What Is Popular?

I find it interesting to see what others consider interesting articles on my site—or at least which ones are popular. A few a pretty obvious. In one post I listed all the links Avid Quicktime Codecs. Avid does not have a very well orgainzed site and they’re extremely difficult to find. After the second or third time of spending an hour and finally finding them, I put together the page so that if I ever forgot, I could go there. Of course I’m not the only one who’s had that trouble so it gets a lot of visitors.

I have written a couple of things about the controversy surround the release of Movable Type 3.0. I don’t think they were particularly interesting articles but in the case of one of them. I was literally the first person to respond to a post by Mena. So I hold that prime position of the very first trackback listed on that page. That draws a lot of traffic.

There are several others. Ones that happen to have that right combination of keywords that trigger it in Google. Ones that hold key positions on other pages—usually having nothing to do with the actual quality of the content of the article.

I’ve been running this weblog for nearly 6 months now. That’s pretty short compared to a lot of other weblogs out there. My posts have changed over time. I’ve found certain things that interest me and I tend to write about them more than I write about others. Ideas that seemed important at first are less important now. Or in some cases are no less important in my mind but I know that others can handle it much better than I.

Recently my posts have been mostly one of 4 types: educational—here’s something I figured out, let me show you how it’s done, audio—since sound is my job it makes sense that it’s on my mind a lot, life stories—these tend to be along the lines of “when I was a kid” though sometimes they relate current events too, things found on the net—I don’t send out those chain letter emails and I don’t post lots and lots of “oh I read this online”. I read lots of things online. It’s only a certain few things that tickle me a certain way that I decide to include in my weblog.

There are definitely a few posts that I’m particularly proud of—ones that I’ve thought I did a really good job on. Those aren’t necessarily ones that are all that popular. In fact because this weblog is the tiniest reflection of my life, sometimes there are posts that I hold in high regard—not because of the words themselves but because of the ideas behind them. I recently had that with the audiobook I recorded. It means a lot to me. And even though I solicited for feedback I only got it from two people. And I asked them for their opinion through a separate email.

So I guess what I’m saying is that it’s all a bit of a mystery to me. I try not to let it get me down when I’m really excited about something and no one else is. I also try not to dwell too much in the other direction either. I have had a couple of posts that have been hugely popular (at least for the amount of traffic that my site tends to get).

My post yesterday falls into that category. I had 183 visitors just to that post because someone felt it interesting enough that they posted it to MacSurfer. It really surprised me. They even listed it under “Editorial and Opinion”. And I guess that’s true. But pretty much my entire site falls in that category. If you’re going to speak in your own voice (or even one that you’ve created) on your own website, it’s actually fairly hard not to enfuse that voice with your opinions.

Is that my best post on this site? I don’t think so. I won’t call it filler but it was definitely just some things that were floating around in the back of my mind. Not something I would consider a major post. But then why did someone take notice of it enough that they put on MacSurfer? I have no idea.

And like I said, I try not to dwell too much on being popular. It would probably drive me crazy if I worked and worked at trying to duplicate the success of yesterday. Or especially the prior time I was posted to MacSurfer and I wound up with over 800 visitors in a day.

So I just keep on keeping on. Writing about the things I find interesting. Or passing on bits of information that I think others will find helpful. I hope a few people find it interesting and helpful.