Cafe Witness

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Brogan Effect 2: Electric Boogaloo

Bad Chris Brogan - Gnomedex 2008

Last week, I mentioned that a retweet from Chris Brogan had resulted in 21 times my normal daily blog traffic. When I mentioned this, a commenter asked what effect my blog post about "The Brogan Effect" would have on my traffic that day.

As it turns out, a lot.

Once again, according to Lijit, my daily traffic (which normally hovers around 30 visits, or so Lijit tells me) jumped to 563 visits on the day I posted "The Brogan Effect." That's about 18x my normal traffic, or just a hair off from the previous instance. (And, yes, Chris Brogan retweeted *that* day's post too, so the same effect still applies.)

As I mentioned before, Chris isn't the only person who drives traffic to my blog, nor does that traffic always stick around after his initial "must-read" suggestion has been heeded. (In fact, last week, my traffic steadily declined each day after the initial Brogan bump.) But it's becoming clear to me that one way to generate a large amount of daily traffic is to either:

* write a post that the influencers (like Brogan, whose word is trusted among his readers) enjoy and recommend, or

* write about the influencers themselves, because their sheer association with a blog post is somehow magnetic.

This leads me to two larger observations about the future of blogs and media:

* In this new millennium, as Gary Vee implores, anyone can become a content creator, but that's still not enough to topple the existing media congolmerates. However, being a trusted thought leader of thousands *could* be enough, because that kind of clout leverages both the distribution AND marketing power of those corporations into smaller, individualized channels that prompt direct action. (Lucky for you, I've assembled 10 ways to become a thought leader.)

* If writing about the influencers is the best way to aggregate an audience -- at least for a day at a time -- does this mean we'll all be reading (and writing) a lot fewer posts about original concepts and a lot more posts about what other people are already doing? I know none of my posts that involve critical analysis of a subject generate anywhere near the amount of feedback as the sound bite-friendly, personality-driven ones do -- probably because the web isn't designed for analysis, but snapshots of distraction.

All of which means I should probably find a way to work the word "Brogan" into everything I write from now on, just to make sure my bills get paid on time... and so should you.

Image by Randy Stewart.

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