Times, they’re a changin

23 Comments

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.

23 Comments

Marry

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.

Mike D.

Om,

Okay, I’d suggest you do one of two things:

1. If you want to do your linkblog in del.icio.us, just install one of the several WordPress plug-ins which will automatically integrate your del.icio.us links into WordPress. Like this one, for example: http://ericanderson.us/projects/delicious-integrator/ This method is nice because it lets you use del.icio.us, which has further benefits, but you will end up with two feeds: your main feed and your linkblog feed.

2. Simply post linkblog posts as normal but categorize them in WordPress as “linkblog” (or something less geeky). Then, you automatically have a feed on your site which you can offer to people if they only want your main entries. My favorite built-in feature of WordPress is the ability to dynamically exclude categories from your feed. See this page for more info on the subject: http://ifelse.co.uk/archives/2005/08/06/feeding-the-masses-using-wordpress/

Cheers!

Om Malik

mark,

thanks for the comments. i guess, in that sense i blinked. in many ways today was the first day, and it worked out well. i feel more relaxed already today.

Mark Sigal

It’s funny that you blogged on this, Om. I saw Battelle’s mea culpa and I wondered aloud, “How the hell do you find the balance between quality and keeping the blog fresh enough for people to knee jerk to checking throughout the day?”

I struggle with this greatly because my posts tend to run long, which takes a lot of cycles. I definitely prefer the quality over quantity but never sure when it comes to audience mindshare. The bookend to this was a post yesterday on Steve Rubel’s site where it’s clear that his MO is definitely to ensure a certain chunk of volume, which reduces the concentration of the “broth.” (His post was called How Soup Gets Made.)

Maybe the blogosphere is one big game of chicken to see who blinks first. :-)

Keep up the goodness.

skibare

it aint the Quantity of your Posts that keeps me HERE EVERY SINGLE day, its the QUALITY of all your posts!!! YOU keep on Keeping ON anytime, any day, as much , or as little as you want!!!
Screw the Pundits, FULL BROADBAND SPEED BLOGGING AHEAD!!!

Skibare

Om Malik

Ab, thanks for the suggestion. that’s a good idea. i will figure out a way. appreciate the kind words.

Thomas, i deeply appreciate your words as well. hopefully i can keep the standards up, to say the least.

Ab

What you can do with your short posts is that consolidate them into 1 posting and put them at the end of your main page. Call them Om Snippits or something and let the links do the talking in that post. And like I stated before, I love long posts(well researched, of course). I guess, a lot of people agree.

Thomas Hirsch

I really appreciate your analysis & learn a lot from it. No need for short cross references to news stories or other peoples’ comments. Longer posts with analysis and connections is what I look forward to. There are other bloggers that mindlessly cross reference, when not pumping themselves needlessly. The tech landscape is so fast moving, with a lot of false starts, that expert analysis sorting what’s really important from what’s not is what we need.

Om Malik

Mike, thanks for your kind words. So since you suggest a seperate linkblog feed, how should we implement this. do it via del.icio.us or something? any thoughts.

Om Malik

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.

Mike D.

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! :)

Don

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.

Raghav Gupta

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! :-)

Om Malik

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.

jeeves

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.

Jake

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.

Om Malik

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

Jake

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

Best of luck in tackling your book.

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