Friday, March 13, 2015

When things go down

Broadway in Downtown Kingston.
When you go down Broadway in Downtown Kingston and it's quiet, you can sometimes feel the vibe from the events that happen there, which makes that part of town special, like the Hooley on the Hudson, or the Artists Soapbox Derby. It's a particularly unusual sensation, because as you go down, things start to get better.
Or maybe you're just getting sick?

Anyway, not everything works like this.

There was a little disruption in the web world yesterday. Real-time analytics numbers from Chartbeat were down for a bit.
It went down like this:

It was fixed quickly. And yes, we're all looking at what you're doing online. ALL OF US.
The company, Chartbeat, is one we use to see what's going on at the site when people are reading (and one way I compile The Four). The company's founder wants to change journalism by prioritizing readers' interest —time spend on the site— as opposed to just clicks. It's a noble goal.

Time on site, however, can also be achieved in clickbait-y ways. You just have to post a video of President Obama reading mean tweets or the latest John Oliver video  and web sites can obtain both time-on-site numbers and clicks. And it's happening. Look how many sites have the Obama thing. And look how many did the Oliver one.  And when all the websites are the same, they're all going to go down in flames eventually. Thanks, Obama.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing terrible about fun posts, cats or quizzes, but at least make it your own? Anyway, just make sure you don't offend chickens.  I'm pretty sure that's actually the main takeaway from this.

Other things that are down? Google sheets, where I put a bunch of links that I also use to store the outside links before I write this. So I just had to wing it.
As the Dead sang in Downhill From Here, let the good times roll. 

The Four:
* People don't want rate hikes.  But only about 25 people attended that meeting.
* PETA says 'donkeball' is animal abuse, but it didn't call it 'donkeyball.' That would be language abuse.
* “Without a well-paid labor force, what can be truly sustainable?”
* Email-gate, New York state edition.

Once cat: How about the 50 states of cats?

Yesterday's Internet, Today! doesn't engage in clickbait-y things but instead gives you a Google Glass photo with a little story, links from the day before (those are, sometimes and admittedly, clicky, but the point is to weave them into something), plus four Daily Freeman trending stories (at the time of writing this, and that are not clicky cops stuff) and a cat (OR 50!). And If you subscribe, you get it via email and I don't get the clicks.