Paul Ohm (Colorado Law) has posted a draft entitled Do Blogs Influence SSRN Downloads? Empirically Testing the Volokh and Slashdot Effects. The Abstract:
SSRN's download statistics are criticized for being biased in favor of bloggers. Just how does the supposed bias work, and how strong is it?
This paper reports the results of a small empirical study undertaken in April, 2007. While guest-blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy, the author used a small computer program to collect SSRN Abstract View and Download statistics every fifteen minutes.
The study took on an unexpected dimension when links to some of the author's blog posts appeared in an article on the Slashdot website, one of the most widely-read technology websites. This allowed the author to compare the Volokh Effect with the better known and more often studied Slashdot Effect.
This is a quickly-compiled draft summarizing and analyzing the results. There are many colorful graphs included. You should really click the Download link below. Seriously! Click it. You know you want to.
The odds are very good that the author is collecting data about this abstract page, as well.