Sunday, November 30, 2008

Why I done joined Reddit

I am not particularly trendy, and I am not particularly shiny. As proof of this, here are the services that I was sharing in FriendFeed before this evening:

  • Blog/RSS. This refers to various blogs in Blogger, MySpace, and

  • - although, frankly, I haven't really used the service in two years.

  • Disqus comments.

  • Flickr.

  • Google Reader shared items.

  • Google Shared Stuff - again, something I rarely use.

  • Jaiku - frankly, I haven't been here lately.

  • - just for my likes. My full stream is confined to the lastfmfeeds FriendFeed room.

  • Pandora.

  • StumbleUpon.

  • Twitter.

  • Upcoming.

  • Yelp.

  • YouTube.

  • And, of course, FriendFeed itself.
Now to some, this may seem like umpteen million services, but to others, it's nothing.

Basically, I don't rush out to join new services once they come out. I'm not on Plurk, or, or most of your new hot social media services. Heck, I'm not even on Facebook.

But then I saw that Benjamin Golub shared an item entitled It's been a wild ride. Intrigued by the title, I explored further, and read a post by Eric Florenzano in his "Die in a Fire" blog.

This post is my final post in the blog-post-per-day challenge.

While I don't hit that average on some of my Empoprises blogs, I probably hit it on this blog. Florenzano then said something that caught my attention:

Another thing I wasn't expecting which actually kept motivating me to write more: actual traffic to this site. Previously this site saw maybe 100 hits/day due to mostly various google hits on certain Django topics. When I started doing the blog post-per-day thing, however, this is what my traffic turned into:

Florenzano then shows a Google Analytics graph which shows over 65,000 visits in the month of November. Now, for those of you whose math is a little rusty, 100 posts/day times 30 days/month (yeah, November is one of those months) equals 3,000. And 3,000 is less than 65,000. Much less.

Now merely writing a post per day doesn't necessarily mean that you'll have tens of thousands of people flocking to your blog. So I was interested in Florenzano's traffic sources.

It turns out that Google sent over 3,600 visits to Florenzano's blog. In fact, Google sent over 3,000 visits to this blog in the last month, making it the top traffic source for mrontemp.

Reddit sent over 35,000 visitors to Florenzano's blog.

Well, at this point it seemed convenient to come up with the following conclusion:

Hey, if I join Reddit and start sharing all of my wonderful blog posts with the Reddit crowd, they will bump it up with votes and send hordes of traffic my way. And if I share posts from my monetized blogs (blogs other than mrontemp), then I'll be rolling in Google Adsense revenue and will be able to retire to a Greek yacht before New Year's Day 2009 - or perhaps before Christmas 2008!

I held onto that belief for a second - then I continued to read Florenzano:

Once I found out that nearly all my traffic was coming from reddit, I started to try to cater towards that audience. To reddit's credit, however, the more I tried to target content towards what I thought redditers would like, the less successful the articles did over there. Either I was doing a bad job of writing articles for that audience, or they wisened up to my act (I'm thinking the latter is more likely).

Despite this minor setback to my theory, I joined Reddit anyway.

As of this moment, I haven't actually shared any of my stuff in Reddit - the only thing I've submitted is the Benjamin Golub conversation in FriendFeed that started this whole thing. But hey, I've only been a member for an hour or so. I still have time for self-promotion.

Seriously, I do not make a practice of sharing every one of my blog posts via Google Reader, StumbleUpon, etc. (Can you imagine if I did that with every post on my mrmicro-oe blog?) I reserve that added push for selected posts that I feel are extremely important. For example, according to FriendFeed, the last time that I shared one of my own items via StumbleUpon was November 3. And this resulted in no traffic from SbumbleUpon, by the way. (Over 80% of the visits were from Google.)

When I get around to writing something meaningful and significant, I'll share it via Reddit.

Until I do so, read Three lawyers and three engineers are traveling by train to a conference. I voted it up on Reddit.

P.S. I thought about submitting this blog post to Reddit, but that would be kind of like airing a TV special on Nielsen families - the results would be somewhat skewed.

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