Tuesday, April 08, 2008

I was going to write about...

... PoliticsHome but, having visited the site this morning, my eyes were bleeding so profusely that I have had to go out and get a Braille keyboard. Seriously, I was like a haemophiliac Le Chiffre. With an eye aneurysm. And high blood pressure.

To be honest, what the hell is the point of PoliticsHome? I mean, I've got RSS feeds, and I've willing to bet that most of the other political anoraks that inhabit this 'sphere have got to grips with that technology too.

And, you see, the great thing about my RSS feeds is that I can determine what is important and I can decide what I want to comment on. Admittedly, those things are usually those that irritate the shit out of me but—hey!—everyone has to have a hobby, right?

Perhaps PoliticsHome is supposed to make money? 18 Doughty Street resolutely failed to do so—indeed, it seemed to almost entirely lack any kind of revenue stream whatsoever—and I cannot see PoliticsHome making enough to support—what?—four full-time staff even if it had any advertising. Admittedly, it has only just launched so maybe they are waiting until they get the numbers up but even so there is a problem.

The simple fact is that the UK political blogosphere is pretty damn small, as the recent wrangles have shown. There might be half a million people out there. Maybe.

Last month, I got about 22,000 absolute unique visitors. Let us assume that that is a rough total base of 22,000 people who read this site: so, how much do I make in advertising? Well, since I am "not family friendly" enough, Adsense won't serve to me; when they last did, however, I was making roughly $120 per month with about half my current traffic. So, let's be generous and say that I could now be making $300 per month. Which, at current exchange rates, is about £151.

Anyway, the only ads I carry are MessageSpace: so, how much do I make out of them? Well, since I joined last September, up until this date I have made a grand total of £250. It's welcome enough, to be sure; it allows me to buy a few beers but it's not enough to allow me to write this trash full-time (that'd be nice though, eh?). (Although, again, my penchant for swearing like a trooper probably precludes me getting some of the more lucrative contracts.)

So, at an average of roughly 65,000 page loads, 50,000 unique visits and 20,000 absolute uniques, I could be making roughly £180 per month. Well, whoopee-fucking-doo!

Whilst obviously I wish them all the very, very best, I give PoliticsHome one year or expenditure of £1 million: whichever comes soonest...

UPDATE: Tygerland is similarly unimpressed.
Number One. We need another politics feed aggregator like we need Doughty Street’s acrylic plants back in our lives. Aren’t there enough twatting sites sucking content from other people? I wonder, if Stephan Shakespeare can actually get a return on PolHome (18DS haemorrhaged cash), will he share revenue with the people actually providing the guts to his site, or will it be another parasite feeding off the the RSS-teat of other content providers?

Number Two. Who needs a Bloomberg for politics? Business requires up to the minute information. Minutes lost can translate directly into lost revenues. Politics is an industry of wanky news items about MP’s tawdry sex lives and a never-ending conveyor belt of financial scandals. Politicos like to think they’re champions of the universe with ultra-busy lives, but in truth it wouldn’t matter a jot if most of them just fell off the planet.

And believe me, I wish most of them would...

7 comments:

Dan said...

It's like a migraine writ large as a website - absolutely horrendous graphics.

The top headlines are in orange, then the other headers are in lime green(!) and turquoise. Nothing fits together or flows or, in fact, makes you think anything other than ARGH!

What were they thinking - let's give the colour blind kid a go with Dreamweaver? I'd give it six months - it's a dodo, without a doubt.

Anonymous said...

Blog stats are a complete joke. Imagine if the Guardian claimed it sold 450,000 copies a day, but that means 365 x 450,000 = 164million unique readers in a year!My guess is that the number of unique (based on IP) visits per day is a good indication of the number of "readers" when compared to newspaper circulation. Number of unique visits in a day = number of readers, period. The reason I say this is that dynamic IP addresses are usually assigned when someone first logs on in the day and then they keep that IP address until they log off at the end of the day. Counters based on cookies may also be deleted at the end of a working day, so also aren't a perfect measure, when taken over long periods.

In any case it simply makes no sense to say you've got many orders of magnitude more visitors than you have people commenting, especially when many are commenting simply to publicise their own blogs! When looking at forums where views are listed against comments you usually find there are about 100 non contributing readers for each person leaving a comment. 200 regular commenters implies 20,000 regular readers. Oh, and people clicking on the site by accident and then clicking away immediately doesn't count.

To be honest, that still ain't bad when compared to the Guardian, which has a hell of a lot more resources than a one-man-band blogger but still can't manage a circulation of half a million. And my guess is that the Guardian website can't claim more than 100,000 genuine readers anyway - if there were more there paper circulation would be really suffering.

Thing is, there are so many bloggers out there claiming ridiculous site visitor figures you can see why some are suckered into believing that money can be made from it. You can see why there are some claiming high site stats - they wouldn't have any influence at all if there numbers were really known.

Truth is, most people that read a newspaper only buy it for the sport. When are you going to do a sports column DK?

John Trenchard said...

yikes. what a horrendous site.

here's how you should do white on black


http://www.popurls.com


and unlike polhome , its the work of just ONE guy...

oh - and it caused a popup webservice error when i hit my back button in firefox...

the .aspx extension is a dead giveaway - its running on crappy Microsoft bollocks.

Anonymous said...

Dear God, the death of the web in bright colours on a swishy black 'n' grey background...

In all fairness though it must be said that politics is a mess, so they are doing a sort of accurate representation here. And one thing almost worth a second look is tracking the MSM coverage of "issues" by column inches, etc though how they judge whether a story is political or just interesting isn't clear...

ukipwebmaster said...

Ugly, Ugly, Ugly....and boring!

Mike Rouse said...

Nice to know that my contract was terminated for this... Kind of shows that the problem before was not with the staff that were axed or otherwise compelled to leave.

Anonymous said...

mike just be glad you got out of there in time!!