Mack Changes Stats: A Visit to the Viral Garden

by Marianne Richmond on September 6, 2008

Mack Collier, social media curator extraordinaire, changed the stats this week on which he bases his Viral Garden Top 25 Marketing & Social Media Blogs from my blogging nemesis Technorati to Feedburner, specifically Feedburner subscribers.  (Thanks to Toby for the heads up!) For me, this switch produced several ironies….(not in order of importance)

Irony #1

I referred to Technorati as my nemesis because from the time that I began my blog in May 2005 until the moment (unrecorded) that I stopped looking or caring I have had issues with Technorati in the way that they indexed, ranked and provided inadequate tech support.

Feedburner, on the other hand, has been nothing but helpful even in trying to solve issues with Technorati.

This past April I noticed that my Feedburner subscribers seemed to have dropped precipitously….as in they were “0”, none. I immediately panicked and clicked on “help” only to find that since they had been acquired by Google, “help” was now at Google and a bit less accessible than my panicked state required.

Dick Costolo, founder of Feedburner (who had been so responsive in trying to solve earlier Technorati issues), is a Facebook friend so I messaged him there. He quickly provided the email addresses at Google that could address my problem. It turned out to be a feed re-direction issue and although some subscribers were lost, the issue has been resolved.

Irony #2

Just a few days ago I had my trustee developer Chris Talkington change my Word Press theme and upgrade to WordPress 2.6.1. He added the Feedburner subscriber widget…..the one that Mack used to base his Top 25 on for the past week. Thank you, Chris….how fortuitous for me.

Gavin Heaton, in response to Mack’s change, asked great questions about the public display of stats…and his commenters responded on this topic as well as the merits of lists in general.

I wholeheartedly agree with Gavin’s statement that, “I think the only way to build links, for the long term anyway, is to create quality content and engage with your community of readers.”   Presumably, one’s content is initially “found” by a reader because it has achieved enough Google juice to be visible on a topic search or because of a link from another blog.  Ideally this is the result of “quality content” and/or engaging with a community of readers through either your blog or through other social venues, Twitter, Facebook etc.

Therefore, I suppose, the display of stats is not necessary to build readership….on the other hand, truly, most people don’t really like to be the first one to arrive at a party or go into a restaurant where there are no other diners. So maybe there is some comfort in a display of subscriber stats that says the content here is good enough that others want to know when there is more.

I would like to believe that people read my blog/subscribe to my blog because they like the content…..and this leads to irony #3.

Irony #3

There hasn’t been much content, good or bad, on my blog for quite some time. For the first part of “some time” it was mostly about My Unforgettable Mom….and then after she passed away in May it just became about, well…. everything.  Even wondering just what it was that I should start back writing about.

So, THIS  weekend, knowing that my kids were both going to be away I had decided would be a good time to put all my excuses aside, fire up the procrastinator’s clock and write. But again, what to write?

Thanks to Mack, Toby, and Chris at least for today that is solved.


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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Gavin Heaton September 6, 2008 at 5:19 pm

Love all the ironies 😉

The more I read, the more there is to think about and write. The quality of blogging around marketing / social media / community is astounding!

Marianne Richmond September 6, 2008 at 6:04 pm

I agree… but just keeping up with all that reading and thinking is sometimes another reason why there seems to be less time to write.

Toby September 6, 2008 at 11:53 pm

Sort of like a circus carousal .. round and round we go; hopefully the brass ring is the content. Loved your photo video of your unforgettable mom.

Marianne Richmond September 7, 2008 at 10:55 am

Yes, it is like a circus carousel…and I guess in a sense “self promotion” is like the pink elephant.

Chris Talkington September 7, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Marianne, I am glad for your nomination to such a list. This is just another reason while most of my time goes into R&D to keep my clients up with the latest trends.

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