Hyperpat\’s HyperDay

SF, science, and daily living

Looking Backward

Posted by hyperpat on March 12, 2007

This will make my 100th post to this blog, and a total volume of words equal to a short novel. As such, it’s time for a little rumination on how well this space has met my original expectations.

When I started this eight months ago, my only real plan was to put forward of few of my pet hobby-horses to a wider audience than just my friends and family – things like various trends in science, the extolling of some the better science fiction works and the ideas embodied within them, a few riffs on the political scene, and just a general diary of daily happenings. In this I think I’ve been pretty successful. The other half of this, to interest other people in these things and get meaningful feedback and commentary, has not been quite as successful as I would like, not because those who have commented have not been intelligent, reasonable, and interesting in their feedback, but merely because there haven’t been enough of them.  I have found a few other bloggers with similar (though not identical) interests, and reading their blogs has enriched my life.

Now perhaps what I’m peddling is just not that interesting to large number of people. But I like to think it’s more a matter of publicity, of getting this site more well known. Which doesn’t happen overnight, given the incredible number of blogs out there competing for everyone’s attention.  Writing these posts has probably helped me focus and organize my thoughts, and given me considerable practice in how to present those thoughts, so I will continue slogging on, and wait for the fame and fortune that will surely be mine when this site gets discovered by the great unwashed masses🙂

4 Responses to “Looking Backward”

  1. caveblogem said

    Pat,

    For what it’s worth, of all of the things I have done to boost my readership, the most effective by far has been the simple expedient of expanding my blogroll. Links are the currency of the blogosphere. As a site gets more links its ranking goes up in search engines like Technorati (which is why, for example, wordpress blogs automatically link to WordPress) and Google. In turn, a higher rank brings more people in to a site. So everybody wants links. People are usually willing to link to you in return for linking to them (at least when you share a few interests.)

    There was a sort of critical mass I noticed on my blog when I began to get around 70 hits per day and had maybe 15 people linking to me. After that the traffic has been pretty steady, and I usually get comments on my posts, no matter what sort of nonsense I spout. The increase in traffic and comments is simply not a function of the quality of my writing. It’s just a sort of nucleation type of thing.

    I enjoy your writing, Pat. Congratulations on the 100th post. Keep it up!

  2. hyperpat said

    I’ve noted a slow but steady climb in my traffic, with one punctuated high traffic period after I posted The Heinlein Voice (which brought in a lot of Heinlein fans). Interestingly, Scalzi’s analysis of traffic on his site indicates this same kind of pattern: long periods of fairly flat but slowly rising traffic, followed by something that drives an unusually large audience for a little while, then settling down to new flat period, but at a higher level. Certainly adding links to other’s sites helps, and I have added a few. But it also takes time for the link effect to spread and ripple (the critical mass thing).

  3. fencer said

    Hi hyperpat,

    Congrats on your 100th post, from an unwashed mass… I like to ruminate on this blog thing too. I really enjoy comments when they come, but like you say, they don’t seem to come often enough.

    I think it does have to do with just being around for awhile, and the links thing is important too… Patience, I guess. It also probably helps to have a strong theme for your blog which attracts people who know what to expect on a regular basis.

    But I like to write about whatever’s on my mind or what I’ve come across that interests or excites me. It seems like you do that too, although I think you’ve got a stronger theme than I do… Half the fun is writing what you want. But then the other half is somebody actually reading it!

    Regards

  4. hyperpat said

    I’ve read in various places that blogs that devote themselves to a single subject/theme do do better in terms of traffic, at least initially. Blogs like ours that scatter themselves across multiple subjects take longer to build, and seem to attract a different kind of audience. But I can’t be monolithic in what I write about, too many different things interest me at different times, so I guess this site will continue to be a little scattershot.

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