Tag Archives: Blogging

Stop reading Mashable

Sign of deafness
Be deaf to Mashable

Just because you are being followed by some massive celebrity, does not mean that they are paying any attention to what you say.

It’s not physically possible for the likes of Christopher Penn to read even a small amount of the content produced by the 22,197 people he follows on twitter.

So who does he pay attention to?

Well, according to Klout, @cc_chapman (K:76), @chelpixie (K:52) @chrisbrogan (K:77), @ambercadabra (K:70), @scottmonty (K:76)

K here refers to Klout score – an automatically calculated measure of influence. I have some major concerns about the way these scores are used to rank people, as opposed to help group tweeters into fairly broad buckets, but that’s another post. @cspenn himself has a Klout score of 71.

The answer is: other people with a high degree of influence like himself. While he might reply if a low-influencer sends him a message or mentioned him, the chances are low that he will pay much attention to that person’s normal stream. Why? Even people as well known as @cspenn and @chrisbrogan are aiming to extend their own reach. @cspenn can market who he is to the large/important communities around @chrisbrogan because he can reciprocate. That’s why you’ll see @cspenn mentioned in @chrisbrogan’s blog posts and vice-versa.

If you produce really great content you’ll have more chance of getting their attention, sure, but a lot of people are producing good content out there, so the reach dimension still comes into play. You might be better off generating heat from up-and-comers, at least as a prelude to trying to get the bigger guys interested.

How do you do that?

Stop paying attention to so many big producers like Mashable. Turn off some RSS subscriptions.  Do some removals from your must-read twitter list(s). Interact more with smaller content producers! Could be you’ll get the sort of outcome you’re after.

Information layer cake

I recently found Glen Cathey’s blog post on LinkedIn search rankings and something struck me instantly.

This is a long article.

At about five pages, it’s still manageable, but I came to the site wanting answers quickly, and I’m sure the length of the article turns a good percentage of readers off. Don’t get me wrong – it’s great that Glen produces such in-depth articles in a space dominated by “Top 5 Tips”, and even better that he shared it with us all, but I think he missed a trick. Knowing that there a lot of people out there with low attention spans should mean that you have different versions of the text to keep that traffic around.

One site that is occasionally good at this is Wikipedia with the English/Simple English explanations.

Compare the simple Wikipedia explanation of probability

Probability is a part of mathematics. It has to do with chance, the study of things that might happen or might not happen.

with the normal English explanation:

Probability is a way of expressing knowledge or belief that an event will occur or has occurred.

I find the simple English explanation easier to understand, and reading it actually makes it more likely I’ll check the more detailed version.

The fact that I know I can find useful information about a subject, regardless of my literacy in that particular field, makes Wikipedia a more valuable resource for me. I think for us to communicate as effectively as possible, we have to apply that lesson ourselves.