Cafe Witness

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Brogan Effect

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Last week, I witnessed the direct impact of a referral from Chris Brogan on my blog traffic, and I thought it was significant enough to share.

After having not blogged since December, I finally got back in the blogging habit last week. One of those posts, about the reasons people don't talk to each other at social events, grabbed a lot of attention on Twitter -- and the bulk of that attention was driven by a single re-tweet from Brogan:

My friend @justinkownacki doesn't want to meet you -

True to the form of a verified thought leader, Brogan's acolytes ignored his warning and swarmed my blog in huge numbers. (Huge for me, anyway.)

By the Numbers

* According to Lijit, my normal weekday traffic (as measured by their service) hovers somewhere between 30 and 40 hits per day.

* On Thursday of last week -- the day of the blog post mentioned by Brogan -- my traffic jumped to 769 views. (That's 21 times my normal traffic.)

* I have over 2,000 followers on Twitter; Chris Brogan has over 40,000 followers. That means Chris has approximately 20 times the reach I have on Twitter.

* That one retweet by Chris of my initial blog post announcement was then retweeted at least 6 times by Chris Brogan's followers.

* My Friday traffic also jumped to 224 views, which is 7 times my normal traffic.

* I gained over 100 Twitters followers on the day that blog post hit; most of whom were already following Chris, but not me.

Admittedly, Some Other Things to Keep in Mind...

* The blog post itself was titled "I Don't Want to Meet You." It doesn't take Copyblogger to tell you that contentious blog titles often elicit clicks and rewteets.

* In point of fact, my own mentions of this post on Twitter were retweeted at least 7 times all by themselves.

* Influence is disparate. Fellow Twitterer Lily Hill also drove new traffic here, with her followers retweeting her mention of my post another 2 or 3 times.

* Despite the influx of new readers (and commenters), my RSS subscriptions only jumped by 6 people.

So What's It All Mean?

* It's currently impossible to track EXACTLY how much traffic was driven by any one of the mentions of my blog post on Twitter, so all traffic estimates are just that -- educated guesses.

* It's often hard to tell which retweets come from where, since people often paraphrase the original in order to fit within the 140 characters while also hopefully giving proper attribution to where they found it.

* Either most blog readers still aren't using RSS subscription tools, or the new readers who came here via Chris and Lily decided that the *rest* of my blog output wasn't worth subscribing to.

And, of course, the one undeniable truth:

* In the aftermath of a huge awareness spike, I now feel the need to be INCREDIBLY RELEVANT to anyone who stumbled across my blog and now expects pearls of Brogan-approved wisdom on a daily basis.

Or, as Randy (one of Brogan's followers) put it:

Glad @ChrisBrogan yelled it out, he's rarely wrong, if ever

So if I think *I* have pressure meeting people's expectations, something tells me Chris's followers' expectations for *him* are almost Neo-like. (Somehow, I doubt that makes either of us sleep any easier at night.)

Photo by m0xie.

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  • One of my favorite photos of us. :)

    On preserving more RSS subscribes, when my blog receives a boon of new visitors, I follow up immediately with a really quality post, and litter it with begging for subscriptions. That's the only way I know how to fix that 6 people gained for several hundred visited equation.

    On being a tastemaker, I often think of Monty Python's Life of Brian. Blessed are the Cheesemakers, and Follow the Shoe!

    I do what I can. : )

    Glad to see you back in the game.

    By Blogger Chris Brogan, at 9:43 AM  

  • so what does the traffic look like today with another retweet by @chrisbrogan?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:49 AM  

  • I'm curious about today's traffic numbers, too. If it's interesting, I'll post more about it next week.

    (And if it's *really* interesting, I'll work the word "Brogan" into the title of every new post I write, thereby turning it into the 2009 equivalent of "Smurf".)

    By Blogger Justin Kownacki, at 9:57 AM  

  • That's absolutely wild! Thanks for sharing your experience. Some would have kept it to themselves. We appreciate it.

    By Blogger Inspector Clouseau, at 11:17 AM  

  • highly funny.

    Chris is a power user, for sure.

    As the tweeterati is proliferating ..."The tweet is mightier than the pen!!!" (and the news anchor...and the sword...yeah?)

    I think I'll have to blog something like,
    "Go away, if I want to say something to you, or about you, or about anything, I'll call you, text you, tweet you, or email you. You can check my facebook for further details. Face-to-face communication is, I guess."

    By Blogger LisaColónDeLay, at 1:14 PM  

  • Well sir, consider it paid forward. YOUR tweet of my blog address (and @woycheck's retweet) resulted in an unheard-of traffic spike that made me bask in self-satisfied glory for nigh on 48 hours. Of course, it was followed by the let-down of a return to pre-tweet traffic levels immediately, but it was a good moment in time.

    Influence is all relative - you're my Brogan.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:46 PM  

  • Which, of course, means you're someone ELSE'S Brogan.

    Cheap gift alert! This St. Patrick's Day, be sure to make someone YOU love a special "You're My Brogan" t-shirt!

    By Blogger Justin Kownacki, at 4:51 PM  

  • 1) I adore Chris, and his tweet did call my attention to a specific post, HOWEVER;

    2) I followed you on Twitter already but you don't often toot your own horn

    3) you hadn't blogged in a while so had dropped off my radar

    4) I don't use RSS anymore - I use Twitter for that, and WOM off Twitter

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:14 PM  

  • I too witnessed the Brogan effect. On Monday he tweeted out a link for a Twitter Experiment I'm running over Mardi Gras. 48 followers in 1 minute. Pretty awesome display.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:11 PM  

  • Oh man, and here I thought all that was from my RT and the when my RT got RT'd here

    Ok, fine then, whatever, just know that I am one of the top 11,203,293 most influential people on the web today.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:52 AM  

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