Perception Manipulation: More On Statistics

Numbers are very powerful little buggers. Make them eye-popping enough and you can make people swing one way. We see this phenomenon happen a lot in pre-election surveys, TV show ratings and other studies that supposedly reflect the preference of individuals regarding different issues. In blogging, it’s also possible to harness the oh-so-human reaction to seemingly compelling numbers to your favor.

Aside from the better known ranking sites that aim to seek out the most popular blogs in almost every niche known to the cyberman (or cyberwoman to all those feminists out there), there are also endless ways to influence your readers with the help of numbers.

Hit Counters

Yup, you heard it right. Though hit counters may come across as a bit tacky on some well-known websites, those who are slowly making a mark in the blogosphere may benefit from having a counter especially if the hits come in droves early on. Whether we like to accept it or not, hits translate to popularity and to a certain extent (but not always) authority. To generate a counter for your own blog, you may do any of the following:

  • sign up for a free counter at Site Meter or Tiny Counter. The site will generate a code that you could then implement in you template. You may customize the color and style of your hits counter to suit your existing blog theme.
  • if you own a self-hosted WordPress blog, you may choose to download the Image Counter plugin.
  • if you feel like showing off, write your own hits counter program! But come on, considering the alternatives, there’s no point in doing so. *Unless you want to show off and get more hits in the process. Haha

Users Online

who's online

Yes, that’s an actual counter from Who.Amung.Us. Thanks to this site, visitors may know how many other people are reading the same blog as they are. You have to admit, readers read what most people read. It’s a bandwagon and despite whatever non-conformist mantra that most people follow, seeing that other people find a certain article worthwhile can cause an affirming effect in their decision to read that particular article.

Installing Who.Amung.Us up is quite easy. The index page of the site provides the simple  and unique HTML code. Once you slap it in to your site, the site tracks the real-time number of readers as well as the maximum and minimum number of readers every hour. And you don’t even need to sign up!  Just like the aforementioned hit counters, the badges from Who.Amung.Us could be customized to be compatible with your existing blog themes.

If you find Who.Among.Us too proletariat for you, you may opt to sign up for Users Online to do the same things that the former does.

If you’ve been religiously following the two noble truths Blog Tutorials gospel – 1) Search Engine Optimization and 2) quality content — you will have no trouble getting traffic to your site. Now that you’re popular, why don’t you flaunt your hits and wear your stats on your sleeve?

Originally posted on June 15, 2007 @ 9:01 am