Monday, December 29, 2003


Spitbull experienced a mini-Instalanche starting this last weekend when Howard Bashman at How Appealing took note of our Circuits of Hell postings (7th and 9th). Now the one true god of Instalanches has had one of his own caused by his post about, of all things, cookware. I guess it wasn't really an Instalanche though; it was a surge in e-mail, not link, traffic (do we need some new jargon?).

Spitbull's sudden traffic spike shouldn't be all that surprising (I was surprised anyway). An obvious corollary to Joe Carter's (of the Evangelical Outpost) rule #1 to becoming a top blog ("be a lawyer") is to write posts that appeal to lawyers. But Glenn Reynolds' cookware experience makes me wonder: is there any way to generalize about what posts people find interesting? Post comments would be one measure and they're pretty easy to find and therefore to automate. Eschaton's famous (or infamous) Saddam capture post had over 350 comments when I checked it on December 14 (the comments are still there but the total no longer appears). But there's no easy way to figure out the e-mail traffic provoked by a particular post.

The two most significant features of blogging are, to my mind: (1) it's interactive; (2) it's cheap to free. Both features are important not only to blog visitors but also to bloggers. We bloggers do this for free (almost always) and one form of non-monetary recompense we receive is the illusion that people find what we write to be of interest. Since we here at Spitbull rarely get e-mail and we don't (yet) use Movable Type with its built-in comments feature, site and link traffic is our best indicator of reader interest. (The unkind ribbing of our family and friends doesn't count).

Okay. Now we'll see if Aaron Haspel of God of The Machine is right: "one key lesson of blogging: since the most devoted audience of blogs is bloggers, navel-gazing will always boost your hit count."


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