Interesting Example of the Conversation Moving

That post I wrote last week about the dearth of good management in the business world generated a lot of feedback. I heard from a bunch of people who agreed with what I had to say.

Interestingly, while I heard back from folks on Twitter about the post, on Facebook and even in person, there aren’t any comments on the post itself. That tells me two things.

One, I can’t control where the conversation about things I post here is actually going to take place. Thanks to the proliferation of social networks and the ease with with people can share links and other content with each other, anyone could be talking about something I wrote, and I may or may not ever find it!

Secondly, it proves that I was right in taking my RSS feed and shipping it out to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and wherever else. It makes no sense any more to limit the blog posts to what appears on the website. It works better to pass it around to all the places someone might want to read it as opposed to making them come here to see it.

The stats of the site are really kind of proving that out. The site hits have dropped off a bit over the last year or two, the RSS subscriber numbers have stayed pretty steady, but I’ve got people following the posts on Twitter and Facebook who never used to follow it at all. That’s where the audience is growing, not in subscribers or page views. (Though page views do go up quite a bit temporarily when something I post is discussed on Twitter the way that was last week.) What does that mean? I’m not sure. It gets tougher to measure just how much of an audience I’m reaching, and it requires me to pay attention to many areas to see what posts are resonating and which aren’t. I can’t just rely on page views or comments.

It’s a whole new world, takes a bit more work to see what kinds of feedback I’m getting and where it is. As a blogger, you need to be involved in some social networks, getting your content out to those networks, and seeing what folks are saying about it there too.

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  1. There are some great services for bringing online comments back home to the blog, which I really like, because it does give everyone a frame of reference for the discussion… especially when viewed from the archives, for example. I'm not sure if there is a service that interfaces with Blogger, but Backtype is a great example that has plugins for multiple platforms. Disqus has also integrated this functionality.

    Tweets, for example, are a great way to discuss content, but my concern is that – long term – the discussion will disappear. That would be a real shame since I often find that I learn more from the discussion than from the original conversation/post alone.

  2. Through Twitter and Facebook, you are actively sharing with me. It is easy to dip in and out of those streams during the day and digest new content without stopping my workflow. Example, I can dip into the Twitter stream for a couple of minutes while I wait for a large file to download from the office to my laptop. Through RSS feeds, I have to take the initiative to click my Feeds link and peruse my list. Depending on how long it has been since I've tended to my list, it can be overwhelming. Thanks for sharing with us.


  3. Tami, a perfect example of the audience being much less measurable than it used to be. 🙂

    Kev, I know there are some good services out there, but I'm not sure they can ever completely "bring back" all the conversation, and whether I should even care enough to spend that much time implementing one of them. None of the ones I looked at would get Facebook comments from where I pull the RSS feed as Notes, and that's just one example of another place where conversation is happening. Also, there isn't yet any technology that would bring in the face-to-face conversations I had with local people about the post! 🙂

    I'm not sure that it's worth it to try and capture all the historical discussions about any content, on Twitter or elsewhere. Much like the offline world, sometimes if you're not there to be part of the conversation, you really did just miss it. Obviously, it would be nice to have that history, but how far do you have to try and reach out to get it and bring it back? Is it really a valuable use of my time? I don't know that I have answers to that for everyone. It's a personal decision to make that attempt, and as of yet, I haven't felt compelled to do it! 🙂

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