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Social Currency: What am I worth?


EDIT: Add 215 FriendFeed subs… can’t believe I forgot FF!

Why don’t bloggers tell their statistics – visitor, comments, rss feed subscribers, email subs etc – more often, and more publicly? Is it that we think our friends/competitors (often the same in this social media industry, heh) will giggle at our inadequate tools? Is it that though we live by the mantra, niche not broadcast, we feel humbled by The Sydney Morning Herald having (either 350,000 circulation or 1,118,000 readers) on a Saturday, even though they are spread out over Domain, Drive, Spectrum and so on. By the way is there anyway of telling how many readers for a single SMH article? If a Seth Godin or Shel Israel passes by your blog, have you just earned yourself some social currency and is it worth anything? Or is it just a numbers game?

I was reading ThisIsHerd.com statistics for visitors to his site since he started about a year ago:

Recently this blog has been touching 200 unique visitors a day (and there are 90 odd subscribers). And would you know it, according to one survey this is even now the 74th most influential (English language) marketing blog in Europe (!)

and thought I would offer up my readership/subscriber numbers too. As blogs are one-to-many P.R. channels (I create the content, not you), when I started I didn’t mind how many people read this blog. I do it cos it’s fun and I can send people to posts to read up more and so on. I don’t make money from advertising others’ products, so the quality of the reader is more important, cos I’m advertising myself. Oh gosh, listen to how that sounds! Anyway, you know what I mean. Laurel as SilkCharm as Brand of One. Having said that, about a year and 1/2 ago, I think i had 30 readers per day and I thought that was pretty exciting! heh.

It might be worth noting that I don’t actively promote this blog. The only money I have ever spent was the minimum to try out Google Adsense. I wanted to see how it worked. I don’t use the blogger tools like blog carnivals or bloglogs etc to circulate posts. Oh wait, there is one, that I tried that does it automatically. No idea if it’s still working or not. Also it might be worth bearing in mind that I am not a committed blogger – not a full time blogger, and a rather lazy one. Sometimes it takes me a week or two to post something.

Rightio! Let’s dive in…

Writing this stuff down on a blog post helps me to think about quantity vs quality and value and stuff. What do we value, cos that aligns us with our purpose for joining a network or consuming some media…

Visitors to this Blog – Google Analytics (Dine In)

So in June there were 5,200 odd visitors. July is running at around 4,327. Add one for you reading this blog post. Heh. The highest number of visitors in one day was around 320, a quiet day drops to 70-odd visitors, usually when I’ve been away and not blogging.

Only one irate email asking me why I hadn’t blogged for a while, during this two month period. My response – well actually I said nothing. But I was going to say “you get what you pay for”. But that would’ve been rude. If I was a more committed blogger I might do better. Funny, my report cards from school always said that. And ‘talks too much in class’.

I think about 207 comments since June 1st 2008 until 27th July 2008, but don’t rely on my maths…

Readers via Google Reader or iGoogle: (Take Away)
*sighs* no it’s not hard to read – if you click on it, dummy! *sighs again*

Because this blog is on Blogspot, run by Google’s Blogger service, I can give you the feeds too. Google.com/webmasters gives you webmaster tools. I hardly ever use this service (I check about 4 times a year to see if anything broke, like links and stuff) but here is some RSS stuff:

Subscriber Statistics
If your site publishes feeds of its content, this page will display the number of users who have subscribed to these feeds using Google products such as iGoogle, Google Reader, or Orkut.

So the image above shows 212 subscribe using the default service, 10 using Atom and 24 using RSS. And some odd things I don’t understand. All up, around 260 read my blog from somewhere else using Google. Take out (RSS) versus Dine In (coming directly to this page).

Feedburner RSS service – non- Google readers
I have a Feedburner option too:
Dunno why it says Site Vistors Zero – probably I haven’t put some code in the side bar. *tsk tsks herself* . Anyway, I haven’t delved into Feedblitz. There’s probably other services too.

E-NEWSLETTER OF BLOG – Feedblitz
Did you notice the block, second one down, on the right hand side?
well, 35 people decided they were lazy, since I put it in, a few months ago. God Bless Their Cotton Socks:
35 are OK? 35 are better than OK. They are loved. *cuddles her subscribers*


Page Ranking Tool

Technorati rates and gives authority to blogs. Google has a rating system for sites too. These are mine.

FACEBOOK and TWITTER – DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS
I have around 540 friends on Facebook and 1,354 followers on Twitter.

OTHER STUFF I value from the SOCIAL NETWORK
Hmmm what else do I value in my social networks? Shel Israel (co-author of ‘Naked Conversations’) blogged indepth and with an understanding of the importance of my trip to Saudi Arabia to teach Islam women how to use social media. Being one of ReadWriteWeb‘s Favorite Women Bloggers. The many many comments I have received on here. (207 in the time frame discussed above 1st June to 27 th July, thousands in total). My precarious position in the top Australian bloggers and forum sites at Blogpond.com.au and top Australian Women Bloggers at AllForWomen.

I have a very cute boyfriend that’s making broccoli and potato cheese thing, right now, as I blog. (he’s priceless). I value him more than comments and comments more than number of passive vistors. YMMV (your mileage may vary).

SUMMARY BLOG – CONTENT NETWORKS and DISTRIBUTION and OTHER STUFF
So, around 5000 visitors per month, with around 300 on the days I blog something new. 77% are new visitors apparently. at least 23% of you didn’t get scared off. 🙂 260 use google readers, 162 feedblitz readers, 35 read my blog through email.

540 Friends on Facebook, 1300 odd on Twitter, dunno how many on MySpace or FriendFeed or Kite or Plurk or ….
My blog post – Ripple not Broadcast. Picture from David Armano

If you are thinking that my readership numbers are low, a gnat’s bite on the bum of Traditional Media, you might want to read my blog post on the blogosphere being about Ripple not Broadcast.

I’m not sure what this adds up to – social currency perhaps? Want to get a message out to people interested in sports? Use a Sports Spokesman/woman. If you want to get a message out to people who are interested in Social Networks, will you take an ad out in The Sydney Morning Herald and fight it out with the sports and classifieds? Or will you ask someone who blogs to that exact demographic and numbers both Australian and overseas readers in her audience ?


Reputation Management in Social Networks post

I think my blog post on Managing Brand Reputation online (Profile, Identity, Reputation and Trust) might help explain why we build readership and trust over time in a market sector we want to gain reputation and identity in.

So, what’s your social currency these days?

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

9 thoughts on “Social Currency: What am I worth?

  1. We regularly share our stats!

    Unique visitors: 110106
    Number of visits: 225561
    Pages: 1563889
    Hits: 4162852
    Bandwidth served: 58.49 GB

    That was May.

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2008/06/10/is-larvatus-prodeo-australias-most-influential-political-blog/

  2. In my case — using WordPress.org — I don’t get a lot of stats. I can see pageviews. If there’s anything fancier, I haven’t found it yet, but then I’m not looking — it’s a new blog and I’m testing the waters (first time blogging outside a firewall).

    Shel Israel did pop by my blog yesterday so that’s something!

    Thanks for the transparency.

  3. @Mark,
    Dammit I meant to finish with “no comments from size queens” Heh. Though I’m glad you shared, your stats add context. 🙂

    Anyway, sweetie, you are kinda proving my point. It’s easier to share statistics when you are a major player with over 100k of visitors that moves you into a sort of broadcast mode (Your blog is a green #1 in the Ripple diagram). But if one is a #4 blue dot, it’s much scarier and potentially humiliating to reveal all. Particularly if others expect you to be more than you are…

    @insidebox try “Get Recent Comments”? I think that might show it. If not check out clickable culture they have something that shows 5221 comments on 4158 entries

  4. Yeah, I’m conscious of the irony, Laurel! But it does raise the question of how meaningful raw numbers are, even in the sort of ranking games people play, because of the very disparate size of the different micro-publics interested in various issues/topics represented in the blogosphere.

  5. Hi Laurel, thanks for referencing my post!

    Like you I also thought 30 visitors a day was pretty exciting, and yes I agree it’s interesting to occasionally show people how many people come to visit.

    In showing that I now get 200 odd (and a variation of 40-400 per day) uniques, I was also illustrating that to be in this blog business you have to be a) in it for the long haul and be prepared to build credibility slowly and b) have some other reason for maintaining a blog than to attract readers.

    Old news for you and most of your (many!) readers, but all too often you see posts giving blog newbies tips that leave them to believe they’ll be getting thousands of readers from day one – and as we know, that just ain’t going to happen!

    For example, the other day I saw a post by someone giving a tip of placing free ads with a URL back in Craigslist to get readers. A daft idea if I ever heard of one, as obviously clicks on your site and ‘readers’ are two very different things

  6. Laurel – great overview of the suite of metrics that can be used to measure social currency (or, site ranking, or site relevance, or influence, or traffic, or …).

    What your post also says to me is that there are many (non ‘technical’) people out there who might know enough (or be opinionated enough) about any topic to meaningfully blog about it but who will have little hope of assessing what impact they are having (reputationally, financially, etc) with what they create.

    Defining ‘relevance’ is likely to be a fun debate for a while yet – the world in which we participate is such a wonderfully emerging playground!

  7. Genius post Laurel.

    I’ve been thinking about starting a self help group called Blog Stat Junkies.

    My name is Paul and I’m addicted to my site stats.

    Can we group hug now?

  8. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice
    from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your
    own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things
    out pretty fast. I’m thinking about creating my
    own but I’m not sure where to start. Do you have any tips or suggestions?
    With thanks

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