Monday, 9 April 2007

All Time Record?

LCG gushes: "In March of 2007 the website set an all-time record of 62,757 unique visitors! The previous high was in January 2007, which recorded 58,947."

At times like this it's a good idea to take the Alexa sobriety test. Today's rankings for LCG:

Tomorrow's World 318,017
COGwriter 284,374
LCG 564,153
COGL 5,377,141

Once again, Alexa shows that LCG's most effective site isn't its own. Bob Thiel's no-frills COGwriter runs rings around the official (and very expensive) LCG domains.

A quick round-up also reveals that Mark Armstrong's sites (intercontinentalcog and have both dropped off into the abyss - now ranking below the top million. Also in freefall, judging from the latest data, is ASK (the site founded by the late Ernest Martin.) Neither, however, are doing as poorly as Rod's COGL... that 5 million figure has to be a rogue result... doesn't it?

Well, it seems not. If you click across to Alexa's returns, then scroll down to the bottom, it seems clear that everything is going West: reach, rank and page views.

A smattering of other results:

Restored Church of God
RCG (Pack) 47,730
Real Truth (Pack) 79,289
Here's the real winner, though the reason is unclear.

United Church of God
UCG 129,075
GN 126,890
Beyond Today 300,422

Philadelphia Church of God
The Trumpet 260,787
PCG 1,061,330
Key of David 766,279

Odds & Ends
WCG 171,295
PTM (Albrecht) 715,321
Born to Win 183,650
AW Blog 255,047
The Journal 980,090
Bible Study (Ruth) 253,659
Coulter 742,732


Anonymous said...

Yep! Unique visitors going to the LCG website to check up on them to see if all that is printed on this and Gary's XCG site against Spanky and his Gang are correct.You guys sure could use some more help in exposing RCM and Companys lies.
Boy what an accomplishment out there in Charlotte. We need to give these boys a "hand">
rod 2

Livingcog moderator said...

Rod (of irony) said:

"You guys sure could use some more help in exposing RCM and Companys lies."

Well...Im NOT "exposing" per se, but *trying* to discuss the various happenings within LCG, from a member perspective. Its all about the same anyways. "Is RCM making major changes" et al.

I suppose there is a bit of exposing, yes, but its more like "advocating transparency." We dont really even care what happens all that much...we just wanna know, and we dont like being lied to!

What I want to demonstrate is that the membership is on "their side" stop "dancing" around these issues and just clear it up.

Instead we get the "weekly update" where Dr Doug Winnail says "the internet is bad, M-Kay".

An open forum where everyone can *anonymously* ask serious questions and go back and get clarification, w/o fear of dirty looks or nothin' (ahem, Doug). Is it really THAT bad?? Im actually TRYING to help! Im on YOUR side!! Trust me Mr Meredith, you NEED this!

Everyone asks me: "are you REALLY an LCG member??"


"who are YOU? Dave Pack?"


Livingcog moderator
"An(onymous) LCG member"!!!

I would *love* to hear from YOU (not your minister)!

(end: rant)

Boston Blackie said...

Ah yes Gavin, the MyLCG site without a name!
Strange how has morphed from what was once an unadvertised members resource website to an appendage of Tomorrow's World.
Now it appears that it can't make up its mind. The title has vanished, but the content remains the same - even down to the non-existent links from other LCG sites. Well there's a big DUH for ya.
If you don't advertise it, no one will come!

Actually, if it weren't for Dr. Bob, the numbers would be worse for

Having only two sites would be less confusing and eliminate much of the duplication. I therefore cast one non-binding vote for the format (on a secret, password protected ballot, of course).


Byker Bob said...

I wonder if there are folks out there who feel that they are doing their patriotic duty as members to visit their own ACOG's website about ten to twenty times per day to rack up the numbers.

Such a practice would certainly give a micro-splinter such as RCG bragging rights about the effectiveness of the work which they are supposedly doing. It would be form over substance, of course, but I seriously doubt that any of them are deluded enough to believe that they are effective, or even growing at this point. They just want all of the other splinters to think that they are.
It's an ego thing, as opposed to a God thing.


Ripley said...

If Pack is getting unique visitors, then he's doing something right from a marketing standpoint -- keywords, crossover in publications, etc.

That said, the question is not dissemination only. WCG once boasted a huge "circulation" for the PT -- what, 8 million or something? That included tossing copies out on newsstands; actual subscriptions were far fewer. Who knows how many of those publications were carefully and thoughtfully read? All that, plus the TV/radio, and only 100,000 or so in members. Other denominations grew much more significantly without all that money spent on media.

Pack has poured his energy and resources into Internet marketing, so it makes sense that he's getting the hits there. But to what end? He doesn't release membership figures. If he does, I haven't seen them.

The bottom line is the message. I would think that once people get a load of some of the things he's saying, all the impressive statistics go out the window, and he's history.

I don't blame the XCGs for using the web or anything else. Makes perfect sense. But the more any of them try to capture the sense and style of the old days -- "I'm the apostle," no interacting with former member family, blah, blah, blah -- the less the tools matter.

It's becoming less possible to manipulate the message because it's becoming harder to control ideas, and people are thinking for themselves and speaking out more. That ship has sailed, and the control freaks in the XCG world remain on the shore, preaching to an ever-diminishing choir.

Anonymous said...

I think Dr. Bobby has now tried to bolster LCG's web hits, He aludes to a photocopy letter from Herbwritten 12/12/58 , pushing GASP !!! ---"Grace"! Trouble is i cannot remember ever reading from ole Herb, where he wrote like this. Also i cannot find the letter in any other source. I know it purports to be "other" than a co-worker letter, but if he did write it, why can't i find something written to the general membership about this?
rod 2

Anonymous said...

I just read on Dr. Bobby's web page , where a purported letter from Herb ,dated 12/12/58, gushes out --GASP!--- "GRACE"!.
Now i know Dr. Bobby wants to help out LCG's web stats, so he takes you to the newest LCG News rag and shows you a "photocopy" of this letter.
I can see it was not a regular "co-worker letter", but unless i missed something back then, i don't remember Herb preaching or writing like what was written in this letter supposedly written by him. Can anyone shed any light on this?
rod 2

Anonymous said...

Some one please help me to understand the following. Every time I get a greetings co worker letter from Charlotte, the first few paragraphs describes growth and new airings on TV stations with viewers in the potential millions. If this is so, is it possible that LCG will grow as RCM predicts? I'll apprecitate info on this! Thanks!

Douglas Becker said...

I wonder if there are folks out there who feel that they are doing their patriotic duty as members to visit their own ACOG's website about ten to twenty times per day to rack up the numbers.

Inversely proportional to the square of the membership.

Richard said...

And what makes those visitors unique, anyway?

It's truly thanks to the Creator God, who MADE them unique!

Now let's all uniquely think alike -- in lockstep with the government of God's Church.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys,

I'm sorry to say it is clear most people do not know what the Alexa numbers mean and how they get these numbers.

Alexa gets their numbers by having people install a little client on people's computers. The major majority of people on the internet do not have this installed. So if you look at the numbers of visitors a site ranked as say 400 000 or 200 000 or even 100 000 gets, you will see they got very few of the "total" of the Alexa traffic. The Alexa traffic itself is already a subset and therefore the data is not enough to support that one site gets more hits for example. Imagine a bunch of RCG fans installing the Alexa client for example, it would be relatively easy to skew the results based on this data set. Or do I dare say that there is also a possibility that people like the Alexa client more often than others? LCG's Tomorrows World website is claiming 60 000 visitors or whatever in a month according to Bob Thiel, perhaps Ambassador Watch can given openness into their visitor rates and convince others too to give some honest verifiable numbers?

If a site consistently scores *higher* than other sites then yes indeed there is a pattern and there is more support for a site receiving a higher amount of visitors. Again, this can be easily skewed however and it is impossible to say to what extent this is happening.

It would seem that Alexa is one of the few options we have as all sites seems to like a nice /stats/ url with honest stats straight from their respective web server logs.

lussenheide said...

A little perspective is needed here.

Do web hits necessarily mean someone is coming around to your point of view, or are they just "examining" your whacked out beliefs?

Example: has an Alexa rank of 211,527

Does this mean that Hitler is making a comeback and that he is getting more "unique visitors" than all but 3 websites in the COG universe??

Yep, the good old Nazi thing is dying hard, and they dont even ask for a tithe!


Anonymous said...

Rod2 asked,
"I know it purports to be "other" than a co-worker letter, but if he did write it, why can't i find something written to the general membership about this?"

That's because it was not written to the general membership as you will note when you see it.

Anonymous asked,
"If this is so, is it possible that LCG will grow as RCM predicts? I'll apprecitate info on this! Thanks!"

The growth in the number of co-workers is a good portent of future growth. Ask your pastor for the figures on co-workers.

Anonymous said...

The RCG may be leading the way with web site hits because they have no other type of media presence. The LCG, PCG, UCG, and a few others are on TV and/or radio. Many people have heard of them. Virtually, no one knows who David Pack and the RCG are. It's doubtful that many who are within that organization even know what Dave Pack writes about himself, and other organizations. He has pages of "splinter" material in which he accuses other groups, lies, exalts himself, and displays his ignorance of the scriptures. If the people in that organization or those who are supposedly unique visitors would read there Bible instead of all the B.S. on his web site they will find that he is a false apostle. Many of us who left him have proven it....others will too.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Bobby on his LCG web page has a mention of Herb's 12/12/58 letter about grace. I just found this letter a year later that shows a complete opposite of what he purportedly wrote before.
I was unable to paste and copy the 12/12/58 letter here . But this should be enlightening in this respect as Herb sure did not seem to push grace here as he rants about us being unprofitable servants for not doing more than was required.
rod 2


Broadcasting The "WORLD TOMORROW"

Publishers of

December 10, 1959

Dear Brethren in Christ:

I have to write you a special letter about a most ALARMING situation. Frankly I am grieved to the point of suffering over the situation in God's Church!

Jesus said plainly: "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Ever since the Feast of Tabernacles, more and more of you brethren have been neglecting, more and more, the very necessary SPECIAL offerings for the property and building fund. Does this mean you have your heart less and less in GOD'S WORK?

We still are obligated to pay the Behlen Manufacturing Co. $18,000 per month -- and there are always other building and property expenses to be met besides. For example, we now are obligated to regular monthly payments, for five years, on the 250 steel booth- cabins on our new housing district at the Festival grounds near Gladewater, Texas. The two new sanitary buildings in this new district have had to be paid for on a 90-day basis -- the last payment now due. It became necessary this year to pave our entrance and drive-way into the grounds -- and that was a few thousand dollars, to be met during these few immediate months. All told, God's Church NEEDS, and must PAY out, about $25,000 per month on these building operations.

And yet, as I look at the report from our business office of last week's income, I find that our brethren -- God's own people on earth -- sent in only $1,938.76 for this building fund for last week. That is only at the rate of about $8,000 for the month -- and we have to pay the Behlen company, alone, $10,000 more than that!

This means we are now having to take more than half of these necessary expenditures out of THE GOSPEL WORK. I am not going to allow God's Church to default or get behind on these payments, as long as God makes possible a way to avoid it. But these expenditures ought not to take away from the preaching of the Gospel to the world! These needs are FOR THE CHURCH ALONE. We ought to meet our own needs entirely outside of tithes and offerings for spreading the Gospel!

Brethren, there is a mighty, heavy load on my shoulders, and I need your prayers and your encouragement -- but it is truly discouraging when so many of our brethren become so careless, or neglectful, or lukewarm in their zeal for God's work that the extra special offerings, over and above -- in addition to -- your tithes and regular offerings for God's work, should drop down to a mere ONE-THIRD of the needed amount.

I realize that we are now past the time for which so many of you pledged definite special amounts for this Building and Property fund. But are YOU going to do only what you pledged -- only what is required -- and NO MORE? If so, you need to read Luke 17:10, and realize that such people are UNPROFITABLE SERVANTS -- and then read Matthew 25:30, and see the FATE of unprofitable servants! We are not PROFITABLE servants who shall enter the KINGDOM OF GOD unless we do MORE than required of us!

In Moses' day, the carnal children of Israel, who were not given God's SPIRIT, gave so liberally for building a tabernacle Moses had to send a proclamation asking them to stop sending. Do we have less of the Spirit of God than they? MUST I SEND YOU A LETTER EVERY MONTH, to prod you on? For perhaps a third of you, NO! -- thank God, a few do not need this! To you, I am doubly grateful! But for more than HALF of our brethren, it seems I do.

BRETHREN, I have to say this is a discredit and reproach to God's Church! I AM SURE MOST OF US NEED TO PRAY MORE -- need to get closer to GOD, and get our hearts more in HIS WORK and HIS CHURCH!

There are HUNDREDS of additional members who have come into God's Church since I asked for the pledges for special additional offerings for this property fund -- and many of you newer members may not have known of this special need. But now that this need is made known to all -- with perhaps a 40% or 50% increase in membership since I first asked for the pledges -- I am sure GOD'S OWN PEOPLE WILL RESPOND TO THIS CALL, and SUPPLY THIS NEED EVERY MONTH.

Let us REMEMBER how abundantly God is blessing His Church, and His work which He does through His Church. Constantly He is opening NEW DOORS for preaching and publishing Christ's GOSPEL around the world. More have been converted, baptized, and brought into the Church this year than any past year! HOW GRATEFUL WE OUGHT TO BE!

New churches are being raised up every year. The latest one is in New York City where the new church started out with an attendance of 181. I know you will all rejoice in this. Recently new local churches were established in Seattle; Akron, Ohio; and Long Beach, California. ALL churches are growing steadily in membership. But MORE important than growth in numbers, is SPIRITUAL GROWTH in the lives of those of us God has already put in His Church!

Do you remember to pray for me and Mrs. Armstrong, as well as all the ministers -- and then for ALL THE BRETHREN? We must pray earnestly for one another. Let us be THANKFUL and GRATEFUL for all the blessings God has lavished upon us, His very own people! Let us realize we have given our very lives to HIM to use!

Thank you, and remember God IS BLESSING YOU!

With sincere love, in Jesus' name,

Herbert W. Armstrong


Anonymous said...

Anonomous 10:54 A.M.,
Yes i saw that it was not a co-worker letter etc. What i was trying to say is that i don't remember HWA ever teaching this to the membership. So i was asking if anyone has an article that might have come out in print within 4-6 months after this 12/12/58 letter showing this to the Church membership for their edification. I seemed to have missed this teaching from him.
rod 2

Ripley said...

The guilt-trip approach employed consistently and whenever convenient by HWA was telling. It is a part of his legacy that his proponents purposely overlook. It also offsets the "it's the message, not the messenger" argument, since the message is rather clear in letters like the one cited.

As an aside, I also remember how he turned his wife's illness into another reason to blame the membership for their lack of spiritual growth. She could have been helped, wasn't, and people were made to feel guilty. Amazing.

Neotherm said...

That co-worker letter brought back memories, all unpleasant.

One must be careful when citing statements made about Grace by HWA. You have to know how he defined it. You will find his definition of it in the Mystery of the Ages. You will see that he does not understand the Christian concept of Grace and ridicules it and he has his own definition of a much smaller principle that he calls Grace.

For a Christian, the Mystery of the Ages is an excellent review of Armstrongism. The hallmark of Christianity is Grace. Yet references to Grace are hardly to be found in the Mystery of the Ages which purports to be about God's purpose for mankind. Since the Mystery of the Ages is HWAs seminal and definitive work, I believe any foregoing ruminations he had on Grace could reasonably be discounted.

I do not like to look at COG webpages although I do sometimes. I find some of them very embarrassing. But the COGs are not alone in this. Before I came to work this morning, I was surfing the channels on TV and came across Paula White doing fund raising for Trinity Broadcasting Network. She talked about how this year, 2007, was the year of completion because 7 represented completion in the Bible. So they flashed on the screen that to "keep the miracle going", people needed to donate either $77,777 or $7,777. I cringed with embarrassment, embarrassment that some people would think that this is Christianity. The physically attactive speaker, the numerology and the stern appeal for money was like de ja vu.

-- Neo

Anonymous said...

Mesopotamian Meanderings...

Er, are we allowed a bit of deviancy,in the true sense of the word, on AW?

Iran is now processing,UR,um, (note the hesitant Chaldean manner) IRANIUM,chemical symbol Ir,in its nuclear facilities.

Word has it that this element is being extruded as NIM-RODs,before being inserted into the reactor.

And,of course,a strict non-smoking policy has been put in place in the ZIGGURATS are allowed.

The Americans are not exactly having it fact they and the UK are collectively between Iraq and a hard place.

The Yanks are not exactly having SUNNI days in Mesopotamia.In fact, they are really deep into the factional opposition who shall remain nameless for reasons of PC and decorum.

Nimrod,as we know, subdued the wild animals,but he failed to stop the meandering nature of the TIGRIS.Some scholar may be able to enlighten us on the etymology of "Nimrod"...Alexander Hislop in his "Two Babylons" connected it with the leopard.The word, I believe, was something like "Nimsrada".

A Nonny Mouse

brave anonymous poster said...

wow...if that letter is legit, it reminds me even more why some people are so bitter at HWA and WCG...

had I been in WCG back then I would probably have sent it right back to them with a note attached saying "cut the bull".....and would probably have been asked to go away....

it also shows how human HWA was.....

Byker Bob said...

Back in the middle 1950s, Herbert W. Armstrong developed a huge advertising campaign, called "1975 in Prophecy". It was designed specifically to play on the fears of the World War II generation, who were just entering their prime earning years. Targetting this demographic was calculated to produce huge growth in Herb's business, and it exceeded his fondest expectations!

Herbert read his prophecy, and attempted to draw some parallels to the news of the past few decades, in an effort to convince that generation that they were living in the times of the end.To help him, several scriptures leapt from the pages of his Bible, and he ditifully created strings of scriptures, adding Biblical authority to his campaign.

If HWA were creating such a campaign today, probably entirely different scriptures would leap out. He might well decide that the Ottoman Empire was the beast that was, then was not, then was. He might also look into the Psalms where a list of Israel's enemies were enumerated, all Arab nations, existing today, many of them having been part of the Ottoman Empire. And, then there is the passage regarding the saints who were beheaded (a Muslim way of dealing with heretics) for not accepting the Mark of the Beast.

So, the news of today's world can be made to fit an end of the world scenario, just as the antiquated World War II model once did. By updating their Beast scenario, probably the ACOGs would gain credibility, and succeed in scaring more people into membership. However, their ideology is so tied to Herbert W. Armstrong, and their supposition that he was "God's Apostle", that they would probably never think to adjust and refine their message in such a manner as to take into account current events.

Probably, the geopolitical scene will change once again within the coming 50 years, requiring more adjustments. The Chicken Littles of the world can always find evidence that the sky is about to fall. I suppose it was that way since the beginning of time.

Hey, all you apocalytic ministers who might be tuned in, would you like to hear God laugh? Prophesy! Of course, He's probably still got a stomach ache from laughing so hard at 1975.


Anonymous said...

Let's face it. LCG's website hits are so low because the sites are amateurish, unattractive and dull. Charles Ogwyn reportedly was transferred several months ago to Charlotte from the Midwest to jazz them up, but nothing has happened. Recycling old Doug Winnail and John Ogwyn articles doesn't exactly cut it. The websites of much smaller COGs are more exciting than this piece of work.

Ripley said...

A bit of a detour, but LCG-related. I trotted over to this web spot called "COGwriter" and had a look at a few posts.

To believe this chap is to believe that LCG can do no wrong, and therefore does no wrong. If a former LCGer (or any other COGer) thinks differently, why, they're a heretic! A Pharisee! A Laodicean!

Has no one in his own world told him that his words ring hollow in this day and age? Does he not get that people don't, for the most part, buy the hook-line-and-sinker approach to dissemination of information?

Goodness, more of the "We're right and you're not and I can prove it from...from...from what I wrote a few days/months/years ago. SEEEEE??? Told you so!"

Absolutely amazing, and unbelievable. Really pitiful stuff.

Anonymous said...

Thiel is the new "teflon" man, he has it set up so he reads no negativity. He is in his own "hear no evil, see no evil and especialy smell no evil coming from LCG, He's their man!,
rod 2