Observer Effect in Blogging

Observer Effect:  Acknowledgment that the act of observing will make changes in the phenomenon being observed.

So yesterday I read the latest XKCD.


Like the typical Internet geek who reads XKCD, I immediately open Google and search for the exact phrase "Died in a Blogging Accident."  Of course, I don't know if the answer was ever "2," but now the search yields 7,900 results, most of which seem to refer to this XKCD cartoon.  And now I have added one more.

Update:  One suspects that the number was always greater than "2", since filtering out responses that include "XKCD" still yields over 6000 results.


  1. Kyle Bennett:

    Can we coin the term "Heisenblogging"?

    I too did the search when I saw this yesterday.

  2. DKH:

    I'm not sure about the filtering search (maybe it only checks page text, and not links?), but I, too, searched for "died in a blogging accident" shortly after he posted the comic, at which point there were 18 results. I looked at a couple, and they just pointed back to the comic. A commenter on one of the pages in that search said that there were only 10 at the time of his search, so I could see things getting back to two.

    I suppose I should have searched that set of results for the "original" two sites, but it would seem they are lost now.

  3. napablogger:

    Well, whatever it is it is certainly hilarious. How the hell do you die in a blogging accident?

  4. Kyle Bennett:

    "How the hell do you die in a blogging accident?"

    Liveblogging from Pamplona?

    It's the knitting accidents I'm curious about.

  5. Ryan Frank:

    I'd buy the 2 result per-comic, even with the filter, all I can find are references to the comic. If someone can find a reference that doesn't go to the comic I would love to see it.

  6. Tim Fowler:

    I get over 16,000 hits now, but when I first searched I only found 10 and most of them where references to the xkcd comic (I didn't check all of them), so I buy the two hits.