I was trading emails Tuesday with an industry friend, and explaining why I wasn’t covering an announcement from his company. It wasn’t personal, I said. I just didn’t think it was all that interesting, as news goes, and doubted I was alone in that perspective.
It got me thinking about reader patterns, and the type of material on this blog that drives a lot of activity, versus stuff that few people seem to give a crap about.
So I ran Google Analytics back a full year, and the results are pretty intriguing.
WHAT INTERESTS READERS
Three of the top five posts in the past year were about the ultra low cost Raspberry Pi computers that were developed as a way to get computing into classrooms, but have been somewhat co-opted by commercial interests looking to shave budgets.
The other two in the top five had to do with Android devices – again the low cost thing.
Posts on Pi and Droid dominate the top 30.
The only other common threads among popular posts are M&A activity and the Projects showcases of digital signage jobs, in pictures,words and sometimes video. Readers seem to like seeing what other companies have done around the globe.
Partner announcements. Brand X does a distribution deal with ACME Tech House. That sort of thing. Few people seem to care.
Same goes for most company hires and appointments. When Ginny Smith gets appointed Regional VP Sales for Big DisplayCo, does anyone care, other than Ginny? Apparently not.
Events and awards – unless I go to town on them and show visuals, and explain who won and why – get minimal attention.
AND YOUR POINT IS?
I get soooo many emails everyday from companies that pretty much expect I will dutifully copy and paste their wondrous news about not very much into Sixteen:Nine. I am sure many wonder why I’ve ignored them, and no longer love them.
It’s simple. Other people trade on volume, feeding the beast and ratcheting up page views by pushing any “news” item with even a faint pulse online. But I actually was a real journalist in my dark past, and a major daily editor who sat in countless story meetings sorting out what was worth covering and what was going to get ignored.
The numbers back up my instincts that people are intrigued by disruptive technology. But they also tell me Sixteen:Nine readers really don’t care all that much about the day to day goings-on of this sector, or look elsewhere for that.
So … when you’ve got news that Bob Werbell has been signed with you as manager for channel sales, west coast, send the release to those sites. I’ll take a pass.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.