Friday, October 7, 2016

Charge and Engagement

Today I went to enter the bus and found that my magical front door unlocker wouldn't work. It had sounded somewhat sickly the last few days so today I charged 8 NiMh batteries to go into the power supply and hey presto, the door opener worked again. Of course, to gain entry, I had to use the back door and my steps.

I have no idea how long the batteries lasted because I have no count of how many times I use the door opener. I do know when I installed it which was July 27th. Bearing in mind I haven't been into the bus every day while sometimes I have been in multiple times in a day, I have absolutely no idea of the usage. Suffice to say the batteries have lasted all of August and September. It will be interesting to see how long the NiMh batteries last. Indeed, a future expansion could be to put solar panels on the front of the bus with the door opener tied into a battery charged from those panels.

Today also, out of interest, I looked at my long since abandoned Twitter account. If you remember, I stopped bothering with Twitter because my account was locked when somebody objected to my stating something mild like ISIS had better stay in the Middle East. As it appeared that Twitter supports ISIS - a fact corroborated by the vast number of ISIS agents that are reported in the media to use Twitter for communication - I stopped wasting my efforts on the medium.

Needless to say, my Twitter account has many automated features. One of those features is that every blog entry is broadcast via Twitter. According to the stats my Tweets had 1,900 impressions (I guess that means how many people Twitter thinks saw them). Of those 1,900 impressions there were just 4 link clicks. The page quoted other bunk such as 4 favorites (these are almost always automated) and 2 retweets (again, almost always automated).

So, my Twitter account that has apparently 98 followers (God alone knows why) has a phenomenal number of impressions that does not really bear out the number of Tweets. There is literally one automated Tweet a day with a synopsis of the days news and when I post to my blog, for some reason that posts twice. Thus if I posted every day with the 3 daily tweets that would be 3x98x28 or 8232 viewings (if every follower saw every tweet). The actual number of tweets this month has probably been considerably fewer.

What do I make of Twitter's "statistics"? Well, to be honest, like just about every one of these online figures about viewers, engagement etc, I think it's all a load of bunk. I don't think there's any truth to these figures at all.

Let's take that figure a bit further. The page views on this blog alone in the last month were 1,050. The pageviews on my other two blogs were 3,265 and 2,222. That's a grand total of 6,537. Each blog carries Google Adsense targeted advertising. Now you tell me that out of 6,537 pageviews only 8 clicks on 1 cent advertisements happened! That's right - my blogs earned 8 cents last month. It's 8 cents more than I had but a long way from the $100 payout.

So, you will understand my scepticism over online "statistics", "figures", "viewers" and so on. Unless it translates into cold, hard cash all these figures are complete nonsense. Twitter is peddling more nonsense by giving out those figures.

Look at it this way - the Twitter account is 100% automated. I never had any interaction off Twitter users in general which is something I tried to get for years. In fact when I was a student in university I used to reply to the graffiti on the bathroom wall and used to get more replies to my replies than I ever had from anything on Twitter.

This all goes back to my general experience of electronics (the internet included) which is that at least 75% doesn't really work. Yesterday, for example, I blogged on my other blog about LED lightbulbs and how 3 out of 4 that had an alleged 10,000 hour life each had been in the bathroom with limited use (only switched on when the facilities are in use) had failed in under a year. One didn't even last a month. I could say that LED bulbs are thus the least green option of any. Totally unrecyclable and just landfill.

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