Here is an observation. When I started the blog about four months ago I had very few readers, but still managed to get some comments on posts. Now I am seeing readership grow significantly, but the frequency of comments has dropped. Two questions arise from this:
- Should I be concerned?
My theory is that in the early days comments came mainly from people who knew me personally and wanted to be supportive of this endeavour. Lately I’ve picked up a lot more people in the industry that I don’t know personally, but more importantly, they are not people actively engaged in social media. They want to know what is going on, but many of them have probably never left a comment on any blog. I was reading blogs for well over a year before I ever left a comment anywhere, so regarding the second question, I’m fairly confident the answer is no.
There are so many people reading this who at any point in time probably know the subject matter of that individual post much better than me and have some interesting insight to add. I’ve deliberately allowed people to leave anonymous comments, or to post just using their initials. But I’m realistic enough to know based on my own past experience, that if you have never posted a comment anywhere before, there is a thought going though your mind something like ”am I authorized by my employer to comment publicly?” In short, a lack of comments doesn’t bother me at all as I can see the readership is growing, but if you really have a valuable contribution to make, why not give it a go – anonimity is fine.
Another observation is that I am surprised at how popular email subscriptions are. They currently account for over one third of the total, whilst I would have though over 80% of subscriptions would have come from an RSS reader. This has made me realize two things:
- Even though I am a fan of RSS, clearly other people have a very different view to me. Either that, or maybe just as likely, they have never tried it.
- email really is one of the best things about the internet, if not the best thing. Simple doesn’t always mean inferior.
I’m also hearing of a lot more people joining Twitter recently, but I’m still a hold out. Great article from Alex Bainbridge on the ROI he is seeing from Twitter and comparing it to blogging. He makes the interesting observation that in order to get the message out to senior travel industry executives, the blog is clearly the way to go. Sergio Mello from Satisfly was recently telling airline industry people they should all sign up with Twitter, but he was doing this at the same time as he was making the mistake I’ve made before of burying the lead. I spoke to him afterwards and told him he should be singing from the rafters about what he is doing with Hawaiian Airlines (I am not yet convinced, but I would have loved to hear about it in more detail). He missed a golden opportunity with about 50 industry people in the room listening to him, and instead he tried to get us all to sign up to Twitter. JetBlue are actively monitoring twitter and giving $15 credits to unhappy customers who tweet, but I suspect this is really more of a marketing initiative than a genuine customer service initiative. Southwest are very active on Twitter as well. But all of this leads to whether there is the real risk Twitter will become more and more like spam; to repeat a question others have already asked, is Twitter the next Second Life? I’ll just stick to blogging for now.