Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Blog Publicity Experiment

So over the last few weeks, I ran an little experiment in self-promotion.  Results in a moment, first a couple initial thoughts:

1) I don't Blog like I read Blogs

When I'm reading, I tend to prefer the shorter entires. I scan through, possibly leave a comment, move on. If they're too long, I find either I start 'skimming' later paragraphs, and/or I don't find time to comment, and/or I flag it for later and then never find time to get back. (If I had time in the day 'set aside' for blogs, maybe this wouldn't happen, but I don't do that either.)

When I'm writing though, it tends to be the culmination of several days' thought emptied out onto the internet, so you end up reading a lot in one go. More than I might be willing to read if I were in your shoes. Despite knowing this, I don't see me being able to change my style.

Now, there are exceptions to every rule (certain math blogs that I follow tend to suck me in regardless), but it makes me wonder if this is a common thing, or something only common to my personality type, or what. And do people who post shorter entries prefer reading longer ones?

2) I only track comments on my Blog

When I comment somewhere else, that's probably it - if you have a rebuttal comment to me outside of 24 hours, I'll miss it.  (Sorry.)  The reasoning is partly I have way too much email to track already, so I'll only track back to see followups on things that stood out... and partly because the first few times I ever commented, I didn't get much response anyway (outside of #mtt2k).

Yet at the same time, I feel personally obligated to respond to comments here (likely NOT within 24 h), to acknowledge that I did see your remark, and appreciate the feedback.  So again, if I assume other people are like me, they'd never see my response anyway.  So why this mental obligation?

I have no answers, but I found these things curious.

The Experiment

I made a posting to my Other Blog (the personification of math web series) in late November, three weekends ago.  (Just a roundup of stuff happening here, though it had one new card.)  I then said absolutely nothing about it.  No tweets, no Facebook, no Google+.  It took a week to get to 3 views, and is now at 8.

I made a posting to This Blog two weekends ago.  (The Identity Crisis one, about the annoyance of dealing with multiple online accounts.)  I then said absolutely nothing about it, same as above.  It took about three days to get to 3 views, and is now at 13.

I made a posting to This Blog last weekend.  (Spoilers and thoughts for the movie Looper.)  I then posted about it everywhere.  It took less than a day to get to 3 views, and is now at 12.  (A maximum of 4 went to my prior entry based on this one, according to the stats.)

So what does this tell me?  I think it tells me that lots of publicity earns a lot of early hits (a "bump"), but then from then on, it's just a constant trickle in terms of additional views.  I know there are confounding variables (the fact that people who didn't want spoilers would avoid the last, the fact that they didn't all go up at the same time, etc.) but it doesn't seem unreasonable.  Which brings up the question: Is it worth doing the publicity every time? Or should it only be for really KEY posts?

I'm not sure I have an answer to that, but I'm going to publicize this posting too, to see what happens.  And to those of you who started following me on Google+ lately (which I am almost CERTAIN is thanks to a comment I made on MPershan's blog Rational Expressions, though I have no proof), and are wondering when I'll get on about the math again - that would be soon.

The plan is for my next post to be another Day in the Life posting. Because now I'm taking Job Action, and effectively doing the job many in the public THINK I do -- in at 8:30am, out by 3pm. (Ontario teachers are protesting the government's plan to simply impose contracts on us in three weeks.) And before you start thinking this is EASIER... I've done the math. It means I'm never going to be caught up. Ever.

By the way, happy 12/12/12!

1 comment:

  1. I'm finding similar with my blog. I get several once I publicize, then I get trickles for a little bit later. Probably similar for other blogs.