Thursday, July 31, 2008

Share your feed - You'll feel good about it!

When I first started this blog last August, people in the SEO space, and in the tech space in general, were getting their information from essentially two places. Their own customized Google Reader feeds and Twitter.

I was using the combination as well. It integrated nicely into my 'toolbox', and Twitter was not only a chat mechanism, but a great networking and discovery vehicle as well.

I noted it here as I made some changes earlier this year. This past week I've had a rather huge increase in subscribers, so I'm going to explain it again, for those of you that are new to this place and also to credit a few people (long overdue) that help keep the audience growing.

When I first came across Louis Gray, his blog had recently emerged from obscurity. He had been mentioned by some long-time bloggers as 'someone to watch', and watch they did, as Louis' blog rapidly became the defacto standard as the 'breaking source' for early adopters (Those people that quickly embrace a new web services, use them, and usually blog about the results).

Louis was sharing his Google Reader feeds. It occurred to me at the time, that by sharing feeds, not just to aggregators like Readburner, RSSMeMe, LinkBurner, LinkRiver and others, but right here (in the right column) , I could not only deliver my own personal picks from around the web quickly and easily, but I could concentrate my own efforts on writing about stories that weren't being mentioned, and get a little more creative with opinion, as well as deliver information and news that I felt you might find interesting.
There were others in the tech sector sharing feeds as well. Not nearly as many as I would have liked, but they were there.

The switch was successful. The numbers grew.

There are two kinds of numbers, and that's what this piece is about.

I call them one-day wonders. The days where one piece goes viral for one or two days. In retrospect, those articles were completely original, not news, not necessarily opinion, but unique. Two of them made the 'headline' area of TechMeMe. The headline area of TechMeMe delivers hits. Many other posts that followed made the TechMeMe's discussion area. While the discussion links deliver a MUCH lower return, it certainly doesn't hurt brand recognition.

The 'one-day wonders' are nice (and exciting!) but subscribers are where things get sticky. I've come to the conclusion that for new or smaller blogs, there are two ways to get people to subscribe to your feed as a daily reader, and another nice 'bump' this week confirmed it.

One is obvious. If people discover you, and they like what you're about, they're going to subscribe to your feed. The other vehicle, that is positively sticky and keeps them coming back, is when someone mentions your blog on their blog, or 'shares' you, as Louis (first) did for me in the first of his series highlighting '5 blogs you may not be reading'. Others followed. Almost every one came as a complete surprise and vindication of what I was trying to create here. Facts, fun, the new adopter scene, and no nonsense (and absolutely no sensational) reporting.

This past week several blogs highlighted their own lists of shared reads. I was somewhat humbled once again to be included on many of them.

I let a few days go by on purpose before writing this. In the 'blog world' (if you're lucky), people seem to have about a two-day memory.

So here's the round up of bloggers and their feeds, some established, some new, all interesting a thought provoking. The best part about these lists is that they are very diverse ... from long time established bloggers, to bloggers just starting out.

Louis, once again, led the way with this post. It was his 'Top-40'. In the days that followed, Sarah Perez published her Top-45. Others followed as well.

Want fresh content? Be sure and check out these lists.

I'm not going to name them all in this piece, but my sincere thanks to every single one of you that has visited or shared these feeds. No doubt, you are on one of the two lists.

Update 1 1:24 AM ET

Update 2  Yuvi,  'The Statbot' has a mind-boggling analysis of shared feeds here.