Finke is very proud at having doubled Deadline Hollywood's traffic since November. She should be, and we don't begrudge her at all her post this morning boasting about the site's success. But one line caught us by surprise: "Quantcast numbers show Deadline|Hollywood global uniques of 4,282,752 bested Gawker's 4,164,897 for [January]."
That certainly didn't sound right to us, so we checked Quantcast, the web measurement doo-hickey that Finke based her claim on. Here's what it showed us—the green line represents Gawker.com's rolling total of global unique visitors for the preceding 30 days, and the blue line represents Deadline.com's:
As you can see, on any given day in January, Gawker's total visitors for the preceding 30-day period hovered above the 3 million range. As of the last day in January, we had attracted 3.7 million visitors for the month. Deadline Hollywood, on the other hand—while it grew dramatically throughout January—never crossed the 3 million mark. It maxed out at 2.3 million visitors on February 2, and Gawker maxed out at 4.2 million on February 10. Deadline Hollywood has never exceeded Gawker, or come particularly close, in global unique visitors as measured by Quantcast.
We pointed this out to Nikki, and it turns out the "traffic guy" at her parent company Mail.com Media Corp. had made an error in calculating her traffic. (He added up Deadline Hollywood's daily unique tally for each day in January, rather than looking at the 30-day tally for the last day of the month.) Nikki has corrected her post, deleting the false claim that she beat Gawker in January and adding a note at the bottom saying, "Due to a computation error by a staff member, I was told that Deadline|Hollywood's Quantcast global uniques were bigger than Gawker's. That is not the case — yet." She forwarded us her e-mail exchange with the "traffic guy" explaining the error, adding this note at the top:
As you can see, John, this wasn't my fault and this wasn't intentional. Please don't humiliate this guy because he's really valuable to me and Deadline. And don't humiliate me. Mistakes happen. Unlike Gawker, I will remove the incorrect information and explain why. I'm still waiting for Gawker to correct its own many errors about Deadline Hollywood's traffic and also all the inaccurate crap it has posted for months. Gabriel Snyder refused to correct anything even when I showed him the facts, like an error-filled story about Deadline traffic about six months ago. So now that Gabriel has been fired, I hope Gawker does the right thing?
Don't worry, Nikki. We won't humiliate you. You're doing a fine job on your own. And it's so distasteful when reporters gleefully seize on the arrogant and sloppy unforced errors of their colleagues to rub their noses in them.