You are poor lolz.

Saturday, 31 January, Year 7 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu

Welcome to part one of our show. It goes like so :

**** BEGIN LOGGING AT Sat Jan 17 01:47:30 2015

Me << you go there.
Me << banner is this
Me url is
SGi k
SG starting today running for a month i assume?

Me sure

Me .15 suit you ?
SG ya

Me addy ?
SG 1heycheckoutthisfakeaddress

SG tyvm

As you may be aware, the url schema for Trilema articles includes a year. As such stuff like will readily load the root, while spitting out a 404 - the so-called "soft" 404. As you may be aware #2, the root just loads a random English article (people complained back when it was just a random article because too much Romanian).

So basically this is a cheap trick to track traffic. Which takes us to part two of our show :


Obviously, I have a pretty decent following among the script kiddie community. Who knew, seriously. But anyway : two weeks in (of the 30 day deal) Something Awful has sent a total of 1`370 clicks, which means that the whole run will probably yield traffic at about a cent a click, give or take. A lot more than I normally pay, of course, but then again that's not exactly what I'm buying here.

Looking further into things,

cat | grep -c ""

The way these logs work, a page load is referenced by the method and relative path, something like "GET sa-is-poor-lolz" whereas referring pages are referenced by the full url. So searching for the full url of the destination returns the cases where someone clicked on a Trilema page after having been on the soft-404 landing page (provided their browser reports that value at all).

Perhaps more interestingly, we can also extract a day by day tabulation :

$ cat | awk '{print $4 $7}' | grep "/sa-is-poor-lolz" | awk -F/ '{print $1}' | uniq -c
3 [16
253 [17
276 [18
120 [19
113 [20
80 [21
88 [22
61 [23
57 [24
79 [25
67 [26
60 [27
58 [28
49 [29
10 [30

$ cat | awk '{print $4 $11}' | grep "" | awk -F/ '{print $1}' | uniq -c
42 [17
42 [18
25 [19
24 [20
13 [21
22 [22
18 [23
11 [24
14 [25
12 [26
11 [27
14 [28
10 [29
5 [30

This is interesting because of two factors :

  • One being that people who care enough about the site to have paid ten bucks don't see ads, except if they can't be bothered to log in ;
  • The other being that one spot in a rotation saturates as a function of how often people check the site versus how heavily weighted the spot actually is (opposite of how many competitors it has).

The sharp dropoff in day two would then be consistent with a situation where about a third of the target demo checks the site at least daily, on average loading a number of pages equal to half the number of ads in the queue ; the remaining two thirds check the site maybe once or twice a month, and load maybe a coupla pages or thereabouts.

So who cares ? Nobody, really. Just a good pretext to polish the bash skills a little. And poke fun at poor people, of course, but by now that's kinda played out, I guess.

  1. Stands for Some Guy. If he feels like it he can tell you who he is. []
Category: Meta psihoza
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2 Responses

  1. You are wrong about the first of your two factors, you might want to adjust your analysis accordingly :)

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 6 February 2015

    What, they show ads universally now ?

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