"I dare say public awareness of the gargantuan expense in a two-chamber set up and the stifling gridlock have been the main reasons the parliamentary/unicameral idea has made enormous headway. Sigaw ng Bayan spokesperson Raul Lambino reports a phenomenal nine million visits to the Sigaw website (www.sigawngbayan.com) since its launch less than three weeks ago.Do Tell, Madame Bhel.But look at what Google just brought up for me as the number one hit of a simple search on the term "sigawngbayan" but this article from Sun Star Davao dated Monday April 17, 2006 in which we read that,
Lambino says cybertraffic to the site is so heavy that Sigaw has had to increase its Internet servers. It’s said that no other Philippine website can claim so many hits in such a short time involving a single issue. Nine million represents almost 20 percent of the total number of registered voters."
The Sigaw ng Bayan also pointed out that newly established website -- the sigawngbayan.com -- has been viewed by over 40,000 Internet users since the web page was first posted on April 8.Sun Star got "users" wrong because a visit to the website in question Sigaw ng Bayan will make it clear that we are talking about here are "site visits" or "hits", as both Raul Lambino and Bhel Cunanan claim. Also the relevant time period is April 8 to whenever Raul Lambino told Bhel Cunanan that their website had received "nine million hits" since they started it. That would have to be last Monday, April 24, 2006, at the latest since Ms. Cunanan's column was first posted at 00:33 am on April 25, but probably earlier since she still had to write and submit it after she got the information. So on the face of it, Sigaw ng Bayan is claimed to have garnered nine million votes in between 14 to 16 days! Not only that, from the Sun Star article, we hear Atty. Lambino claiming that as of April 17, they had garnered only 40,000 hits on their site. And today, according to their very strange site meter that updates only ever 12 hours, they had received 249,722 "site visits." Even this modest number means that in the second week of operation, Sigaw had gotten over five times the traffic that they had gotten in the first week of operation.
"The sigawngbayan.com is now the hottest website in the country," Lambino said.
"The 40,000 hits registered by the website since it was first posted last week reflects the public's immense interest in Charter change. From web surfers to street sweepers, the call for Charter change now echoes across all sectors of Philippine society," added Lambino.
But if we were to copy the style of the Supreme Court and "construe" these emanations such that we believe the numerical claims of both characters, both Bhel Cunanan and Raul Lambino, then Sigaw must have gotten 40,000 hits in the first week and about 8,960,000 hits in the second week! Truly a magnificent and unique feat worthy of the biggest bloggers and websites in the world.
Heck Ms. Bhel and Atty. Raul, after this whole sordid chacha choo choo train meets up with its well-deserved upcoming train wreck you folks can go into the Urban Legend and Fairy Tale Creation business and sell nine million hits of whatever you all is smokin' to Google AdSense.
Ms. Cunanan and Atty. Lambino, are plainly and tragicomically trying to impress the public by slinging around technical terms and impressive numbers. But they are only exposing their ignorance to the savvy online community that feels nothing but disdain for such naive and puerile attempts to game and exploit the cachet and growing authority of the World Wide Web with false claims and risible arithmetic gimmicks. Here are some of the most disdainful in the Comment Thread of Manuel L. Quezon III's weblog yesterday.
Maybe Sigaw Ng Bayan has one of those sitemeters that counts every visit as 66 visits. By the way, the Advocacy Commission's Atty. Romela Bengzon, is another Chacha rahrah girl with some magic numbers. This lady claims to have assisted in the delivery of seminars to all 20,000,000 of the claimed signatories to the People's Initiative. But I shall have to tackle that other set of fairy tales for adults another time...
Someone should write a letter to the editor or the PDI Ombudsman or something to tell them about this bit of self-deprecation that they just made a quarter of a million copies of, courtesy of Bhel Cunanan. (Or is that number made up too?)
A letter to the editor -- how deliciously QUAINT in this day and age!
For the cognoscenti, there are a number of other interesting ways to probe the Sigaw ng Bayan website to convince yourself that the extravagant traffic claims being made for it are truly counterfeit. For example, try Google Advanced Search for "related" websites to www.sigawngbayan.com. You will discover that ZERO websites in the world consider themselves related to this 9 million hits in 2 weeks website. Also there no websites that "link" to this website except itself, according to Google Advanced Search. Finally, even a Touchgraph plot of the site yields a single solitary dot in outer cyberspace. Mute but eloquent testimony to how low, how pissing-in-the-wind low the People's Initiative has gone.
The other dead giveaway is the dead site meter or counter itself. What website administrator would use a sitemeter that only updates its displayed result every twelve hours? Anyone with 9 million hits in about two weeks would be running a couple of live site meters to show how much traffic it's getting. The only reason to run a dead sitemeter is so that nosey visitors can't observe how much the meter increments every time you "hit" or visit the site.
But it is intellectually dishonest and probably violates the Code of Professional Ethics for Journalists that the PDI still posts daily on its website, for Bhel Cunanan to make such an implausible claim, even if she stuffs it in Raul Lambino's mouth. There has to be a kind of truth-telling, even in opinion columns, don't you think?
UPDATE: (26 apr 2006 1700) Although a scrolling marquee at the Sigaw ng Bayan website claims that its contents are updated every twelve hours, there has been no apparent change for the last 24 hours. In particular the sitemeter claims it has been visited 249,722 times since April 8. But it did not increase at all during this period. There appears to be another website called Philippine Gazette that is linked to by Sigaw. But that site looks identical, thematically and in other telling ways, to Sigaw ng Bayan, as if the same web design service provider got two contracts to do both websites. There are many photographs on both these sites that reveal the principals of the People Initiative, including Atty. Raul Lambino, Atty. Romela Bengzon of the Advocacy Commission for Chacha, and two or three others (at most). From browsing the various pages (and archiving it at Philippine Commentrary) on the Sigaw website, one gets many clues and hints of DILG and other government involvement in the whole fol-de-rol.