Lee Aase, a blogger and also manager for national media relations and new media for the Mayo Clinic was live blogging the session about measuring social media. You can get Lee's transcript of the session here.
It was quite a debate, with much more (respectful) disagreement that Lee lets on. At the end, Bill from the audience dropped a bit of a bomb, asking if all of this link-based measurement was just about blogger ego.
He asked, “What about the people that just want to drive by, get the information they need and that don't care about joining the “conversation” or community?”
I thought it was an excellent question.
So, I thought I would dig into my stats to see what really matters to the readers here. I have noticed that over time, the share of visitors that come from the search engines has grown. It makes sense that as a Website amasses more content it will draw more search traffic. According to Google Analytics, 60 percent of the traffic to Communication Overtones came from search engines (50 percent of that from Google organic), while last year over the same period, only 38 percent came from search engines.
A new measurement tool that I found recently called Quantcast, also tells a similar story, 51 are passers by. So, only 50 percent of my traffic is even a candidate for “conversation.” Knowing that I get just under 4 comments per post, on average, this group that really cares enough to speak up is even smaller.
In other words…you are just not all that into me.
You might like the content and it might serve your needs. That's just fine as far as I am concerned. That is also why I try to write timeless pieces that have value beyond a particular meme or event.
This quick look at the data shows the importance of looking beyond links for a measure of effectiveness, especially for content creators. It also is a good way to connect with the fact that most people are simply trying to find information as quickly and as efficiently as possible and they don't care about much else.
I really enjoyed the other presenters and the wealth of information that was shared. I learned a lot, as usual.
UPDATE: Read what Bill from the audience has to say about why he asked his question about bloggers and ego.