A cool 50 million

A cool 50 million. Anthony Watts is very pleased with his web statistics. He wants you to think that “hits” mean something. In fact “hits” are a widely discredited, much like everything else Anthony shouts as proof against Global Warming. Hint: each time a web page loads every image, as well as many other items, counts as a hit. Anthony’s pages typically have at least 30 graphics each.

Wikipedia says that hits are “an inaccurate measure of a website’s popularity or web traffic.”

About.com says “Don’t use the term hits unless you want people to know you don’t know much about Web analytics or Web measurement.”

We touched on this a few days ago when denialist/internet genius Mike Lorrey tried to explain that feverish clicking meant the world was beating a path to Anthony’s door. Physicist Joe Romm, whom Anthony considers a deadly rival with his Climate Progress website, schools Anthony on the subject (again) better than I can, so just drop over for an enlightening chuckle. Anthony claims he’s “beating” Joe, but somehow Joe has 50 million hits in 2010 alone.

As usual when Anthony is trying to boast he likes to interrupt his character assassination and general polemics to make grand statements like “I’m really growing tired of the vociferous and voluminous name calling and people bashing, on both sides. It’s palpable.” Oh. My. God. You know what’s “palpable” Anthony? Your hypocrisy. You both encourage and participate in the ugliness.

Step Changes in Science Blog Climate

Step Changes in Science Blog Climate“. This is an amusing exercise in boasting and wish-fulfillment from Watts Up With That “moderator” Mike Lorrey. Apparently the dubious web statistics generated by Alexa prove that WUWT is the best place on the internet for “science”. Why? Because obsessive denialists click madly on Anthony’s posts, shouting over each other and at people who don’t share their views. Also WUWT’s website is designed to amplify “clicks”.

WUWT attracts clicks like flies are attracted to... honey.

Mike compares WUWT’s “traffic” to RealClimate.org (boo! hiss! “always the least popular, indicating the general public got that this was an astroturfing site by climate alarmists who tolerated no dissent”), Climate Progress (boo! hiss! “talk[s] down to the average bloke”) and Climateaudit.org (yea!). According to Mike, WUWT was the place where “Commentary from all directions was encouraged, with postings by non-skeptic scientists to provide a balanced view”.

He first notes a jump in WUWT’s traffic with the election of Nigerian crypto-communist Barack Obama and ascribes this to an instantaneous public hunger for information about climate policy and not libertarian conspiracy theorists needing a place to vent. Yeah, right.

Next he points out the jump when ClimateGate broke, which in his mind shows that WUWT “won the narrative with the public”. Funny, to me it looked like a frenzied attempt by the usual small group of denialists to talk themselves into believing that the molehill was a MOUNTAIN!!!!!!! They’re still at it, but with less enthusiasm now that every single outrage has been disproved.

A recent modest blip in traffic is apparently “due in part to Anthony’s speaking tour, where he has spoken to packed and enthusiastic crowds”. Nothing to do with a wash of half-hearted denialist mutterings in response to the final dismissal of the false Climategate allegations, right? By the way, my understanding is that the Grand Tour was more like this.

Mike, WUWT is the talk-radio version of science. A fire-hose of bullshit, lapped up by people seeking confirmation of their prejudices. You’ve got an audience alright, but I wouldn’t want to sit beside them on a long flight.