A cool 50 million

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.

Wikio - Top Blogs - Sciences

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:

(emphasis mine)

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

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Well done on the 50 million mark!
I only just reached 60k on my old blog, but I gave it up in favour of a more rolled-back operation precisely because of the situation you mention – it was expanding to occupy all my free time. Also, i couldn’t listen to the news without thinking “I need to blog about that”.
Good luck on getting the 1oo million mark!

DonK31

I’m not sure how to say it, but I hope your family knows how appreciative we are that they are willing to share. (What the heck, even if it is unwillingly)

Congratulations!! to Anthony and all of you who contribute to this awesome resource!

Grant Hillemeyer

No, Thank you, Anthony.

Ray

Congrats Anthony and WUWT… looking for the 100th million hits!!!

Jim Reedy

Congratulations Anthony (and your guest posters and your moderators)
Sometimes it is easy to get hot under the collar… something we are probably all
guilty of at times… (particularly when confronted by people who dont seem to be really aware of what the science is actually saying, (and conversely of course, what it is NOT saying).
Best wishes for the continued dominance of the site.

April E. Coggins

Thank you, all. This past spring was when I noticed that more and more people were linking to your site in order to justify a skeptical position. And then later this summer, I would read something here and then would hear it making national news (they rarely gave you credit) but it did educate the public. Bless you. You are all the unwilling Patrick Henry’s of our time.

Good work, Mr. Watts, thank you.
Take care about your health and safety.
Tilting at windmills is not without dangers.

Baa Humbug

Congratulations and well deserved.

Northern Exposure

Congrats Anthony, guest posters and mods… you guys keep a great blog going here… and that certainly is no easy task !
I know for myself, I can stop by here 2 or 3 times a day and always find a new story or two posted up… the interest and variety keeps me regularly popping by. So in my mind, it makes sense why some other blogs don’t get the steady flow of readers like WUWT… If a blog isn’t kept fresh and new at least every day, it dies out, and the visitors fade away.
Unfortunately with heavy traffic flowing in, the trolls will also gravitate towards it more as well. It’s a natural evolution in the blogosphere and Anthony is correct when he says it’s up to us regulars to control our own responses in order to somewhat control the fly-by shootings.
Give attention to bad behaviour, and it will grow.
Don’t feed the trolls, as they say.

peterhodges

right on anthony and mods
keep up the great work
you guys got me back in december or so and all your hard work keeps me coming back
and sharing what i find with all sorts of folks all over the world!

Tim Neilson

Congratulations Anthony, and take heart that 50 million hits mean that the values you infuse in the blog (perhaps even as much as it’s devotion to scientific rigour and informativeness) command a respect unmatched in the climate blogosphere.

A breadth of vision and a reasonableness of approach which is rarely found in the polarized world of online climate debate. Thanks Anthony for all you’ve done. If there is anything more we can do to help you find more time to spend with your family, just let us know.

Bernie McCune

I want to thank you and your team for all your effort here at WUWT to enlighten many of us who really are interested in the science of these climate issues. For me, WUWT and scienceofdoom have done an excellent job of discussing these issues so that I can begin to see a path through to the light. Where it has lead me is to a scientific understanding that even though CO2 is clearly a significant greenhouse gas, H2O (the gas) is probably in the end the one that mostly controls our climate (as well as H2O in its other forms). Thank goodness we live on a water planet. This is not really a belief but a scientific conclusion. As I gain more insight into this conclusion and as time goes on and reality proves or disproves this conclusion, I look forward to finding out new and interesting ideas and seeing how the data plays out here on WUWT. Thanks again.

wayne

Wow! That was really fast. Doesn’t that first million seem like yesterday?
Congrats to all!

DavidM

First time poster – long time lurker.
Congratulations on the 50 million mark, and thanks so much for this blog. I check in here several times a day and always look forward to reading the interesting articles and equally interesting comments. You’ve done an absolutely fantastic job Anthony, open a nice bottle of wine and let it all sink in .
David

April E. Coggins

Must not post. Must NOT post. Must just allow the people who are in the know, decide. Gads, this is hard. But the level of the opposition is not lost on me.

Sera

Congrats and all- I’ll be on my best behavior.

Congratulations. By the way, does anyone know whatever happened to Joel Shore?

Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand

Anthony – you have pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps, even though you had no boots.
I appreciate every minute you have put into this venture.

Doug in Dunedin

Anthony
You come across as a truly genuine person and this is reflected in WUWT – so congratulations to you and your team of writers and moderators who work so tirelessly.
Apart from all that, the job you are doing to shine a bright light on this whole issue has to be done. I doubt if anyone could do it better.
Go Anthony
cheers
Doug

100 million mark is not far, I think within 2 years. Yes Anthony, you got friends from all around the world, including us here in Manila, Philippines.

No rhetoric – just the comment that your heartfelt summary of the latest status of WUWT and its contribution to the debate has brought a tear to my eye (really!) and taken me straight to the Donate button for the first time for me on the Web. Heck, its only $20 but I hope many more will be prepared to put their money to work for the sake of common sense. FTR, I am a scientist (chemistry) working for a University & have no ties to Big Oil or any NGO.

Neil Jones

Congratulations and thanks to everyone for all the hard work

We must never question the experts.

‘No one will need more than 637Kb of memory for a personal computer’ – Bill Gates
‘Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau.’ – Irving Fisher (1929)
‘We don’t like their sound. Groups of guitars are on the way out’ – Decca record executive on the Beatles
‘Radio has no future.’ – Lord Kelvin, 1897
‘Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.’ – Lord Kelvin
‘Everything that can be invented has been invented.- – 1899, Charles Duell, U.S. Office of Patents.
‘There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.’ – Ken Olson, 1977, Digital Equipment Corporation
I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. – IBM Chairman Thomas Watson, 1943
Computers in the future may have only 1,000 vacuum tubes and perhaps only weigh 1 1/2 tons. – Popular Mechanics, 1949
 
I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.  The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957
 
But what… is it good for?   
An engineer at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, commenting on the microchip in 1968.
 
Get your feet off my desk, get out of here, you stink, and we’re not going to buy your product.  Joe Keenan, President of Atari, in 1976 responding to Steve Jobs’ offer to sell him rights to the new personal computer he and Steve Wozniak developed.
   

John F. Hultquist

Rudyard Kipling’s poem If seems appropriate:
http://www.everypoet.com/archive/poetry/Rudyard_Kipling/kipling_if.htm

On reading this I thought it seemed only yesterday that you hit 10 million. In fact that was March of last year. Using my magnificent arithmetical skills, I reckon that’s 30 million hits in the last 16 months.
It proves nothing about the science but it does prove that polite intelligent debate will always find an audience.
Perhaps it also shows (but not proves) something else – the more “ordinary” people are told to make sacrifices by those with more money than they could ever expect to have, the more they ask “why should I?” and then seek to find an answer to that question.
This site discusses many topics in terms “ordinary” people can understand. It also contains many articles that are highly technical. That’s where the comments come in. Individuals isolate particular aspects of the article and explain or analyse them in plain language.
It’s an excellent facility and I am sure it will be only the blink of an eye before you hit 50 million. Good work Mr Watts, more power to your elbow.

Oh, good grief, I got my 40s and 50s wrong and turned 60 into 50. Still, I hope you know what I really meant.

Well done!
Two things are striking about WUWT.
A wonderful sense of humour and generosity from our kind host and moderators.
Second, I know I might be surprised by what I read here. In fact, as a skeptic, I am often challenged by the science which is presented without snark. Like Steve McIntyre, you want to look for the facts of the matter.
That’s refreshing and important.

tokyoboy

Congratulations !!!!!

Darell C. Phillips

Anthony et al, congratulations. A cool 50 million here must mean that somewhere else it’s getting warmer (and I think it’s under a lot of collars).

¡Felicidades a Anthony Watts y su equipo de colaboradores por haber logrado la marca de 50 millones de visitantes en WUWT! ¡Les deseo los mayores éxitos en su empresa!
Well… I thought Spanish is “stronger” for expressing my feeling; anyway, the phrases in English go something like this:
Congratulations to Anthony Watts and his team of collaborators for obtaining the mark of 50 million visitors on WUWT! I wish you all the best success in your endeavors!
Did I write it well? 🙂

Sam'l Bassett

I don’t know if I qualify as “separate hits” or not, but I check WUWT several times per day (I’m retired). I just enjoy the heck out of it!
Not looking for an answer — just wanted to congratulate you on a job well-done!

Gnomish

Earned by merit, fair and square.
Congrats.

Leon Brozyna

I remember those quiet, peaceful days at WUWT, when the number of comments on some posts could be counted on the fingers of one hand. And when monthly hits were measured in the tens, then hundreds of thousands. It was quite an event when WUWT first hit a million hits in a single month.
Now look at what’s been sown, all because of science addressed to the layman, a measure of decorum and civility, and intelligent posts that stimulate the reader’s mind, many times resulting in comments numbering at the 100 to 200 range with some even blowing into the 400 to 500 range.
I agree with the point you make in para 5 above,

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.

Real climate science is highly complex and it is the height of hubris to pretend mankind is close to getting a handle on understanding its workings, despite Al Gore’s contention of the science being settled. And with all the sound and fury of “tipping points”, there will probably be some event or series of events that no one’s watching or expecting that, instead of overheating the earth, will see glaciers once again on another southward march. Climate is nothing if not full of surprises.
Congratulations are in order to Anthony, the mods, and guest contributors for the excellent product that has been created.

To be honest Anthony I just don’t know how you do it. I used to produce a website with about 4 or five new pages a month. That used to take all my spare time – although research for articles took far longer than the writing.
I totally agree with your comments regarding those with contrary views. The biggest single weakness of the climategate “scientists” is that they actively sought to silence contrary views, because it is only by open, honest, scientific scrutiny of all the facts and all the interpretations of the data that we will come to the best analysis of the climate.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
I shall be forever grateful that there is a cool, clear voice calling for the facts, and that when the whole charade is exposed for what it is, I hope a grateful world will accord you the wealth and recognition you so richly deserve.
Thank you, Anthony.

Rick Bradford

Can I just add my own plea for some of us, however passionate we may be, to “dial back the rhetoric”?
The ‘warmists’ will never be able to curb their rhetoric, stemming as it does from blind rage and hatred of what humanity has achieved, and their own insignificance in the face of those achievements.
It is tempting (and natural) to want to answer abuse with abuse, but we should resist that temptation, not least because it is clear how damaging to the warmist cause their frequent public outbursts of shrill rage are.
[REPLY – Now, now . . . Take a deep breath. Count ten. Sometimes dialing back on the rhetoric can take a little practice. #B^1 ~ Evan]

A great result. I have frequently linked WUWT on my blog.

James Bull

I find a lot that is understandable and well explained here I tend to take things at face value, but have always had a problem with the CO2 causes all put out by the UN etc. You and your team do a great and hard job please keep at it. Also please have a break now and then with your family and friends to recharge for the fight to come.
Yours James Bull

Al Gore did the world a great service by inventing the Internet. We no longer have to take the word of the clueless, and can actually look at the data for ourselves.
Unfortunately much of the data has already been corrupted before it is published, but even so it still makes clear the wild exaggerations of the “experts.”

Theo Goodwin

Congratulations! Thanks for your heroic efforts. You have the coolest blog around.

F. Ross

Congratulations Anthony!
It is indeed a great pleasure to read a hotly, but [usually] politely contested give and take on one scientific point of view or another even though I may or may not understand the finer points.
I try to visit your blog every day and it is easy to forget how much we owe you for your perseverance and tenacity in trying to maintain civility in your daily presentations – this goes for your moderators too.
So I am happy to say “Thank you!” and please keep it up as long as it doesn’t harm you or your family.

sensorman

Came across WUWT having first seen doubt expressed about AGW through Climate Audit back in 2008 (seems like a long time ago now!). CA is great, and Steve M’s data analysis really clinched it for me, but there is truly nothing like WUWT for a daily hit of rational thought in a sea of insanity. In log terms, only another 6 dB to go to the 100 million mark – you’ll get there! Congratulations and thanks, Anthony!

ian middleton

Congatulations Anthony.
Perhaps we could use the hit point stats as a sort of an opinion poll. It may send a message to the right people. I mean if as our government (Aussie) would have us believe that the majority of citizens think GW and CO2 is a major problem that must be fixed at all costs, then that sentiment should be reflected in the various “blog hits” on both sides of the fence.

Congratulations. Well deserved…

Ant of YJ

Congratulations ! I really enjoy reading your blog and am looking forward to your next posts. Thank you and thanks to the moderators too.

wayne
Konrad

Congratulations and thank you to Anthony and the hard working moderators. I am happy to have followed WUWT and CA for several years and watched history in the making. The rise of WUWT has shown the power of new media and demonstrated that the lame stream media are no longer the gate keepers of opinion. In a few years time media students will be writing essays about what happened at WUWT and how it changed the world.

Peter Pond

Great work, Anthony and the WUWT Team – take the rest of the day off!
True sceptic’s wish – to live long enough to find out who had the correct hypothesis about GW/AGW/CAGW.