Tag: statistics

  • The “aging” MySpace user base

    A recent comScore survey claims that the MySpace “user base” is aging, that 55.6% of MySpace users are 35 or older! If so, that would make MySpace one of the grayest corners of the Internet, right behind Canadian pharmacy sites.

    The survey counted “Total Unique Visitors” during August 2006. In other words, a dad who doesn’t have a MySpace account, but who checked his daughter’s MySpace account once during the entire month of August counts as one “user.” And his daughter, who spent more than four hours every single day of August on MySpace, writing blogs, blurbs, comments, posting pictures, videos and bulletins on her blog, and visiting her 347 friend’s MySpace pages, also counts as one “user.” Okay… If I were looking to place ads online, I would prefer a page views by age metric to determine whether MySpace was a good investment.

    I’ll continue to keep my headline “Increasing the average age on MySpace” on my MySpace page.

  • blogan’s 1/2 Birthday

    Blog stats — Six months ago, I published my first blog post. Since then, I’ve published 189 more posts and blogan has more than 225 comments. blogan’s daily traffic has increased from just me to somewhere between 20-30 visitors. Even so, I’m (at best) a D-List blogger.

    D-List blogger? — What makes one an A-List blogger? Adam Weinroth analyzed three blogging rock stars, showing that they are primarily linkers, not commentators.

    To see how blogan stacks up, I analyzed my 190 posts, using Adam’s categories. Like Adam, I allowed a post to be classified in more than one category if it seemed appropriate.

    Clearly, I don’t have the mojo to be an A-list blogger. I spend too much time on issue analysis or commentary, though not as much as I’d like. (I still owe one semi-regular reader an answer on Social Security reform, though I’ve clearly lost interest interest in the topic or the will to fight or both…)

    How do you find me? — Judging by my access logs, blogan is discovered mainly by people searching for:

    • Free teleprompter software
    • Mirror image fonts
    • Free TNIV
    • Random header images
    • How to make a memory map
    • Microinequities

    However, those searches find posts outside the mainstream of blogan articles. I’m sure it results in many one-hit visitors.

    Still blogging… — So far, I’m not here, yet.1

    If I were, I suspect you’d know it before I did.


    1. Comic credit. “Nothing to Say“, by Hugh MacLeod. Used under a Creative Commons license
  • How many is 180,000 dead?

    The United Nations estimates that 180,000 people have lost their lives in Darfur from killings, disease, malnutrition, and lack of shelter.

    Understanding such a large number can be difficult. Maybe these few illustrations will help.

    • Gather 180,000 dead bodies. Start in New York City and, heading southwest, set them down, head to toe, one after another. You’d go about 185 miles, all the way to Baltimore, Maryland, before you ran out of bodies. Except, many of the dead in Darfur are children and infants. This would make the distance shorter, though that’s hardly any comfort.
    • Imagine watching a human being die from starvation, disease, or even violence. Now, imagine watching a fellow human being die every minute, minute after minute. You’d have to watch for 125 days. That’s how much death has already happened occurred in Darfur. But it’s been happening for about 1.5 years, so the actual average is about one death every four to five minutes. And we’re not watching it; we’re ignoring it.
    • As a result of the 9/11 attacks, 2,986 people died. To equal the tragedy of Darfur, the attacks would have to continue until November 10, sixty days later. But Darfur’s population is 6,000,000, about 1/50th that of the United States. To have a proportional impact on the U.S. population would require 3,000 consecutive days of 9/11 casualties, or more than 8 years.

    I ask again: how many is 180,000 dead?

  • Counting BBs

    Suppose you wanted to show how many nuclear bombs the U.S. has. How would you do it so people would understand and be moved to action? Here’s one answer:

    Ben’s BBs – TrueMajorityACTION

    Whether or not you agree with the politics, it’s a powerful message.

    This is the power of the net — the ability to craft a message beyond the soundbite and deliver it in a way most can understand it. TV and print ad sellers should be afraid…

    Hat tip: BAGnewsNotes.
  • It’s a Grand Old Party and Can Spend if it Wants To

    “George W. Bush” and “fiscal conservative” in the same sentence? Not likely.

    The Cato Institute recently published a policy analysis paper comparing the spending proclivities of W’s administration compared with the preceding six presidents. You can get the paper here: The Grand Old Spending Party: How Republicans Became Big Spenders.

    From the paper’s executive summary:

    President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson. Even after excluding spending on defense and homeland security, Bush is still the biggest-spending president in 30 years.

    I tend to think visually, so I like lots of charts and graphs. This paper doesn’t disappoint. I recreated a couple of its graphs that support the claims quoted above.

    First: “President Bush has presided over the largest overall increase in inflation-adjusted federal spending since Lyndon B. Johnson.” Please note the careful wording: “presided over.” The paper makes clear that “Congress passed budgets that spent a total of $91 billion more than the president requested for domestic programs.” Even so, Bush signed these budgets. Had fiscal responsibility been a true goal, he could have used the veto power. And let’s not forget, Bush has had a Republican majority in Congress.1The paper notes the increased spending that results from a “united government,” where both the executive branch and the majority of the legislative branch are of the same party. When the two branches are of different parties, one tends to oppose the spending of the other. When they are of the same party, neither opposes the spending excesses of the other.

    But wait, I hear you objecting — What about the cost of the war on terrorism? Certainly that accounts for Bush’s increases in spending. You’d be right, in part. The paper documents the changes in “discretionary spending” and “entitlement spending” but includes military spending in the discretionary class. Why not exclude defense, homeland-security, and entitlement spending in the comparison, resulting in what many (most?) would call true “discretionary spending”?2Many may not want to include entitlement spending in discretionary spending because it cannot be decreased without an intense political battle. In arguing this point, one should remember that Bush had no difficulty increasing entitlement spending with his prescription drug benefit, which the Cato Institute describes as “the largest expansion of Medicare since its inception.

    Fortunately, the paper anticipated our request. And, unfortunately for those of us who pay taxes, the picture doesn’t get any better.

    President George W. Bush is once again second in the rankings, this time following Nixon. It may be blasphemy, but the combination of Clinton and a Republican Congress kept spending relatively low. Not surprising for an administration that harped, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Only Reagan had a real reduction.

    Fiscal conservative W? I don’t think so.

    Hat tip: The Volokh Conspiracy.

    • 1
      The paper notes the increased spending that results from a “united government,” where both the executive branch and the majority of the legislative branch are of the same party. When the two branches are of different parties, one tends to oppose the spending of the other. When they are of the same party, neither opposes the spending excesses of the other.
    • 2
      Many may not want to include entitlement spending in discretionary spending because it cannot be decreased without an intense political battle. In arguing this point, one should remember that Bush had no difficulty increasing entitlement spending with his prescription drug benefit, which the Cato Institute describes as “the largest expansion of Medicare since its inception.
  • The politicization of judicial nomination confirmations, part 2

    In my final comment to my post, The politicization of judicial nomination confirmations, I implied the Republicans started the judicial confirmation battle during Clinton’s presidency. A little analysis shows I was wrong.

    The chart shows a pattern emerging during Reagan’s second congress and continuing for the second congress of each presidential term following.

    Where will this trend stop?

  • The politicization of judicial nomination confirmations

    Gerry at Daly Thoughts posted an analysis on the percentage of circuit court nominations confirmed by the Senate.

    A reasonable interpretation on that chart is that, starting with Reagan, the process began to become politicized. The Democrats became even more aggressive at this during George H.W. Bush’s term. The Republicans then upped the ante a bit under Clinton, particularly with his late second-term nominations. And under George W. Bush, the Democrats have decided raise the ante yet again.

    Gerry continues…

    It is even more stark if one looks at just the numbers for a President’s first Congress:

    I recommend that you read the entire post and the comments.

    Hat tip: Dinocrat.

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