Friday, March 04, 2005

The Economics of LL&L

Jackie, in an effort to boast traffic on her site (and for her own amusement) posted a series of controversial posts this week. It worked and she saw a 346% growth in comments and 45% increase in visits.

I’ve often mulled over if I should try a similar tactic to boast LL&L’s traffic but Jackie’s blog and mine fundamentally different; I doubt it will make much difference.

1. Jackie’s female and I’m not (nor am I pretending to be female). Thus it’s far less sexy (and claiming I blog naked holds a lot less power).

2. Jackie writes about her personal life while I don’t (at least not in a stand alone manner). Economically, this adds greater product differentiation to Jackie’s blog—issues vary but you can probably find similar commentary on others’ blogs as you can on mine. But Jackie’s blog is THE source for Jackie news (which is enriched by #1).

3. Jackie’s been around about a year longer than mine, allowing it more time to gather a larger audience.

4. Jackie’s picture is a lot better than mine.

5. Most of the people who are kind enough to visit LL&L are people I know and do it out of courtesy. Few of them bother to read my long posts (which is why I’m been trying to be more brief). Michelle, I’m looking at you.

6. This one is just a guess but I’m thinking Jackie writes like she’s writing for a blog while I write like I’m writing for a magazine. Her articles are more open ended (leaving more to comment about) while I try to preemptively counter some arguments. This, of course, makes my posts longer (like this one is becoming).

7. Lately World of Warcraft has been eating up assloads of my time, thus I’ve been blogging less. On the plus side I’m almost up to level 36!

And when I think about it, I don’t have that many taboo ideas to write about. The most controversial was probably DDD and nothing has ever come close (that I’ve written). I also don’t want to write about my personal life too much—I think it takes away from the title, of which I’ve already strayed from.

But I wouldn’t mind the low traffic so much if more of our readers would leave comments! Let me know you’re at least reading this damn thing—sometimes I feel like I’m talking to a wall (and you just can’t get insightful responses from a wall).


Anonymous said...

oops! pardon me. i don't know how i stumbled in here. i was looking for jackie's blog...


Anonymous said...

As for claiming to blog naked...

It couldn't hurt, right?


Chris said...

Well, David, you know that I'm a frequent visitor.

Also, I am thinking of using my (oops, ours now) blog as sort of a space to type in ideas that I may be interested in exploring much later in my professional life - either as a professor or researcher or whatnot. Thus, I have downloaded and saved all of my posts onto my hardrive should no longer be around in 10 - 20 years.

Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...

I poke my head in once in a while... over spring break I am going to do some work on blog stuff, including updating my blogroll and Bloglings subscriptions.

Don't be sad. We can't all be girls. :)

Jacqueline Mackie Paisley Passey said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I got linked to your blog from Jackie's blog. You have some interesting topics, so I'm adding LL&L to my daily bookmarks. I like what you said about writing as if for a magazine - that's the kind of writing I'd prefer to read.

Sunni said...

Hi. I discovered your blog via Technorati, where I learned you'd blogrolled me. (Thanks!) My blog is a combination of personal material and freedom-related writing; and it appears that the comments I get don't come primarily from one or the other category.

I do think style is important, though. I write with my attention on achieving a conversational style, to encourage thoughtful, constructive responses (doesn't mean I always get 'em). Some readers like that kind of blog more; others prefer the "magazine" structure you mentioned -- although the latter does seem less inviting of feedback, overall.

There are lots of blogs out there, and more every day. It's hard (even with RSS) to keep up with everything that might be of interest. Rather than write primarily to generate traffic, I'd encourage you to write about what moves you most (and tossing in a personal tie now and then, if you keep your style more professional, will not hurt), and write well. Find a unique perspective ... or don't be afraid to speculate wildly ... and again, those may involve more personal peeks than you're comfortable with right now. But be genuine -- I think that differentiates many quality blogs from those that are more traffic-oriented.

Okay, that's more than $0.02 worth ... but you did ask. ;-)