WUWT reached a new milestone with 50 million unique hits on the WordPress hit counter (in the right sidebar) early this morning. I’ve been thinking for days about what I might write when this event happened. Point is I’m just too tired to remember or write much of what I thought about, and so I have a bit of writers block tonight. Today was spent taking care of my business, which sometimes suffers as a result of this blog. So, I’ll just summarize a few points.
One of the down sides to running WUWT is that if I let it, it will consume all available hours of the day. That’s why I especially appreciate our guest posters and volunteer moderators.
Traffic this month has been on the increase. We’ve gotten some great guest posts and links from other websites are up. Google adwords are down, mainly because the ad selector has been putting up some pretty irrelevant stuff lately that interests few enough for them to click on them.
WUWT volunteer moderator and occasional guest contributor Mike Lorrey did a good summary of some points on traffic on July 27th.
A few things I can point out about WUWT and myself at this milestone:
1. We continue to be at the top in traffic and links. For example early this month, we were awarded the #1 spot by Wikio.
No other climate related blog has a 50 million hit number. Some, like Joe Romm try to claim the numbers don’t matter, or try to claim that some other number matters more. But (and it’s a big one) he doesn’t show his own number counter. At least RC does. Yesterday Joe Romm fell to a new low, even for his normal angry and juvenile fare, with this :
If you want to know why PIOMAS is a credible model , you can read the post by the National Snow and Ice Data Center’s Walt Meier on this at WattsUpWithCrap — yes, he really posted there:
Sigh, grow up Joe, this isn’t grade school. Dr. Meier asked to post here. He didn’t ask to post at CP, and you can’t see the reason for this because you don’t allow guest posts on your blog that might conflict with your view. Dr. Meier knows that even if he writes something I might not fully agree with, I’ll still allow it as long as it is presented with decorum, facts, and respect for the readers. He doesn’t need to denigrate people to get his point across. We have a different idea, maybe it might be a more “robust” one, maybe not. We’ll all find out in September.
2. As WUWT has grown, so have the anonymous trolls. We’ve gotten some pretty ugly ones as of late. Kids, here’s the deal; read the policy page, linked on the menu bar above. I’m not going to waste time on correcting or debating people that use fake email addresses and handles. Many of you know that you’ve been snipped and blocked even if you are on our side of the argument. a poster named 1personofdifference has been the subject of such a situation. That’s not meant to pick on him, only to illustrate that supportive and well meaning people occasionally go over the top too, and get snipped or deleted. If you don’t want to be responsible for your own words, this isn’t he place to push the envelope. Moderators have been stepping up, and I appreciate that. Reasonable posts and questions, even if they disagree, are welcome, people that start off with flame or call names, generally aren’t going to see the light of day per the policy page. This goes for both sides.
3. As WUWT has grown, so has it attracted a few questionably rational people who think I couldn’t have possibly pulled this off without “big oil” or NGO funding. Newsflash there kids, there’s no “big oil” funding, there’s no NGO funding, and there’s no “handlers” or people I’m beholden to. There’s me, my volunteer team of people, guest posters, and gobs of readers. So yes, technically I haven’t done this by myself, it was done with the help of like minded people from all walks of life, from all over the world. It’s an international grass roots based operation. I suppose that some people who have never run a business, especially bootstrapping a business from next to nothing, would not understand how anyone could build a blog from zero into one that has become internationally recognized, at the top of its category, and challenging enough for it to cause the government agencies like NOAA, NCDC, and EPA to have to react to it. That’s the power of the collective readership here.
4. Some people wonder how I can keep up. Some days (like today) I do too. But, I am used to the pace. Spending 25 years on television, all while running another company or in the early days, holding down another job too, teaches one to multitask and to be deadline oriented. For me, writing a blog is just like broadcasting; you have to do several broadcasts daily, you have to meet deadlines, and you have to offer content that people understand and appreciate. If you don’t treat the viewers with respect, and offer them something interesting, you usually aren’t going to make it in electronic media.
Blogging is a lot like TV, but it uses a different medium to transmit the words and pictures. So, blogging seems natural to me. I think I’ve been more creative as a blogger than I ever was on TV because I’m not locked into a format and a specific length. Blogging is much more free form.
5. I’m really growing tired of the vociferous and voluminous name calling and people bashing, on both sides. It’s palpable. In his post, Filth and Fury, George Monbiot points out just how ugly it has gotten with some emails he’s posted. While I can’t verify those emails actually exist without some source headers, I’ll take him on his word, since I too get similarly ugly emails. I’ve had emails (and phone calls) suggesting that I commit suicide, I’ve been called a Nazi, a “traitor of Earth”, a “tool of big oil”, and most every insulting name in the book too.
How do we climb down from this? Well for one thing, if Mr. Monbiot wants to make a start, try removing the word “denier” from his vocabulary used in his online writing. It is distasteful and inflammatory, and as the saying goes, what you sow, so shall ye reap. I certainly don’t deny that CO2 has a role (And I think that is the general viewpoint of WUWT readers and contributors), but as we’ve seen just recently from peer reviewed literature like this one on black carbon soot, it isn’t the only factor. It is in fact one of many, some still unknown. Climate is not linear, it is not single sourced, and it is not fully understood. The focus on one molecule, and the overselling of that molecule’s role, combined with politicizing like the EPA is now doing, and the taking on of an authoritative tone, is reason behind the downfall of climate science in the public trust today.
For my part, I’d like to ask WUWT readers to dial back the rhetoric too. It wears me and the moderators down because we have to be on elevated alert for it now. Also, take that “dial down” policy with you when you visit other blogs. Nobody is impressed when you drop down to insults, and if you want to be taken seriously, argue with tact. Admittedly I’m not always able to do it, especially when people are pushing buttons. For those times, I apologize. But, as they say in my son’s cub scout meetings: “DO YOUR BEST!”
6. The best part about WUWT for me? I have friends all over the world now. That is humbling.
7. Want to help WUWT reach 100 million? Easy to do; go forth and multiply. Keep those tips and notes coming in, post links to WUWT on other blogs and forum discussions whenever you can, tip the blog operators there to interesting stories here, and help keep the discussion tone on an even keel; here and elsewhere. We have something special here, let’s cultivate it.
My sincere thanks to everyone that makes WUWT the most visited climate related blog in the world, and a special thanks to my wife and children, who often bear the result of frustrations I carry from the blogosphere and the loss of quality family time.
- Anthony Watts