Wednesday, February 13, 2008

CINCY GAY SCENE: Karaoke Night at BronZ... a bigger success online than in real life.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love me some BronZ, and I love Karaoke Nights there -- DJ Waves is excellent. But, per an "internal memo" leaked to the media, it was one of the top ten most viewed items on the website in the week of Jan 27-Feb 2. It claims that it was viewed 50,000+ times that week. Which, btw, is a LOT of times (compared to the under 1000 times this blog has been viewed).

Now, the QCityNews Blog ( thinks the number is absurd. The Daily Bellwether ( is also suspicious of the numbers. I hesitate to believe that 500,000+ people actually are that interested in the CincyMoms website, but I'm going to say this:

The number is not impossible. Whereas QCityNews' editor has been involved with the printing and publishing industry for years, and I respect that, I think the internet can very much skew our perception of who is reading what. But, with the wonders of the internet, we have the ability to actually see what is being read and when and from where. It's not perfect, but short of tracking down individual computers, then the little clicker that's reading off in someone's office is the best we've got.

And I'll bet you this, QCity: Your own readership is higher than you expect. I don't know how you calculate your numbers, but I read a lot of your papers in the bar. Guess what I do with it when I'm done? Excepting those issues that pertain to me or have something really interesting in it, I put it back. So our dear local bartenders don't have to clean it up. And I'm not the only one. Papers left on the bar? Either thrown out or saved and put back. People reading while waiting? Thrown out or put back. I'm sure there's a really complex algebra to your circulation stats, but I'll bet it's higher than you think. (I know because I get phone calls whenever my name is mentioned :-))

First of all: the bit is found in CinWeekly, which I now see around town more a lot more than CityBeat, it's competitor. (SCF in Macon will remember a similar situation in his hometown where the major newspaper published an "independent" to compete with the actual independent paper... meet CinWeekly -- published by Gannett, which publishes the Enquirer -- and CityBeat -- the actual independent, that, I might remind, was pressured by Citizens for Community Values to pull the plug on Dan Savage's column... grrrr... but this is all tangential).

The point is: CinWeekly has a readership of mainly young urban white folks... the types that would have access to the internet on a regular basis. And I'm going to say, if I were in those photos, I would be emailing them to EVERYONE and showing them to the world to see just how cool I am. So assume, first, that maybe it was emailed out a bunch and that friends would pull up a page and say "ooo, look at me!"

Second of all: What is the effect of bookmarking? For example, that CincyMoms number, how many people have CincyMoms as their initial page when they open. I know I open an internet program 2-20 times a day. Multiply that out (I'm sure MSN wonders why so many people are interested in their front page :-)). Did the story appear on the front page, I wonder?

Third of all: Do not assume that Cincinnati is so small. The metro area... NKY to Dayton... is HUGE, with over 3 million people in it. 50,000 is a drop in the bucket, and I'm going to guess that is one of the most popular local websites. It is not entirely unlikely that people have perused through. Does that mean they spend an hour being affected by everything they read? Absolutely not. It just means that it is not unlikely that 50,000 people actually opened the page.

I think the QCityNews editor, and Mr. Bellwether for that matter, is under the assumption that Cincinnati is a small town with a limited number of "in" people that you are trying to grasp for everything. Please.

Fact of the matter is: This is a local gay bar -- that's not the typical ones that get played out, like Below Zero or Universal Grille or Adonis or the Dock -- and a local gay event that got some major play on a mainstream and popular website. So what if the number is a little inflated? We know the Gannett-Enquirer Dark Empire has pulled some crappy stuff in the past, and it is most definitely not pro-gay or liberal by any stretch of the imagination, but it's still kinda cool. Go BronZ. You got some publicity. Congratulations to you.

On the flip side, the so-called controversy drove me to the website. So maybe making a mountain out of a molehole is not such a bad idea.

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