If It’s On The Internet, It Must Be True!

Remember Alexa rankings? Wow, them things were the cat’s pajamas. If you don’t remember that far back, Alexa rankings were generated by a piece of software that users downloaded, and thus supposedly measured the real-life popularity of websites. Certain movementarians encouraged everyone in sight to download the thing and so thus increase their Alexa ranking, presumably increasing the number of people converted to the libertarian cause. Sign up now! No money down! Libertopia awaits!

Problem was that pretty much the only people who bothered to download it were libertarian movement types. Hilarity ensued as the Alexa rankings became the victims of movementarian hyperinflation and the movementarians themselves started overdosing on their own Kool-Aid: More popular than the Washington Times? I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true!

The Alexa rankings disappeared into embarassed obscurity, but our never-flagging movementeers have a brand new promotional scheme: Digg. Digg promotes articles and links based on other Digg users’ recommendations – so totally not like Alexa rankings!

Can you guess who’s recommending that their readers all sign up and recommend articles? And can you guess what that sort of gamesmanship will do to Digg’s wonderful, “democratic” recommendation system? That’s right. More readers than the New York Times! Doubling in users every two months! I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true!

5 thoughts on “If It’s On The Internet, It Must Be True!”

  1. It was awhile back that I remember LewRockwell.com advocating that we download the Alexa toolbar. I think that that may have been some time after I begun my blog, and was living on campus, and still using my iMac. Apparently, the actual Alexa toolbar wasn’t available for download for the Macintosh, so I downloaded an Alexa bookmarklet type thingie, which was mostly useless.

    I was thinking of installing the Alexa toolbar on the IE browser on one of the Windows-running machines at home, but neither of those were my computers, so I never did so. When I got this Toshiba laptop two summers ago, I never installed the Alexa toobar on the IE browser, which I used.

    Shortly before CPAC, I was hit with a major spyware and worm attack, which I finally was able to fix. It was after that that I broke down and got Firefox, which I now have started to use more, even though I prefer IE. But when I now try to use IE, I get these constant pop-up windows, which I didn’t get before (with IE).

    I know that in the past, I’ve had the Yahoo! search bar on IE, which may have blocked the pop-ups… When I made changes after the spyware attack, that is no longer there. However, my current IE settings are now set to block pop-ups (in the Internet Explorer Options settings) – I don’t think that option was there before; I must have downloaded a newer version of Internet Explorer. That pop-up blocking option doesn’t seem to work very well, so perhaps I need to install a pop-up blocker to IE.

    I remember, from at least one of those LRC articles (or perhaps it was from somewhere else) that the Alexa toolbar included a pop-up blocker. So perhaps, by finally downloading it on this computer’s IE browser, it could serve two purposes (the one LRC intends it to serve + blocking those horrible pop-ups, which slow down everything). I also remember, perhaps last year, looking at the Alexa and Amazon.com sites, thinking about the integration possibilities described there… especially since I am an Amazon.com Associate.

    I hadn’t seen the Alexa toolbar being advocated at LewRockwell.com for awhile though, so I was wondering if it would still be helpful for users of a site to download it. I read the start of this entry… Is the Alexa site ranking system no longer functioning, as it did before? Or is it just that the ratings don’t mean much, since they are so easily influenced?

    Thank you for providing the information in this post… It helps sort things out, for those of us who are continually trying to catch up, with the rapid changes in cyberspace community technology.

  2. Is the Alexa site ranking system no longer functioning, as it did before? Or is it just that the ratings don’t mean much, since they are so easily influenced?

    Maybe Lew can answer those questions.

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