How to Know if a Post is Interesting (or Not)

Last week I published two posts that had very different results. One post was a pointer post to my buddy Jeff’s web site. I wrote it very quickly because there was not much to say other than to point to his site. Another post was about tagging called Technorati and Del.icio.us Tagging: A Quick Comparison […]

Last week I published two posts that had very different results. One post was a pointer post to my buddy Jeff’s web site. I wrote it very quickly because there was not much to say other than to point to his site. Another post was about tagging called Technorati and Del.icio.us Tagging: A Quick Comparison Study. This was much more in-depth, and took much longer to write.

How do you know if a post is interesting or not? How do you know if people will respond to it? Comment on it? Start a conversation about it?

Simply put: I cannot tell when a post is interesting or not. I was thinking about this yesterday and I would estimate that the information that I post on my blog is about 10% of the total information that goes through my head that concerns technology. I would wager that most folks writing blogs face a similar challenge: which tidbits do I write about that could be part of an ongoing conversation?

The funny thing was that post that took me minutes to write, the pointer to Jeff’s web site, got about twice the traffic that the tagging post did. This surprised me a lot. I thought the opposite would happen. I thought Jeff’s site would see a little traffic from my pointer and that the tagging post would garner more attention. After all, I had spent a lot more time “thinking” about the tagging post than I did the other one. In fact, in conversations that I’ve had with other folks interesting in tagging the idea that I used in the tagging post has been a good conversation topic.

Shows what I know. However, there were several things that may have affected this.

Factors at play

  • I posted the tagging article on a Wednesday, which usually is 4th in terms of traffic, after Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. (I posted the pointer post on Thursday).
  • The pointer post included the word “Ajax”, which is very popular right now and was tagged as such by Technorati, where some of the traffic came from
  • The original example Technorati tag I used on the tagging post was “technorati-tags”, which had few other posts. When I changed the tag to “technorati”, it got a brief amount of attention, but faded quickly. I presume that by that time it was too late to be seen on the tag set page on Technorati
  • Maybe my writing on the pointer to Jeff’s site post was more interesting, and people responded to it better
  • Maybe people don’t want to hear any contrary ideas about Technorati tagging
  • Time of day is huge. If you miss the early window (East coasters initial check of the day), then you’ve lost out a bit

Over time, it will be interesting to see how each post continues to get/lose attention. I have a hunch that in the next few days things will even out better.

Published: August 8th, 2005

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