by charles the moderator
[updated to correct usage of the words rank and reach. The correct graphs were used originally, but I used the wrong word to describe them]
Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project claims 8.6 million views of their presentations during their “24 hours of reality”. Let’s examine that claim.
On Facebook, they had around 66,000 people “accepting” the invitation to attend.
Let’s look at the Alexa stats for traffic
rank reach on that day and compare it to a site we have access to more detailed information.
Eyeballing, it appears that on 9/15/2011, climaterealityproject.org had between 5 and 6 times as much traffic as wattsupwiththat.com.
Let’s convert Alexa’s traffic
rank reach to numbers of people.
On 9/15/2011 according to quantcast, wattupwiththat.com had 27.9 thousand global visitors. Unfortunately, the climaterealityproject.org doesn’t show up in quantcast, for 9/15/2011, so we will have to estimate.
Being generous with the Alexa
rank reach ratio between sites, let’s multiply 27.9 thousand times 6, which gives us about 167,000 global visitors for Al Gore’s big party on 9/15/2001
Now going back to Alexa, here is the fun statistic.
The average time on site for climaterealityproject.org is about 3 minutes on 9/15/2011. So for everyone who stayed for an hour there were maybe 30 or so who left after a minute which is normal for boring video. The distribution can vary, maybe some stayed for for 5 minutes or 10, but it doesn’t look good.
Let’s be generous with this as well and say that 1 in 10 stayed around to watch a significant amount of the program. That means there may have been about 17,000 dedicated viewers (estimating on the high side) of the program worldwide.
Now, maybe I’m totally wrong, maybe the Facebook application put this presentation in peoples’ newsfeeds and they watched inside of Facebook. I didn’t install the Facebook ap so I don’t know if it did that. Can anyone confirm? Maybe it showed up in Facebook friends’ newsfeeds and that was enough for Gore and company to call it a view, even if it was never played.
Maybe all the users took the alternate path of going directly to Ustream.
Or maybe, just maybe, there’s a little bit of storytelling going on and perhaps the numbers are a wee bit inflated.
Depends on your reality I guess.