Blogging controversy can generate a lot of comments, but it is often said that this also generates a lot of “hits” (properly, page views; hits are different, page views are the proper measure) and sometime we bloggers are accused by people (often commenters) who don’t blog themselves and don’t have access to the secret data about blog sites that bloggers can see of generating controversy in order to generate page views.
Stephanie Zvan has addressed this issue, just now, in a post on her site. A highly controversial post that is generating a lot of comments, but also, a post that has a video of a cute little kitten. If that post generates a lot of hits, it will be because of the kitten, not the controversy.
For my part, I went and looked at the seven posts with the most page views from a recent month on one of the blogs I write. The data are here:
Notice the R-squared value. The X axis is number of hits, the Y number of comments. Clearly, there is not much of an effect.
Someday I’ll do a more intensive study, one with a larger sample size, and thus, probably, a less controversial result.