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David and Goliath

The Italians have a saying that revenge is like dessert, it is best served cold. Now, I am not saying that this post is about revenge, yet individuals not properly formed in the Catholic Tradition can be excused for thinking otherwise. 😉

In today’s post, we return to our VIRTUAL REALITY theme. This post is in essence a confirmation of the accuracy of our objective analytical template and specifically our Pierce/Ockham Pragmatic Methodology. (see here) While reading the below, please keep in mind that this “victory lap” should to seen as being performed with the utmost Catholic humility.

We begin over at the Mundabor blog and his post titled Bye Bye, Crux (see here). This post deals with the news that the New York Time/Boston Globe has pulled financial backing from the “c”atholic in name only (CINO) magazine Crux. (see here) The key takeaway from Mundabor’s observation is the following:

“Crux had a huge problem from the start. It was the attempt to create a Catholic publication made by people who don’t believe in Catholicism. It’s not that easy.”

This above conclusion passes the Numquam Ponenda est Pluralitas Sine Necessitate smell test.

Furthermore, I would add that Crux had a far greater flaw. That flaw can be summed up as follows: Curx existed in a VIRTUAL REALITY. But more about that below.

The reason that I am bringing this matter to your attention is that it was exactly one year ago that your humble blogger noticed something… as the expression goes, “smelling rotten in the state of Denmark”, with respect to Crux’s website. The reason that this blog got involved in this matter was due to a disparaging post made regarding the Pew Sitter Catholic news aggregator by one of Crux’s contributors.  Here is how this disparaging remark was phrased:

“”PewSitter is small fry. It’s a tempest in a teapot!” you might protest, but what the furor over the PewSitter headline reveals is that American Catholicism is divided as never before. Some conservatives who feel threatened by Pope Francis have retreated into a right-wing, paranoid enclave from which they broadcast panicked videos, sarcastic blog posts, and uber-orthodox traditionalist jeremiads.”

Here is the skinny about what our methodology uncovered about Crux’s online presence.

In our post titled Who You Calling “Small Fry”? (see here) we observed and then went on to analyze, an anomaly with respect to a poll put up at the Crux website.The reason that this poll interested us is that we could not find any objective data with respect to the number of unique visitors nor site visits on the Crux portal. This poll also was noticed by another blogger, Fr. Z.,  and he asked his visitors to go over to Crux and vote. What was of interest to your’s truly was the fact that Fr. Z’s blog does have objective data points from which one can extrapolate the data which interested yours truly. Furthermore, the results generated by the “Fr. Z voting bloc”, in just the first few hours, provide us with a window into the “real traffic” at the  Crux’s website.

What was of particular interest to us was that in the matter of a few hours, the “Fr. Z. bloc” was able to complete change the results of the poll. Here is the table that we put up to support our contention:

Fr. Z VI
In other words, the number of Fr. Z’s voters that went across and voted, were able to completely dominate the Crux visitors who voted.

This observation led to the conclusion that the number of Fr. Z’s visitors must be vastly greater than the number of Crux visitors since Fr. Z’s. visitors were able to completely reverse in a very significant manner the initial results of the Crux poll.

Since Fr.Z’s website contained information in the form of data points that allowed us to gauge with a very high degree of certainty, the number of visitors to his blog, we were able then to extrapolate what the “most likely” number of visitors to the Crux website could be. Once again, this information was not provided by Crux itself on its website. On the basis of our analysis, we determined that the number of unique visitors to the Crux website in March of 2015 was in the neighborhood of 7500 daily. In turn, the number of visitors to the Pew Sitter website was 17,785 in that same time period.

Which led us to conclude the following:

If the above calculations are a true reflection of the daily readership of this website that is owned by the New York Times and Boston Globe HUGE media conglomerate, and if this website is generating the above extrapolated level of traffic, than we are not dealing here with an artificially created “alternative reality” but rather with an entirely different animal; what we are dealing with in this case is nothing short of a…



However, this is not the end of the story. In the comment box, your humble blogger received a message that our analysis could be inaccurate. Here is what the commentor “Foolishness” wrote:

“You can find objective website traffic rankings through alexa.com and if you register, (you can do that for free), you can do site comparisons and they will provide a convenient little graph so you can see how pewsitter,com, Father Z’s blog, and Cruxnow.com compare. :Last i checked Crux is getting more traffic on the web than either, but far less than the solid pro-life LifeSiteNews.com.” (original text)

So we revisited that matter in a follow up post titled Rise of the Machines – “Small Fry” Revisited (see here). The reason we did this was, as we explained:

“So naturally, since this blog is the Catholic blog of a Catholic blogger, who believes in a Catholic God, triumphalist doctrinal certainty, including but not limited to the Eight Commandant and “objective truth”, a follow-up post was in order. Therefore, not wanting to spend the rest of eternity in … ahammmm, I quickly went to the alexa.com website, registered and pulled up the websites in question to check out if my initial observations were correct.”

And after taking into account all this new information, we still concluded that our original analysis was OBJECTIVELY CORRECT.

Here is how we concluded this post:

Which brings this blogger back to the “composition of visitor/voter” issue. After the above evidence is examined, it is still highly likely that the original results were accurate, under a slight correction to the definition of our assumption.

And how did we explain the disparity between Crux, who was rated as the 15,769th website in popularity in the US, according to Alexa Traffic Rankings, while Fr. Z was 23,187th and Pew Sitter was a distant third at 69,047th? Here is what we wrote:

From today’s analysis, it would appear that the “offensive NYT/BG” website has approximately ≈2000 legitimate voting visitors for every ≈2900 visitors to Fr. Z’s blog that vote in his polls.

As far as the rest of the traffic to the “offensive” NYT/BG website, hard to say who or what they are.

Could be robots for all we know.

And this is how we left off the subject matter.

Back to this past weekend, via the Mundabor website, and the announcement that the NYT/Boston Globe were pulling the figurative plug on Crux, i.e. terminating its financial support for Crux magazine. Here is the passage: (see here)

Eighteen months later, The Boston Globe has bailed. In a letter to staffers, the Globe’s editor Brian McGrory announced that the paper is shutting down the vertical on April 1st, a move which will involve two to three editorial layoffs and one business layoff, according to a spokesperson.

And this is the end of the story.

Oh, OMT, it was not Pew Sitter but Crux who was the “Small Fry”!

Concluding, with respect to the commentary on this sad state of affairs, not to mention waisted time and effort, and the needless cash burn, Mundabor nails it.

With respect to the bigger picture, i.e the OBJECTIVE REALITY behind the Crux venture,we knew that there was something “horribly wrong” with Crux, their business model and their performance. We knew this as early as 6 months after their launch. The only question still open as of the March 2015 analysis was this:

How long will the HUGE news conglomerate New York Times/Boston Globe keep funding this losing venture?

And now we can also answer this question definitively: 18 months.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, says I!