one that has readership at 60% or higher for a given ideology, there are 53 conservative sites and 20 liberal sites. And using just the readership of those sites, and the percent conservative/liberal of those sites, you get 6.8m unique hits at conservative leaning sites, and 1.8m hits at liberal leaning sites.

And the big picture… of the combined 28,613,514 unique page hits they are claiming, 60 percent of those hits were by conservatives (likely meaning their sample size of 12,000 people was 60% conservative). It’s no wonder that FoxNews is winning in all the ratings games – they’re catering the largest audience. (Because the individual sites are not aggregating unique visitors, we can’t do much more of an analysis accurately. But it makes you wonder – why are there more conservatives [and conservative sites] getting unique hits? Are we more likely to look at multiple news sources? Do conservatives care more about news/information? Are there just that many more conservatives?)

Then again… considering that Slate claims a near 50/50 split, I wonder how useful any meaningful evaluation of their data really is. Thanks for all the work you do Jonah – it’s nice to read something worthwhile in the heart of [name of famously liberal city withheld].

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