Mailvox: Talk Scalzi

Rocean appears to have forgotten that I am far from the only critic of McRapey:

Scazli has a new response to VD up. In essence, he’s smart, he’s honest, and gosh-darn it people like him. Or more accurately, just more adolescent snark and word games.

I checked it out and I don’t believe the post to be a response to anything I wrote. I suspect his cryptic meandering may have been intended as a response to Heartiste, given the references to a “stupidsphere”. I don’t question for a moment that an effete young lad, abandoned by his father and desperately seeking both attention and approval from the women upon whom his path to a better life depends, would genuinely subscribe to the equalitarian claptrap he has espoused in public for years. That doing so would tend to put him in good odor with the gatekeepers and shambling shoggoths of Pink SF/F is mostly a matter of positive happenstance.

UPDATE: Or perhaps he is addressing Ed Trimnell, who recently wrote:

John Scalzi is a pure, coldly calculating opportunist who knows exactly what he’s doing when he writes blogs posts like “Straight White Male: The Lowest Difficulty Setting There Is”. I suspect that Scalzi believes only a fraction of what he writes. 

Regardless, I found this admission from December 19th to be of more interest:

[T]his year, by blog readership looks like it end up lower than it was last year — about 7.5 million recorded visits for the year, as opposed to 8.1 million in 2012. I attribute this to a couple of month-long “semi-hiatuses,” during which I posted less while I was writing books or on tour, a theory borne out by looking at the monthly numbers (November, which was one of those months, had the lowest visitorship of any month in two years). However, this year I also added 15,000 Twitter followers, most of whom (so far as I can tell) are actual real live people and not Twitter bots, and my Facebook and Google Plus public pages also saw growth. (I should note 7.5 million visits still means 2013 is Whatever’s second best year ever, so I’m not exactly panicking over here in that regard. But again, the fact that my other online presences showed substantial growth works as an offset in any event.) 

Those of you who previously doubted me concerning my observations about Whatever’s declining traffic may recall the following statement, which I made here on December 10th

McRapey is unlikely to even hit 7.5 million Google pageviews this year; imagine how much more his readership would have declined if “those two sites” hadn’t mentioned him 145 times, to say nothing of the copious references on Heartiste and other sites.

As before, Scalzi is using “recorded visits” when a more accurate term would be “WordPress pageviews”. Translating the numbers into Google pageviews, he had 7.897 million pageviews in 2012 and he’s anticipating about 7.155 million in 2013. You knew he’d have an excuse for the decline and I was pretty sure “other online presences” would be one of them. But it’s not merely an excuse, it is a legitimate reason as well. Keep in mind that I’ve never once claimed that Mr. Scalzi is not influential in SF/F circles; he was able to arrange my expulsion from SFWA by threatening to quit, after all. My contentions have been limited to pointing out that McRapey is nowhere nearly as “huge” as he would have his fans believe, that Whatever averages less than one-twelfth of the claimed 50,000 DAILY READERS, and that his blog is in fact is considerably less popular than most of us thought until the end of last year.

Those who have mastered division will surely note that 7.155 million divided by 365 is 19,603, which would be considerably short of 50,000 even if Whatever had a 1/1 pageview/reader ratio. Which it obviously doesn’t.

That being said, I’m not surprised that Scalzi has done well on Twitter. Whatever will likely continue to decline in large part because Twitter is a medium much better suited to an approval-seeking narcissist with snarky little thoughts who is more interest in talking than listening, and whose primary interest in dialogue is receiving praise.

Technologies change. And one no longer requires a blog to post pictures of cats and repeatedly be told how awesome one is.

UPDATE: Sometimes, Johnny just can’t wait for the next back-pat and has to do it himself.  “I’m pretty smart”, he declares. Sure, not National Merit smart. Or even Mensa smart. But pretty smart. So he’s got that going for him, which is nice. Cocoa?