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11 July 2011

Entertaining Video by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank

This is the latest installment of the Cleveland Federal Reserve Bank's Drawing Board video series. The Cleveland Fed on YouTube describes the videos as a series of
Really bad drawings, with real simple explanations.
I beg to differ.

The Inflation* video (see below to watch) is dated May 20, 2011, yet has a mere 112 page views. It was more amusing, and informative, than I expected. I've seen far worse on YouTube, sometimes even from producers of widely acclaimed educational videos. Contrast with the Cleveland Fed's research department: They make no claim of multi-media production expertise whatsoever!

Each image is hand-sketched using a thick black magic marker. Narration is very clear. Subject matter varies for each video in the series.

* The specific focus is price stability in the U.S. economy, and its effect on employment, for finding as well as keeping a job.

10 July 2011

The Top 1000

This is a very useful list. Useful enough to base an entire post on it? Yes.

What is it?


It is a list of the top 1000 most-visited websites worldwide, based on unique visitor counts, as measured by Google DoubleClick Ad Planner. The list is updated monthly with new Ad Planner data sets as they are released.

When I checked on June 30, 2011, the list was dated April 2011, so there seems to be a one to two month lag in reporting. I don't know if reporting is based on beginning-of-month or end-of-month. For most purposes, this update frequency is adequate.

Criteria


The list only considers top-level domains. This is not a problem, in my opinion, as I doubt many sub-domains would have sufficient traffic to be included in a Top 1000 Website traffic list. Each site on the list includes:
  • Site category, with category types specified by Google*
  • Unique visitor count
  • Page view count
  • Whether or not the site has advertising
Note that the list specifically excludes
adult sites, ad networks, domains that don't have publicly visible content or don't load properly, and certain Google sites
* More information about site categories is available from the Google Ad Planner help page for the list.

UPDATE!


On 5 September 2011, Google announced that it would no longer update the Google Ad Planner Top 1000 Website List. The final month of data displayed is July 2011. This was due to the following policy change:
Ad Planner information is limited to placements within the Google Display Network (GDN). GDN Ad Planner no longer provides information on any sites, domains, or non-GDN placements. The Ad Planner 1000 list is still available, but we no longer update it... Statistics only appear for a site on the list if it is in the GDN.
The URL for the list Top 1000 Website List remains
http://www.google.com/adplanner/static/top1000/index.html
The link for the "Top 100 Country List", URL
http://www.google.com/adplanner/static/top100countries/index.html

is still visible on the page, but clicking it now returns an HTTP 404 "Page not found" error. The Google Ad Planner Top 1000 Website Help page, now struck out above, also returns "Page not found".