Friday, March 7, 2014

Boyleing Points

Numbers Game
By Kevin Boyle
Sabermetrics is the term sports teams and crazy fans use to analyze player performance. It’s possible, more or less, to do the same with newspapers. In the fancy schmancy world of technology you can get all sorts of information. The Wave has been online for a number of years. Get an online subscription now! It’s a steal! – now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
We just figured out that we can track which articles and columns of The Wave are being viewed or read the most.
It comes as no surprise that Rockaway readers are great optimists. They go right to the obituaries. Yes, the obits get more hits than any other regular feature in The Wave. I don’t know if people just want to see if they know the people who’ve died or they’re just hoping to read about somebody who they never liked. Apparently, some people read the obits for the laughs. Hey, don’t look at me, I’m not the one who came up with the term, the Irish comics.
And thank you readers, Boyleing Points (and the Beachcomber) come in right behind the obits. A couple of people told me they can’t tell the difference between obituaries and Boyleing Points—they’re both sad--- so I shouldn’t take too much pride in the numbers. Others told me they read the obits first, hoping to see my name and never having to glance at Boyleing Points again. It’s that kind of warmth and kindness I hear that keeps me going.
No surprise, the Letters section attracts a lot of readers. So, if you want your two cents to be heard, send those emails. But don’t send letters in the mail. They scare me. A lot of letters come in looking they’re from kidnappers. Ya know, the envelope is addressed with random letters cut from magazines. Use email. We print most of them, though not the ones that begin Dear Howard, which I still get. And we don’t print every Larry Penner letter, it just seems that way. And then there are letters that we’d have to kill a forest to print. They look like a sea of text. You’d end up in the obituary trying to finish reading them. We try to avoid those.
Of course, the online hits don’t reflect what people read at home. People who read the hard copy, the real newspaper, might go straight to Movie Scope for all I know. Some of you just wondered, what’s Movie Scope?
Others want that hard copy to take to the loo, the reading room. I don’t know what the stats would say about that or which columns are read there, but I can guess. Someone else told me their dog uses the horoscope and accuweather as its wee-wee pad. That hurt. I bet other dogs have favorite columns, too.
**Boyleing Over: Old timer’s deep thought of the week. I only remember stuff I care about. Too bad I care about less stuff.

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