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In the news business, they say, if you spot something twice, its a coincidence. Thrice, however is a trend, and worth chasing for a story. Earlier today I saw posts by John Battelle who was talking about life coming in the way of blogging. Clint Sharp, […]

In the news business, they say, if you spot something twice, its a coincidence. Thrice, however is a trend, and worth chasing for a story. Earlier today I saw posts by John Battelle who was talking about life coming in the way of blogging. Clint Sharp, mentioned that some of us need to slow down. And then Jeff Clavier, emailed me at 4.30 am and reminded me that I should get some sleep and not blog. It was as if blogosphere was conspiring and telling me – hit the brakes dude.

Being a lifelong cynic, and in words of Paul Kedrosky, a cranky contrarian, I needed to crunch the numbers before I made this decision. An analysis of almost five year history of the blog and traffic patterns revealed some amazing findings, that shocked me. Here is what I would like to share -

1. Over last one year, I have been posting 8 posts a day. That’s more than first three-and-a-half years. Which explains why I am about to hit the 5000 post mark.
2. On an average I am doing 1520 words a day. 8 posts at about 200 words a piece.
3. Nearly 80% of my traffic comes from posts which are over 500 words in length.
4. My scoop-ish posts account for nearly 40% of daily traffic.
5. My analysis, reviews and interviews account for about 50% of the traffic.

Clearly, these numbers show I am a bit of a blog addict. (First step is admission!) And I need to do something about it. Why? Many reasons – but the biggest of them all is that I have started working on my new book, and I just cannot write 1500 words a day on the blog, another 1000 words for the book and still do my job at Business 2.0. There are other reasons as well – I want to learn new things – like how to dice an onion perfectly, or how to make a candle. (Okay that’s just a joke!) There are too many great books that are going unread, and life that is being unlead.

Times’ they’re a changin…. Given that most readers seem to prefer my “value added” posts, I am going to refrain from doing short posts. Unless, I have a scoop, a good story, a clever start-up, a yarn or something special, I have decided to refrain from writing. (Thanks Russell for showing me the way.) Numbers prove that! Instead I will start a link blog, which will run on the side, and will be part of the same RSS feed (so you don’t have to deal with another feed).

And perhaps, this way I will actually meet you on the sunny side of the street. I hope you all will still come here often, leave your words of wisdom behind.

Om, August 10, 2005.

By Om Malik

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  1. Your value added posts are what I’m here for.

    Best of luck in tackling your book.

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  2. thanks jake…. lets get more meaty conversations going. thanks for your wishes. hopefully i can get some momentum on the book soon enough

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  3. I appreciate your insights into VoIP and broadband issues, your deeper dives on some of the rumors that float around, and your attempts to ground in reality some of the dot com hyperbole.

    I won’t get that from Ted Wallingford. That’s for sure.

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  4. Does that mean you are slowing down, Om? Please keep your insightful musings coming. While 8 posts a day migt be a luxury for us, a couple of posts a day would be greatly appreciated.

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  5. slowing down from driving 100 mph to more manageable 65 mph. what has happened is that work load at the magazine has increased and so have some personal commitments. but this doesn’t mean, i won’t be ranting.

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  6. Good call & good luck on the book. And when you feel yourself moving too fast, nothing like a hearty desi meal to slow the body down! :-)

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  7. yup, that’s the plan… write, eat, read, repeat.

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  8. Candles are actually pretty cool to make. Not difficult, and a great diversion from technology.

    As for dicing an onion, good knives, my man, good knives.

    After all, this is just a blip in time, right? It’s the small things away from our obsessions that give perspective.

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  9. I think it’s a good call, Om. I’m a firm believer in the theory that you have X amount of goodness you can provide via a blog. X may be higher for some people than others, but it is constant within the individual. Make one post a day and that post is worth X. Make 20 posts a day and each post is worth X/20. Less posts, as you point out, equal better quality posts. I’m actually to the point where if a source posts more than about 10 or so items per day, they are deleted from my blogroll. This may not be fair, but it keeps things manageable and it greatly reduces the amount of noise in the my newsreader.

    One suggestion for you regarding the linkblog feed though: offer a full feed including linkblog and a feed of just your main entries. Although I’d probably subscribe to your linkblog, I don’t subscribe to anyone else’s… just too many notifications for my liking. Please, please, two feeds! :)

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  10. Don, you have summed up my feelings perfectly. One of the things which i realized was that I was losing perspective on a lot of things I wanted to write because of time constraints. I think one of the beauties of this model is that I can pick up the pace when I want, or slow down, if my readers are all right with it.

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