Monday, May 29, 2006

My computer can handle the load

Nick's Observer latest contains the following puff for the EM:

The Euston what? Come now, surely you must have heard of it. There have been 300,000 mentions of it on the internet and it has provoked rave reviews and splenetic denunciations in the mainstream press. If you don't believe me, type 'Euston Manifesto' into Google and see if your computer can cope with the workload.

It is now Monday morning. The Euston Manifesto grand public launch was on Friday evening. It is possible to sort Google News by date. Since the launch there have been many mentions of Euston, but most concern repairs to the railways and the inevitable delays faced by passengers. There has only been one (1) mainstream press mention of the Euston Manifesto recorded by Google News: Nick Cohen's own article in which he invites us to be impressed by the Google results.

22 Comments:

Blogger Simon said...

On a related note, Geras is so delighted with the idea that people who disagree with him are in denial, that he has repeated the point.

5/29/2006 10:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Backword Dave said...

I did type "Euston Manifesto" into Google. And then I clicked on the rightmost of the following pages offered. Google offered over 1,030,000 pages. However:

In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 532 already displayed.

Handle the workload, indeed.

5/29/2006 11:35:00 PM  
Anonymous dsquared said...

brilliant Dave. I've bunged in a note to this effect to the Observer readers' editor; expect to see me whining about the lack of response over and over again for weeks.

(the big number of hits is almost certainly because they've got a Wikipedia entry and thus been picked up by the spamdex community)

5/30/2006 06:27:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

Tuesday update: no change. The post-launch Google News count remains stuck at Nick and Nick alone.

5/30/2006 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

I did make a similar comment but it seems to have been swallowed up. A quick check suggests there are 1000 real EM entries on google now, but a few weeks back when Geras was claiming 300,000 or so, by abou number 600 it was just the same link repeated over and over again (I think the sidebar of some blog).

5/30/2006 07:00:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

To labour my point, a google search for ["Euston Manifesto" -left], ie which might it's never clear with google be excluding [left]) reduces those hits from 900,000 to 609,000, but by about the 700 mark they're just 3 Quarks Daily repeating itself over and over again.

http://tinyurl.com/rfovl

Similarly any livejournal site that has it in their links apparently shows up for every post done.

5/30/2006 07:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Bemused said...

Check out this for hilarity:

"Perhaps the most noticeable fissure in the masonry of group-think is a new initiative promoted by old British leftist Norman Geras, who supports the war in Iraq and democratization in the Middle East. Together with a young columnist named Nick Cohen, Geras is leading a new movement dubbed the Euston Manifesto"

From Blueprint magazine (US)

5/30/2006 10:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

It's lucky I am here to clear up the confusion. Nick Cohen did not refer to google news - he refered to google.

The Euston manifesto was in the top ten of blog subjects for quite some while so it's no surprise that it got so many searches.

5/30/2006 12:35:00 PM  
Anonymous rioja kid said...

"The Euston manifesto was in the top ten of blog subjects for quite some while "

In whose ranking? It certainly never made technorati.

5/30/2006 12:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

One wonders what type of response dsquared believes the Euston manifesto should have gotten after its launch meeting? The huge debate across the blogosquere had already taken place; many articles in the Guardian, Observer, Times, had already happened. The real world manifesto launch was just an opportunity for some of the people involved to get together again.

What's remarkable is the project has recieved the amount of publicity and debate it has received; I am sure you people never believed it would get as big as it has. Few people who work in the media do not know what the Euston manifesto is; everyone in the blogosquere certainly knows.

5/30/2006 12:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

"In whose ranking? It certainly never made technorati."

It was on there for ages - what are you on about? Did you not see the post up at HP at the time?

5/30/2006 12:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2006/04/17/eustonmania.php

5/30/2006 12:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Ray said...

What sort of response should the manifesto launch have gotten? I'm sure the signatories were hoping for some articles the next day, even 100 words on page 11. Maybe something in one of the weekend papers. By now, I'm sure they'd be glad of anything.

5/30/2006 01:20:00 PM  
Anonymous dsquared said...

What's remarkable is the project has recieved the amount of publicity and debate it has received; I am sure you people never believed it would get as big as it has.

I thought it would top out at around 2800 signatures; the same number as the Unite Against Terror petition, and largely the same individuals. I've not yet seen anything to make me doubt this forecast.

I dispute that "everyone in the media" has heard of this thing; since we run a "watch" blog on one of its authors we are perhaps not the best people to ask, but it really doesn't seem that popular to me. I certainly would not open up a conversation with a stranger who worked in the media on the assumption that he knew what it was and I doubt you would either. Note also that if I were you I wouldn't be claiming that "everyone has heard of it", because if true, this would make the fact that you only have 1750 signatures a lot more pathetic.

Re-running an old calculation ... If we make the (untrue) assumption that all 1750 signatures are British and the (generous) assumption that every signature represents 10 people who would have signed if they had heard of it, then you might have a mass movement of 17,500 people there. If we add the Guardian and Independent's circulations together (about 635,000) and multiply by 2 to get readership numbers (assuming that about 1/2 of readers take both), then we get a figure for the readers of the "daily liberal newspapers" of about 1.25m. You are thus about 1.5% of the liberal left, and Norman Geras' complaint that Decentism is under- rather than over-represented looks pretty frail.

5/30/2006 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

Nick Cohen did not refer to google news - he refered to google.

Nick Cohen referred, inter alia, to the reception that the EM had received in the mainstream press, and invited readers "if you don't believe me" to check google. Since google news indexes the mainstream press, it does seem rather relevant here. Of course, if you think 57 mentions by snoopbunny92.blogspot.com constitutes better evidence of the EM reception by the "mainstream press", then you'll take a different view.

5/30/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

"You are thus about 1.5% of the liberal left, and Norman Geras' complaint that Decentism is under- rather than over-represented looks pretty frail. "

Do you think that would constitute enough 'material relevant to establishing proportions' for him, and if so he would be prepared to begin justifying his comment that to assert the opposite is the "same old crazed delusion",

5/30/2006 02:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Backword Dave said...

The claim of 300,0000 hits for Euston isn't that clever when you've only got 1700 signatures. If, for every 20 persons who writes about it, only one signs, something is pretty wrong. Actually, the figures aren't nearly as bad as that, as most signers who have blogs have posted several times, and there are only 500-1000 mentions on teh interwebs.

The Euston manifesto was in the top ten of blog subjects for quite some while so it's no surprise that it got so many searches.

The number Nick Cohen quoted is Google's estimate of *pages* the search term appears on. The number of searches is something else. Although Google records these, they're less public. I don't know how often "Euston Manifesto" has been searched for; and I'm certain NC doesn't know either.

D2 makes an interesting point, which I hadn't thought to test until just now. The EM has never made the Telegraph. (I just did a search.) I don't think this is a mere left-right thing; it has been mentioned in the Sunday Times (not noticeably on the left) and by blogs such as Power Line and Michelle Malkin which seem to me to take an editorial line some way to the right of the Telegraph. (Somewhat OT, I think the Torygraph's adoption of blogging comments is a lot more sensible than tehgrauniad's. They do know what blogging is.)

5/30/2006 03:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

No, no, no. Signing the Euston manifesto is of a totally different order on the scale of signing something that says you're against terrorism. A manifesto contains many ideas that you have to agree with; signing Euston is almost like deciding to join a political party. It's a big step for a lot of people. It's remarkable it has got so many signatures. Can you think of a new political party that could have thousands of members within a few weeks that did not have a famous celeb leading it?

5/31/2006 12:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Ray said...

Bollocks.
When you join a political party, there's a financial commitment, and there's an expectation that you'll help out with party work. Neither is true of signing the EM (which is just as well since half the signatories seem to be on a different continent from the authors)

5/31/2006 08:31:00 AM  
Blogger Sonic said...

Plus joining a political party invoves a committment to perhaps do some work, not just stick a banner on your little blog.

Dead by December IMHO.

6/02/2006 02:36:00 AM  
Blogger Sonic said...

Ray beat me to it...

6/02/2006 02:36:00 AM  
Blogger Dariush said...

Incidentally, Blueprint Magazine is the house journal of the Democratic Leadership Council, the American Enterprise Institute of the "democratic" (that is to say, neoconservative) "left".

6/02/2006 06:46:00 AM  

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