June 20, 2006

The gray lady goes up against fark.com

If you linked here from Michael Erard's article in today's Science Times ("Analyzing eggcorns and snowclones, and challenging Strunk and White", 6/20/2006), let me offer a quick guided tour.

You're probably starting with the blog-standard index page, which has the beginnings of the past two weeks' posts, in reverse chronological order, showing enough of each one to let you decide whether you want to read the rest of it. In the right-hand column, you'll find a list of some of our readers' favorites, as measured by our server logs and other analytics. Scroll down below the list of favorites, and you'll find the archives back to July of 2003, followed by links to home pages of contributors, and a "blogroll" in alphabetical order of other language-related weblogs.

Since the blogroll is pretty long, you could try Trevor's Langwich Sandwich for a survey of language-related blog posts, compiled automatically from RSS feeds (Trevor's own blog is here). Or you could start with a sample, say Diacritiques, Double-Tongued Word Wrester, Jabal al-Lughat, Language Hat, No-sword, Pinyin News, Technologies du Langage, Tenser said the Tensor, and Transblawg. The links you find there will quickly lead you into a network of other intesting people and places.

A couple of other recent articles in the popular press about Language Log: Nathan Bierma in the Chicago Tribune ("Two potentially bad ideas turn out to be winners", 5/17/2006), Linda Seebach in the Rocky Mountain News (" Brown's body of work lies a-smouldering on the web", 6/3/2006), Jan Freeman in the Boston Globe ("What do linguists do?", 6/18/2006).

It's 6:30 a.m. here in Philadelphia, and our site metering tells me that Erard's article has sent about 220 of you here since Erard's article was posted on the NYT web site, or about 10% of our visitors over that period of time. We're grateful for the traffic, but I'll be interested to see how the NYT's readership measures against a real media giant such as fark.com. We got farked on June 14, when fark's editors linked to a scholarly exploration of the history of certain typographical practices. You can see the spike in traffic on this graph, amounting to about an extra 10,000 page views. How does the gray lady stack up against fark? Keep clicking to find out.

[Note: we don't routinely enable comments, due to our experience with spam and trolls, but if you email me, I'll be happy to post a comment on your behalf.]

[Update 6/21/2006: as this graph indicates

fark.com wins on visits, but the New York Times wins on page views. Being farked got us an extra 11,500 visitors on the day it happened (about 18,000 vs. the normal mid-week peak of aound 6,5000), while the NYT added only about 4,000 (to about 10,500). But fark only added about one page-view per visitor, whereas the New York Times resulted in about 25,000 extra page views -- each extra NYT visitor apparently read six or so pages on the site. ]

Posted by Mark Liberman at June 20, 2006 06:35 AM