Today I want to talk about the numbers. We can use our handy Wikipedia Statistics tool brought to us by Tim Farley. http://stats.grok.se. I want to point out that this website is not exact to the day, because of time zones ect I believe that the stats are off by a day. (again not sure)
I'm going to work just with the ABC Primetime Nightline "Beyond Belief" show that aired August 17, 2011.
The first segment featured a reporter investigating James Van Praagh, and being unimpressed with him, pretty much saying that he thinks he is cheating when he says he talks to dead people. Van Praagh did a reading on the reporter, giving some amazing hits. But after the fact the reporter was able to pull up an interview he gave two years ago listing all the details that Van Praagh supposedly got. This SWIFT blog pretty much sums everything up.
There is a clear jump with about 550 hits over what he had been trending that week. Because Randi is all over the media it is unclear if the July 18th jump was because of Nightline or not.
I think that the next featured skeptical spokesperson will give us better clearer results. Banachek was very prominent in the show, using the stats tool we can see what his hit rate looked like for months even years before the Nightline show aired. This next graph is from July 2011.
We see that he averages about 56 hits a day. Because of TAM9 July 15-17 this might be the reason why the jump in numbers on July 17-18th.
|Banachek July 2011|
Here is August 2011. We clearly see a major jump in numbers hitting about an 800% increase over normal.
What about other people featured on the show? ABC reporter Josh Elliot is the one who interviewed Van Praagh. By the way I think he did a terrific job and maybe the skeptical movement should approach him for future media coverage.
Major jump. Averaging 423 hits a day during August 2011, he has a 600% increase when the show aired.
Lets try one more. The JREF was mentioned a few times on the show, did it see an increase in hits?
An increase, but not a significant amount like with Banachek.
Another person mentioned on the show (and his name appeared on the screen) was Dr. Gary Schwartz. Lets look at his stats for August.
A small increase in hits, but nothing significant.
Here is Allison DuBois's page stats for August. The other psychic interviewed was Rebecca Rosen who does not have a Wikipedia page, but according to Nightline has a 2 year waiting list for readings. Odd that if she has changed that many lives that she is not noteworthy enough to have her own page. Remember Georgia O'Conner? She has testimonies from thousands of people she has helped, you got it, no Wikipedia page.
What does this all mean?
These are just the raw numbers, there are a lot of factors that could effect who gets hits and who does not. Was the name written on the screen? Van Praagh and Schwartz names were.
I think overall that I have made my point. When our skeptical spokespeople are in the media, they are going to get an upswing in hits to their Wikipedia page. People want to know who these people are. What are we presenting to the world?
Not only our spokespeople's pages need updating but so do the pages of people like Gary Schwartz. Nightline went to a lot of trouble to mention that he was a Harvard Professor now working at the University of Arizona. Major creds right? Allison DuBois's page also needs some serious cleanup.
I'm sure the page for Psychic Kids could use some updating. I think Banachek's powerful words would really help to spruce it up. In fact I think Banachek's comments could be used all over these psychic's pages. Hint Hint
What about this Nightline Show? We need to get it up on the pages of all these people and onto the JREF page. That's keeping things updated.