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Sunday, 3 July 2016

Lies, Damn Lies, And Metrics...

Feedly Metrics...

Over the past few weeks, I've been delighted to see new Followers signing up to be members of my Legion Of Whom (formerly the Band Of Brothers And Sisters, recently renamed in homage to the sad loss of Limitless from our TV schedules).

While 132 Followers is a long way from the golden age of HeroPress when the site had over 300 Followers (which I then lost by switching the URL... grrrrr!), it's still refreshing to see new faces pop up every now and again.

I don't see the loss of such a large portion of Followers as symbolic of the so-called 'death of blogging' but rather further evidence that people are keeping up with their blogrolls through an increasing diversity of outlets.

Take Google+, for instance, where my 'profile' (to which I auto-post every blog update) has 847 followers and has also - supposedly - been viewed almost 42 million times!!!

Then we have my blogreader of choice, Feedly, which has its own metrics for gauging the popularity of posts (well, I think that's what it's doing).

See the screengrab at the top of this article, and the number before the "by Tim Knight". This usually averages on two (meaning it has been shared to both Facebook and Google+), but, as far as I can figure out, the score goes up if it sparks a conversation on Facebook and, sometimes, if it's shared on Google+ or discussed.

It doesn't, annoyingly, factor in actual comments on the blog (which are, generally, my personal metric for gauging how popular a post is), simple - but satisfying - plus ones on Google+, or any retweets/likes on Twitter.

The very pleasing score of '25' was caused by a couple of my friends getting involved with a conversation, inspired by that post, via Facebook.

Of course, we always have basic website 'hit numbers', but then these vary wildly depending on what gadgets you are using to collate them. These days I stick purely to Blogger's own internal hit counter (which is what decides the top 10 popular posts of the week, the month, and the life of the blog).

Using this I'm pleased if an individual post gets over 100 hits, but again, it's all smoke and mirrors, as I don't know what it records if someone just visits the heropresstwo.blogspot.co.uk - rather than a specific post; does that count as a 'hit' on the top post? Does it count at all?

Measuring blogging success is a dark art and if HeroPress was somehow tied to a business I'd probably employ some technowhizz, master of SEO, to work their magic, but as it is I find myself judging my so-called sucess by two factors: (a) am I still enjoying writing/researching posts? and (b) am I getting feedback from people saying they're enjoying what I post?

Of course, I get hung up on the numbers sometimes (especially the frustrating Feedly 'score', which I'm always trying to think of clever way of boosting... even if just for my own ego!), but ultimately what makes me happiest is getting feedback from readers.

Comments are the lifeblood of blogs and food for bloggers. Waitaminute, does that make us vampires?

5 comments:

  1. I went to a garden party to reminisce with my old friends
    A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
    When I got to the garden party, they all knew my name
    No one recognized me, I didn't look the same
    But it's all right now, I learned my lesson well.
    See you can't please everyone so you got to please yourself

    Ricky Nelson - Garden Party 1985

    ------

    more niches for more followers (diversify your posts). This is what I am doing, this month

    easy way to increase the number of hits is to make your site sticky by using Linkwithin

    use Disqus for comments, much better than blogger. Make plenty of comments, with links to your site. Why hide in the shadows when you can shine

    "ping" your site with one of the "do all" free sites

    Join the Rule 5 ring around - http://theothermccain.com/2016/07/03/rule-5-sunday-independence-day-weekend-edition-2/

    SEO - It' all about adding links and AI models. Use positive words and don't link to sites like infowars

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tips. I wasn't really moaning about the lack of visitors, because HeroPress does just just fine in my opinion, just passing comment on the vagueries of blog metrics.

      I like to think my posts are quite varied enough (in a year I pretty much cover all my niche interests at some point) and I'm not going to start writing about things that aren't in my wheelhouse already.

      I've used Linkwithin for many years (and love it, even if just for my own amusement), but will certainly investigate your other suggestions, as I'm always interested in ways to upgrade the site, better present the content and offer 'more bang for your buck'.

      Delete
  2. I apparently have my blog perfectly optimized...for getting hits from porn sites in the Ukraine.

    Forget the metrics...keep doing your thing and we'll keep reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have no 'fear', technology (really need a new computer) and health (particularly my eyes) willing I'm in this for the long haul ;-)

      Delete

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