Where is the edge of the plate?

Which topics sparked interest among readers – and which fell through?

The upcoming turn of the year always calls for a review and subsequently also offers an author the opportunity to realign himself for the coming year. In contrast to numerous hobby blogs, which propagate certain topics in the interest of their own mission or vision and do not necessarily pay attention to reader response, it makes little sense for Telepolis to publish past reader interest.

A not entirely unimportant indication of reader interest can be deduced from the number of comments on the respective contributions. It can be amed that articles that only arouse little interest will also only prompt a small number of commentary contributions. Certain inaccuracies naturally result from the general news situation, which directed the attention of the readers at the time of the publication on other emphasis.

Where is the edge of the plate?

Image Cow Cabinet: W.J.Pilsak. License: CC-BY-SA-3.0License: CC BY-SA 3.0. Picture vacuum cleaner: Jan Farmer. License: Public Domain. Picture Koh Kong Province: USAID

Among the contributions I have made in the last two years, there are clear differences. Among the leaders of interest are the remote-controlled zombie cow barrier – an article about an idea of the European Association of Transmission System Operators to disconnect domestic cow barriers from the network as part of an automated load shedding system. The idea of disconnecting industrial consumers from the grid as an alternative to peak power generation when electricity is in short supply also stirred up tempers. EU regulations that ostensibly interfere with citizens’ freedom of choice (such as the eco-design regulations on lamps or vacuum cleaners) also attract a lot of interest.

However, there are also some pretty wacky topics among the frontrunners. Thus, the local theme of the risks to the salvation of the inhabitants of a Black Forest valley, who were much more concerned by the placement of two Buddha statues on the shelf of a tea shop than I [but not the supervising editor] had anticipated. In the midfield are topics related to cycling – although the helmet is still good for excitement. The railroad, long a guarantor of reader reaction, now only attracts the attention of readers in cases of blatant misconduct. The new long-distance buses seem to have a better draw and are in second place on the popularity scale.

Among the contributions with a decidedly weak response are topics that have been virtually unreported in other online media. This fate has affected both the article on the EU Timber Trade Regulation and the presentation of the problems faced by a medium-sized trading company that is still involved in trade with Iran. Contributions dealing with questions of the development in trade (and here especially in online trade) were bluffingly weak. Perhaps the interest is so low because people are less interested in the details that take place in the background of the convenient shopping facilities. As long as he does not know that the purchase of storage media in Luxembourg is also cheaper because in Germany no copyright levies and no corporate taxes are deducted, the snap hunter has a clear conscience.

Where the goods came from, which were under the Christmas tree, obviously did not pay to the core topics of the readership shaped by a strongly Eurocentric view of the world. In addition to the classic Old World, the New World, represented by the USA, is just coming into focus. Everything else is third world and flashes practically only under the name of China from time to time.

Regions such as Southeast Asia, Latin America or Africa only emerge from the fog once in a while when it comes to local despots or those who are considered to be despots in this country. The political and economic development in these parts of the world is still in competition with each other. The fact that not only raw materials are supplied from there for processing in Europe, but also increasingly semi-finished and finished products, is only noticed in this country when the prices for hard disks increase because a plant in Pathum Thani is under water and the majority of all motors for hard disks are produced there.

The fact that the manufacturing caravan with its production models is now moving from China to neighboring countries and Mexico is not yet perceived in this country. To an even greater extent, this ignorance applies to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa and northern Sud Africa. athiopia, sandwiched between two countries whose citizens are fleeing in droves, and Ghana in West Africa, mentioned mainly in connection with the dumping of electronic waste, are preparing to outdo Eastern European manufacturing locations with low wages and skilled workers.

So far, however, practically everything lies beyond the edge of the plate that marks the boundaries of reader interest – but it does not have to remain so.