Does a Second Opinion = Affermative Traction

After previous dialogues around the issues of gatekeepers, blog traffic, A-list, Z-list, M-list, Down-linkers and whatever else you want to term it, then Kent Newsome’s dreaming up the idea called “second opinion“, Mathew Ingram picked me as a target for what Doc Searls termed “Affermative Traction“.

Now, while the conversation Mike (Learndog) and I (Lifekludger) have been having is more about connecting people and forming communities in the long tail, of any size, rather than about doing things to promote such individuals or groups up the short-head end, the thought occurred to me that it would be interesting to see if there’s any proof of this ‘promotion’ idea working. So I went for a hunt in my stats.

Now there’s two things I had to check here for increase.

  1. Had there been any increase in traffic to my blogs directly after Mathew’s pointing to me and
  2. Had there been any increase in subscription to my feeds directly after Mathew’s pointing to me.

To answer the first question I used google analytics, which I’ve had running on both this and my Lifekludger blog since mid November 2005. I looked at all kinds of graphs but rather than post heaps of screen captures I did, I decided for brevity that the best overview comes from graphs showing the period of ~11days prior to Mathew’s pointing to me (what I’ll term ‘day X‘) and the ~11days from day X to when I did the analysis.

Graph1 – Blob; 11->X->11

Graph2 – Lifekludger; 11->X->11

While I could see an increase from the previous day, the increase was nothing higher than any previous days increase and certainly didn’t set any new high. Fairly well inconsequential in my estimation.

I turned my attention to the second part of the investigation, being feed statistics.

To get that answer I went to feedburner where my blog feeds have been going through since I started blogging in July 2005. Again, I looked at heaps of graphs and took lots of screen shots. I would’ve liked to dig deeper but only being a little-fish only have a Standard stats acct. on Feedburner so that limited things somewhat.

The reults however were more interesting than the pure traffic graphs to the sites.

Graph3 – Blob; Feed Subscribers 30days

Graph4 – Lifekludger; Feed Subscribers 30 days

I’ve highlighted the interesting part, day X, from a 30 day graph of subsciber numbers and put a legend in red on the graphs. As can be seen Blob saw and increase from 19 to 30 subscribers and Lifekludger from 10 to 17 subscribers. That’s a 57% and 70% increase respectively overnight.

Now those stats I do see as significant, and to me one’s I’m more interested in, as to my mind it tends to show establishing a more ‘sticky’ connection and represents the potential for more readers and not someone merely passing by a blog.

So, okay, those subscribers could, and do, come and go as they please. However at least the connection has been made. The rest, the future from day X, then does depend on the blog writer – to write what they are interested in – and the new subscriber to make their own mind up if their reading interests line up.

Content may be king, but connection is key.

[tags]gatekeepers, blog traffic, A-list, Z-list, M-list, Down-linkers, second+opinion, longtailjewel, kent+newsome, mathewingram, doc+searls, lifekludger, learndog[/tags]

2 thoughts on “Does a Second Opinion = Affermative Traction

  1. Great post, Dave — and I totally agree with the points you make. The connection is the important thing, and it takes time and effort to develop. At the same time, I should probably point out that my humble blog doesn’t really get a huge amount of traffic, so the likelihood of you getting a big boost from me isn’t great. Still, I don’t think that changes the correctness of your conclusion.

  2. Pingback: Anonymous

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