Stephen Baker

The Numerati
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Who is reading this blog?

September 10, 2008languages

The data is in, and I'm beginning to get an idea of who you are.

That's right. For our behavioral targeting campaign, we placed what is called a "pixel" on this Web site. Most media sites have them. They report on which sites you have come from, and then the analysts (or algorithms) use them to put you into different groups, or tribes. This data is based on visitors in the second half of August (before BW ran the excerpt), and the readership was a modest 2,000. (Here's hoping it rises this month.)

No offense, but I've never seen a more boring list of tribes in my life. No sign of race car buffs or dating sites habitues. No porn. It's all just what you'd expect for a mainstream business and technology site. The biggest group, 41%, comes from "general news." Visitors also visit business, politics, and opinion pages. The Olympics. Yawn.

Some 10% of the visitors come from book reviews. I guess they'll make up one of the two major subgroups for our advertising campaign: arts and literature (ie New Yorker readers).

Even though the groups by themselves are a little drab, it'll be interesting to see which ones respond to the ads. Will The New Yorker readers click the scary ones more or less than the core business tribe? Will a small minority tribe (entertainment-nightlife-dining, 5%) click disproportionately on the ads? We'll see.

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