Who says people are not interested in the SOS story?

Our local media needs to pay attention and notice that people are watching this story;

On the day Powers resigned I had almost 20,000 unique visitors to my site. Not sure if this is a one day record for me.


#1 scott on 07.09.12 at 3:16 pm

the argus web site probably had about 54 hits, and sold about 200 papers that day.

#2 Anooner on 07.09.12 at 3:29 pm

Powers and his faithful probably stopped by repeatedly, but still…

#3 Detroit Lewis on 07.09.12 at 3:34 pm

I heard today that people are giving Mercer credit for cracking the story. In reality, he kind of did by telling Gant about Pat’s campaign story over a year ago.

#4 Craig on 07.09.12 at 4:28 pm

I’d just like to point out that #pages does not tell you how many unique visitors are coming to your site.

If I visit your site three times throughout the day and I click on half a dozen stories each time, I’m going to add at least 21 to your page count (one visit to the main page, one to each article), and that isn’t even considering refreshes, backing out of a page, adding comments and allowing it to refresh etc. The actual number would probably be 40-50 or more. Plus that isn’t even factoring in if I pick up my phone or iPad and check while using a different connection. I’m still one user, but I’m pulling a lot more than one page. In some cases one user can easily pull a few hundred pages in a day depending upon how active they are and how much content they are reading.

Do you have more detailed site analytics that can tell you the unique number of IP addresses? That isn’t the whole story, but it is a lot more accurate than relying upon page counts. No offense l3wis but I’ve always been rather skeptical of the numbers you toss around, and if you are basing your number of unique visitors upon your page count, your numbers aren’t valid.

Think about it, in a state of around 825,000 people, you are suggesting 20,000 people visited your website in a single day? That is one out of every 41 humans in our state which includes everyone from infants to the elderly. Do you really think that is even remotely reasonable? ESPN would have a hard time pulling those kinds of numbers.

You should check out Google Analytics, Compete, or Statbrain and see if they could give you a bit more data. It might help you really define what types of articles are popular and how people found them. I did a quick search and your monthly (not daily) unique visitors seem to range from 1,600 to 4,700 depending upon the month. I’d say that is a lot more accurate even though it might hurt your ego a bit.

Don’t feel bad though… Fox News gets more viewers than CNN, BBC, or NPR so numbers don’t mean anything. It is the content that matters.

#5 Guest Poster on 07.09.12 at 4:56 pm

Mercer has beat the bushes for a long time trying to get anyone to listen. All you have to do is Google it, but the problem becomes using old style research in a digital age. The information presented by southdacola is unvarnished raw data with legitimate questions tied to commentary.

This type of reporting is what will save the Mercer types. Dogged reporters using quality data. Mercer told the story with the facts. Just because a dataminer found the evidence doesn’t make the facts less valuable to a prosecutor.

Facts are facts. Facts need people to translate into digestible printed stories. I love quality reporting and editors not afraid to run the story.

Aberdeen, Mitchell, Pierre and Rapid are lucky to have papers willing to stick their collective necks out and help their readers understand what we found.

We bloggers have learned to rely on quality online news. Cory and L3wis.

In Sioux Falls, since Stormland weather & sports service with their sidekick, Paywall, we only have southdacola to actually keep us informed.

#6 Guest Poster on 07.09.12 at 5:08 pm

One more thing L3wis, you broke this story. You may have had 20 people read the story but you are being seen by the right 20 people. I congratulate you on the 20,000 uniques. I understand enough without seeing the minute data, if someone following the story has 2 or 3 devices to use to keep up who cares.

Unique devices wins of this is a contest. OT does not take away from the spike you experienced due to this story.

#7 Guest Poster on 07.09.12 at 5:09 pm

OT = It

#8 WOW! on 07.09.12 at 6:54 pm

Great spike in readers! Clearly it is a story people want to read about. I’m not sure what the deal is with the Argus and Kelo.

It’s about as big of a story as we’ve had in politics in a long time. Bigger than Noem’s speeding tickets, speeding ticket update etc. Certainly it rivals Noem not showing up for committee hearings.

Kelo and Argus should do a better job of getting this story out.

I have faith Ellis will follow through with another big Sunday column.

#9 WOW! on 07.09.12 at 7:02 pm

90% of the time I prefer the Argus and RCJ to the other papers in the state. I can always rely on Mercer to deliver something good aswell. Denise Ross is talented and so is Tom Lawrence at the MDR.

It is a shame that every paper in the state needs to have separate reporting on the same issue. More papers should just buy the other reporters columns to run.

#10 Jake Sonyou on 07.09.12 at 8:29 pm

Craig’s right.

#pages =/= unique views.

Not even close. Although he is wrong about the kind of traffic ESPN pulls. They can get 20K uniques in an hour, during a slow period.

Putting your traffic into perspective…

During each of the following sites’ best month of the past year, South DaCola generates less than 3% of the unique visitors the Argus Leader does, and less than 1.5% of the traffic KELOland pulls.


Sorry to burst your bubble.

But you have to realize there’s a limited demand for a local hateblog filled with ill-informed over-generalizations, gross hyperbole, pointless rants, delusions of grandeur, misguided outrage, conspiratorial blatherings, and overall general lunacy.

Most of your visits likely come from the other hate-filled, foil-hat-wearers in the community. But the remaining portion come from people that see this site as a continual train wreck. It’s hard to look away from something that’s so obviously headed for it’s next stop in CrazyTown.

#11 l3wis on 07.09.12 at 8:54 pm

Jake, I love it when you people come on here to save your cause.

Unlike the AL I don’t have to sell advertising to survive, only pay my yearly fee. And that is what really makes you so bitter to write an entire paragraph about how much you dislike me.

So go tell you friends about how much of an asshole I am, I need more traffic.


#12 Jake Sonyou on 07.09.12 at 9:56 pm

What “cause” am I saving??

Also, I never said anything about disliking you, and I’m certainly not bitter. You cater to the Eastern SD lunatic niche (fact). Go and get your swerve on.

Although I can’t imagine you’re making a ton of money from the ads in the sidebar, by selling your shitty artwork (should I call them “remixes”?), or schlepping plates of food.

I could probably help you optimize and better monetize your site, but my consultation fee is likely more than you make in a month.

#13 l3wis on 07.09.12 at 10:00 pm

What do consulting fees from an ANON person cost these days?

#14 Jake Sonyou on 07.09.12 at 10:32 pm

How much could yearly hosting fees possibly be for you? Especially since you share hosting with someone else. Someone in their upper thirties that has an unhealthy obsession with teenage girls, and teenage girl shows.

#15 rufusx on 07.09.12 at 10:33 pm

Yeah DL – sorry – but you really don’t have a handle on what your stats categories mean. You got some studyin’ to do. Those are not 20,00 visitors – those are 20,000 PAGE VIEWS. Pages – you know, like the ONE this stroy is on. I typically come to your site 3-4 times a day and look at 8 or 9 pages each time. So…. 25-35 page views – per visitor – seems a good estimate (about 8-10% the number of page views). Of course, if you had something other than the free analytics SW that come with the site………(something professional like WebTrends – not that equally cheap free stuff Jake is using) and actually accessed the log files with it – You could be PRECISE.

#16 Testor15 on 07.09.12 at 11:25 pm

If you really look at what L3wis was saying in his post, look at the spike his site has experienced by working on the stories of the last few days.

He would be the first to tell you he is not as busy as Stormland weather and sports service or the Paywall. He is letting us know the public has pushed his hits skyward during this exposure of actual new reporting.

Tweak the hits anyway you need to in your minds, L3wis has seen his site being very busy and he is letting us know how much he appreciates it.

#17 WOW! on 07.10.12 at 12:27 am

I would recommend to all of you to not underestimate the power of a blog. Influential people in this state read about 6 blogs a day. Southdacola is one of them.

My guess is they are in no particular order Madville Times, Southdacola, Dakota War College (when it’s being updated), Mount Blogmore, Pure Pierre Politics, Political Smokeout maybe the Mitchell Daily Republic ocasstionally.

Every blogs constituency varies some but the people who are in the know keep a close eye on what is being read and discussed on these handful of blogs.

And many more people than you or I will ever know read these blogs. When a rumor hits people hear it somewhere first and isn’t it funny how many people who will never admit they read blogs know all about what was written on one?

#18 Detroit Lewis on 07.10.12 at 5:11 am

Jake – I’m sure my site sits on a server with all kinds of other freak sites. Unlike Powers, I’m neither paranoid nor give a shit. I pay my rental fee and move along.

#19 scott on 07.10.12 at 8:31 am

I think Jake is pissed that powers quit, and blames you for getting the ball rolling.

#20 Craig on 07.10.12 at 9:16 am

“Although he is wrong about the kind of traffic ESPN pulls.”

I was referring to the population of SD, but even that could be way off. Point taken.

I do think some of your comments are off base Jake. l3wis doesn’t do this to make money (as far as I know), and it really doesn’t matter what his numbers are because even if he only had ten people a day reading the site, he would still be offering commentary and discussion that you can’t find anywhere else.

WOW! is right… people read this blog because of the reputation and the content. They may be on the exact opposite side of the issues, but they are still paying attention. l3wis knows I don’t always agree with him, and I think he sometimes beats the horse long after it is dead, but the point is he puts things out there that aren’t being discussed elsewhere – or if they are, it requires a subscription to read it and it is printed three days later.

Blogging has its pros and cons. I like the fact that l3wis is willing to post a story before it is fully vetted, and I like the ability to publish something immediately, but on the flip side sometimes things are posted which haven’t been verified and there is often more opinion posted than fact. That’s fine though – that is what blogging is about, and provided people don’t attempt to blur the line between journalism and blogging too much it works just fine.

#21 Guest Poster on 07.10.12 at 1:20 pm

L3wis has given us the ability to ask the mighty embarrassing questions and get answers. I have asked him to help me with questions I have been asking and we are seeing what happens when we put on the heat.

Craig said it well, thanks.

Leave a Comment