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Friday, May 18, 2007

Measuring Blog Success

Stephen Downes post Measuring Your Blog's Outcomes and Use of Other Social Media Tools
has a couple of good comments and he points to Beth Kanter's Measuring Your Blog's Outcomes and Use of Other Social Media Tools which also has good comments and some nice links to other posts on the subject. The point of the discussion is roughly that there are different ways to measure your blogs success based on different purposes. I tend to agree with Stephen:
Measuring "your blog's outcome" is ridiculous. It's like measuring 'friendship'. measuring 'reflective moments'.
My personal measures of success for my blog are:
  • Is it helping me to learn? Is the process of processing and writing causing me to learn more? Am I getting interesting questions from readers via email, feedback from comments, challenged by other blog posts?
  • Is it helping me network? Does it help me meet new interesting people? Am I getting interesting inquiries? Does it help me continue "slow" conversations?
On learning - it's absolutely huge! See the comments in Top Ten Reasons To Blog and Top Ten Not to Blog.

On networking - again, it's been a big success. I've been meeting really interesting people including Stephen Downes who was on a panel in Boston because I met him through blogging. I get good questions. I've had quite a few interesting conversations.

If I look at my measures of success, these are hard to quantify. While having greater reach (readership, visitors, etc.) is important to both factors, the direct link between the hard measures and what I care about is tenuous at best. Furthermore, looking at some factors like Technorati ranking or number of visitors is sure to cause stress. There's only so much you can do to help build higher ranking and increase visitors - AND - those activities may or may not get you success if you define it like I do. Quality/depth of learning and conversation is what it's about.


Unknown said...

Personally, I was pushed into blogging by the owner of a large media group that carries my weekly newspaper column. "Don't think of yourself as a columnist," he said. "Think of yourself as a blogger -- that's where everything is going."

The managing editor of my local business paper finally pushed me over the edge: "Blog, Dan!"

So blogging I am. How do I measure its success? I was writing fresh content quite a bit for my official "business" site, yet rarely did anything rank high on Google. But now with a new site that's registered as a blog, I'm getting quite a few front page Google listings.

The higher profile adds readership and a few more inquiries into what I do for a living. But now I'm really into Google Analytics, as I can see which links on my site are getting interest---invaluable marketing feedback.

Helps a lot in setting priorities of "what's next." That, by itself, is enough to call my efforts a success.

- Dan Bobinski

Anonymous said...

Just a point - both your links in the first para go to Beth's blogpost. Stephen's post is here:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tony Karrer said...

Dan - thanks for the comments. That's another good - personal - take on value in a blog.

Karyn - thanks for the fix. Think I got it right this time.

Anonymous said...

I like your two personal measures ... thanks for this informative post.