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Let the Ron Paul surge continue

August 20, 2007 |  1:08 pm

Thanks to many readers for informing us that the [Republican Rep. Ron Paul] link in Ronald Brownstein's Friday Opinion Daily column "YouWho?" was actually a repeat-link to the Obama Girl video. The fault is entirely mine, both for incautious pasting and for the crush on Obama Girl my typing slip revealed. Ron had no part in the snafu, but he still takes a shellacking from readers. Read the results:

Nay, nay Mr. Brownstein.  The "uninformed voter" doesn't exist.  He's the one who has been ass-kickin' liberal extemism to death ... including that of the L.A. Times.  He is the one of common sense thought, but why do I continue; you wouldn't understand.

Reg Laite

It just proves how blinded Mr Brownstein is to his own liberal bias that he does not consider Fox News Sunday to be part of the rite of passage.  Only the three liberal news programs count as the real rite of passage for candidates.  I think that's why Fox News exists.  The journalists who have their blinders on all the time and can't even acknowledge their own biases were just too much for average people to put up with any more.  Hence the success of Fox News.  When will Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama show up in front of Chris Wallace? 

Susan Behrend

Keith Oberman has brought up Bill Oreily so much that I finally started to watch the Fox channel. Keith you are the best advertisement for Bruce. No wonder he has the number one show.

Valerie Aron

I just read your column YouWho?  The link for Ron Paul goes to the Obama Girl video instead of a Ron Paul video.  Other than that, it  is a fairlydecent piece although you selected  the only metric by which one can possibly say Obama is ahead of Ron Paul on YouTube.  It is generally understood that the channel view metric is unreliable.

Here's Joshua Levy at techPresident on channel views:

We're looking at two separate numbers here: the number of "channel" views and the number of "video" views. Each candidate's "channel" is their landing page on YouTube. Every time someone visits that channel, another "view" is added to its number of views.  Every time we watch a single video a "view" is added to that video, not the channel.  So far Obama's channel has over 2,700,000 views, and his videos have been viewed a total of about 650,000 times.

There are a few reasons why the high number of channel views looks fishy. First, the total number of views of Obama's individual videos is nowhere near the total number of channel views. When you first load the channel a video automatically plays, which may or may not contribute to that video's total views (the relationship between channel and video views is sketchy, though we're told by sources at YouTube it should be cleared up soon). But if we take the total number of video views as accurate this means that only about 24% of visitors to his video-sharing web site are actually watching videos, while over 2 million people are visiting the channel but not watching any videos.

Second, it appears that there's a way to game the system. Last fall a social networking news site called Mashable published a post about "Gaming YouTube for Fun and Profit," in which they described how to artificially increase the number of video views on YouTube. Essentially, if you set your browser to auto-refresh a YouTube page (a Firefox extension does it), every time the browser refreshes the video has a new view added to it. To try this out, I made a video of myself discussing this very problem, uploaded it to YouTube, and set my browser to auto-refresh every 10 seconds for 12 hours. Although I expected to see the number of views rise above 4,000 (every 10 seconds X 12 hours), it got stuck somewhere around 280 views, and are now over 1200 views. While the increased number of views doesn't always appear right away, and doesn't always correspond to the number of refreshes, it is still possible to to artificially inflate the number.

Unless 1200 people happened to see a video I didn't promote and tagged with the word "technology," I gamed the system. Now imagine several people dedicated to doing this full-time to promote a presidential candidate…

Third, the ratio of subscribers-to-viewers is out of whack. TechPresident reader Robert Ruszkowski (and Dennis Kucinich supporter) emailed us saying that the number of subscribers to Obama's channel hasn't risen along with his channel views:

When Obama had only 100,000 channel views [around March 17] he had approx 3100 channel Members (= 3.1 Members per 1,000 channel views. This was before the huge spike in his channel views. After the spike at the 2,000,000 channel view mark (20X the number) he had approx 3,600 channel Members (= .18 members per 1,000 channel views ). If he had maintained the 3.1 Members for 1,000 channel view mark his total number of members at this point would have been around 62,000 not 3,600. At the 2,600,000 channel view mark he only had 3650 members. That's only 50 members added for over 600,000 channel views. That appox. 12,000 channel views to add just one new member. If you use the original 3.1 new members per 1,000 channel views that held true before the huge spike in views the true number of Barack Obama Channel views would be around 177,419 instead of 2,600,000.

If someone is artificially inflating the numbers, it's a violation of YouTube's TOS ("You agree not to use or launch any automated system, including without limitation, 'robots,' 'spiders,' 'offline readers,' etc., that accesses the Website in a manner that sends more request messages to the YouTube servers in a given period of time than a human can reasonably produce in the same period by using a conventional on-line web browser."). As far as we can tell the number of individual video views is accurate.

For cumulative views of actual videos, Ron Paul is ahead of Obama by about 400,000 views.  You can measure YouTube stats at TubeMogul.com.    Any way you measure it, Ron Paul is President of YouTube

Diane MacRae

My question / comment is why is the name link in the article for the most conservative Republican in Congress--Texas Rep. Ron Paul, is to the Obama girl video at the Youtube website?

Bellow is the link I think is correct!


Trevor Peirce

I think this was an article about Obama not the internet. and I wonder how the link to Ron Paul takes one to the Obama girl...  Shame on you.

Deborah Ayers

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