This is what happens when a non-techie begins talking about tech stuff…
And what worries me is how politicians can use tech information, or misinformation as how Raul Lambino utilizes it, as propaganda.
Sigaw ng Bayan claims that their website has received 9 million hits in 3 weeks and, in the same breath, promptly claims that “Nine million represents almost 20 percent of the total number of registered voters.” (Source: Belinda Cunanan’s column).
Yuga and the rest of the blogsphere immediately responded, giving Sigaw ng Bayan a crash course in web analytics. And in case Sigaw ng Bayan spokesperson Raul Lambino doesn’t believe them, he can check out Wikipedia. All in all (and any techie worth his salt knows this), hits don’t equal to page visits. And page visits don’t necessarily equal unique visitors.
But Lambino still had to stir the hornet’s nest, posting a reply that would make any techie cringe. Jepoy dissects Lambino’s explanation, summarily describing the experience as “like a CISCO certified individual listening to a 1st year Nursing student trying to explain the very basics of the router.”
To be fair, some parts of Sigaw ng Bayan’s claims may be accurate, especially his claim that “daily access log reports amount to an average of 80 megabytes,” that it takes “20 minutes for a special software to analyze the daily logs,” that “visitor bandwidth usage averages 2 gigabytes daily for only around 200 pages.” But all those stats mean is that the website is heavily visited, and the jury is still out on whether or not these visits translate to actual unique eyeballs.
From that point everything goes downhill.
The www.sigawngbayan.com uses a static sitemeter simply because it relies on the access logs automatically rolled daily by its webhost providers. It does not employ free sitemeters that abound in the electronic world like those naysayers in the country who refuse to see anything good around them. Most free sitemeters come expensive actually as their providers flood administrators’ emailboxes with spam ““ unwanted emails ““ which come from third parties the freegivers share the user’s address to. This “œgateway” can be used by better-educated techies to enter into the bowels of a site, play around for sometime and leave the administrators with severe headaches. In short, we hold our site’s security very seriously and that credibility of statistics is the better judgment call for us rather than rapidity of reports, the latter serving only to satisfy the amusement of nosey know-it-alls.
Excuse me? I have tried Sitemeter and Performancing and I have not received any perceivable increase in spam. Besides, my email client (Thunderbird) does the job well of filtering out spam. Jepoy also mentioned that if he is so afraid of spam, why doesn’t he use a free email account instead.
We do not also use our webhost’s counters menu as they tend to display dissimilar hits reports as a site can be viewed either as www.sigawngbayan.com or simply sigawngbayan.com. Chances are, one URL or web address will be visited more than the other variant. We can only imagine how this seeming discrepancy would again be used to pummel our down-to-earth intent of promoting the People’s Initiative. We will not belabor the fact that the aesthetics of the pre-programmed counters of our webhost do not conform with our website layout using advance software.
Good excuse. But when I last checked, the site mentioned that there have been 898,000 visits since April 2006. So which is it, 9 million or 898,000? And, as Jepoy did mention, since when did CSS and HTML constitute advanced software?
Sigaw ng Bayan is full of propaganda-speak, describing the more technical knowledgeable detractors as elitists and praising the “lowly people, the poor, those who suffer away silently due to the state of affairs of this country, [who] would like to visit a site like www.sigawngbayan.com.” Yuga reacts: “Mr. Lambino must also be reminded that 99% of his so-called grassroots visitors don’t even have computers, much less internet in their own homes. They’d rather use their hard-earned Php25 for a kilo of rice than an hour’s rent in a net cafe.”
Even if the unlikely and improbable did happen and 9 million people did visit the site, it does not mean that all of them subscribe to Sigaw ng Bayan’s stance. Sigaw ng Bayan offers no venue for its readers to comment or to provide any form of feedback. To date, there are 13 links to the website (based on Technorati), a number of which don’t exactly see eye-to-eye with Lambino.
And while we are in the subject of rankings, Jepoy reported that Sigaw ng Bayan website’s Google Page Rank is zero. I checked Alexa and it is ranked 1,439,359. As a point of comparison, Inquirer is ranked 2,182. Pinoytechblog is 126,576. My own blog (Technopinoy), which doesn’t have much readers, is 322,414. Notice that I did not make any link to Sigaw ng Bayan, lest I add to its already dubious credibility.