Monday, July 16, 2007

Finding an audience

I’m coming up on the six month anniversary of this blog, and thus doing a cost-benefit analysis of continuing the blog.

Soon after I started the blog, my friend David Wood told me (to paraphrase) “you seem to be finding your voice.” But, as I discovered, a more important issue for bloggers is finding an audience. Blogging is somewhat like journalism, but there’s at least one major difference: no circulation figures. (There are technical solutions, but AFAIK they give page views not unique visitors).

I’m guessing regular readership is between 10 and 100. Consistent with that, I count 31 unique comment-ors on postings this year (although that assumes that the anonymous comment writers are distinct).

Many of the comments seem to be from people who don’t read the blog, but find it through some sort of search engine search or news/blog monitoring service. I got flooded with comments (relatively speaking) by the Wavoids after smirking about the ongoing misfortunes of Wave Systems. My old mentor Charlie Jackson checked in after I noted how his company FutureWave Software created Flash (née Splash).

Last week, I got probably the longest comment yet, from economist Peter Cramton, on my post about FCC chairman Kevin Martin’s suggestion that “net neutrality” should be imposed on at least one of the bidders for wireless data spectrum. Cramton quoted his own game theoretic work that argued that, absent the credible threat of entry, the oligopoly of major carriers will depress prices — and thus open access would actually increase the number of bidders and thus prices. As his posting notes, his filing was sponsored by Reed Hundt’s company (Frontline Wireless); thus academics would treat it with kid gloves as compared to his three or four papers in economics journals.

Cramton is the single most knowledgeable economist in the U.S. (if not the world) on the economics of spectrum auctions. He has been doing research on spectrum auctions for more than a decade, starting with the PCS auctions (designed by the late John McMillan) in 1994-1995. For almost as long, he’s been arguing that auctions are the most efficient way to allocate scarce resources like spectrum.

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Scott C. said...

Well I like it and say 'keep it up'!
I think offers some basic stats for a small fee; you might want try and look at the number of unique IP's to gauge your readership as well as adding some meta-tags to boost search traffic.


Alan Pritt said...

I read mainly through my RSS reader and those metrics do not always get counted in stats packages. Have a look at if you want to measure subscribers through RSS.

You may also consider that the quality of your readership over the quantity. If Peter Cramton is reading your work, I'd suggest you are doing okay. But it it depends what your goals are.

And you have only been writing since January. It takes time and work to develop an audience.