Ripples, Puddles and Google Analytics…

I’ve just been awoken by Statistical Analysis… Yes, I’ve graduated to a WHOLE new level of web geek.

It’s Monday morning, and a little after 2 am.  I’ve been awake for an hour, and, having been unable to get back to sleep, have been trying to look at, review and understand the various statistical breakdowns that are supposed to be critical to a Blog’s success.

I believe that much of the traffic that is drawn to my site, comes from Twitter.

So, I turned to a Twitter Analyzer with the thought that perhaps my Tweets are driving the traffic.  I have recently been talking with people about the use of Hashtags (#) as a search device, and so I find it not surprising that 51.9%of my Hashtag comments are #Canucks related, with a further 16.5% being attributed to mentions of #Canada, after the #WJHC(World Junior Hockey Championship) in December, which contributed 4.7%.  With the Winter Olympics imminent, and the inherent NHL Break, I expect #Canada to do some serious catching up !

While the Hashtag stats are interesting, I saw nothing there that would give me any aid or guidance, in being a better Blogger… So, moving on.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics – Starting from Zero…

Google Analytics tells me that 54% of my traffic comes direct to my site, while 27% gets referred, and 19% from Search Engines.  I guess this is a baseline, and I can see what the relative numbers do, going up or down.  On an unrelated note, I think it’s interesting that the 5th highest source of visits is Facebook, although I haven’t pushed my Blog there.  Hmmm !

Owen Greaves on his Blog,  has written a number of thoughtful and insightful articles, and says that he has found that the best time of day to Post a blog is between 5 pm and 10 pm.  I’m not able to grasp that level of detail, but there are some revealing stats, and being a bit of a numbers geek, I am looking forward to reviewing this again, sometime soon.

But what has awoken me just recently, is mind-numbing in its simplicity… elegant in its mathematics… and daunting in its implementation.

I think more than anything else, I view my Blog… like one of the science experiments we did in Elementary School.  I’ve got a bunch of seeds, (my postings) some get sunshine, (viewers) some don’t… some get more water, more fertilizer (multiple mentions) others not.  And at the end, we get to see on a very organic level, what works… and what doesn’t.

I was getting bogged down in minutiae.  Stuff that doesn’t matter.  So what if I overuse the word “Awesome” in my Tweets, and use the salutation “Cheers” too many times ?  (Other than perhaps being minorly annoying…  It doesn’t matter !!!)

What DOES matter, is the resonance of your message, and the distance it carries.  Thus, the ripple and the puddle analogy.

On Twitter, my account @BobSongs has 750 followers.  Owen Greaves has 15,200.  Jaff Jarvis has 34,000, and Gary Vaynerchuk has 846,000.

Even if EVERY single one of my followers reads one of my Blogs, I will still get less hits than @GaryVee gets in an hour.

Scale of economy.

This should NOT have been mind blowing to me… except for some reason, I believed something different.

I have a music website, that I don’t tweak or overtly promote… and it smacked me in the face to know I got NO TRAFFIC !!!

In the drop of water that is that puddle, my Music website has no ability to create a ripple.

And similarly, with Google Analytics… I can’t get bogged down in the very fine print… yet.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go get a bucket, and find a tap… because my puddle needs to be bigger !!!

Cheers !!!


Anti-Social Media…

I love Twitter.

I believe it allows us to connect, and “meet” with people, and form relationships and sometimes even virtual friendships.

It allows us to support one of our community, when they are fragile… whether they are reeling from another sleepless night… a sick child who is inconsolable… or trying to get through the treatments to battle a life-threatening illness.

In that same way, each of us has Twitter families, that include our real families, but also extends to people outside our lives.

I can chat with Sergei in Romania, to find out if his leg is better…  find out what he thinks about my latest song… or I can send a Hi Howdy to my Sister up in Prince George, to find out how she is.  It is a real time connection with people from… anywhere !

During a Canucks Game, the Twitter stream is filled with “Go #Canucks Go… RT if you’re with me” !!!

During the recent Canada /US World Junior Hockey Tournament Final Game… those of us watching the Game, grew silent, as Canada fell two goals behind… then jubilant as the Game was tied, with mere moments to go… and commiserating with one another, as Canada lost in overtime.

Twitter can make experiences richer, by making the experience a shared on.

Often, I see tweets… “Has anyone had to...” and sometimes someone can help them, or make a suggestion.

Often you will see a follow up tweet… “Never mind” …because the act of having to put their question into 140 characters, has clarified the issue, and they have effected their own solution.

As you may have guessed, I am a fan of Twitter, and will often refer someone who is new to Twitter, to the Mashable website, for the Twitter 101 article.  I also try to suggest that folks who are songwriters, fill in their Bio information so that other Songwriters, may (regionally) be able to get together and support one another, like @BCSongwriters tries to do here in the Lower Mainland.

I believe that Twitter is an effective and beneficial tool for connecting with friendly people, or with people holding similar interests.

I love Twitter.

MY Twitter, is currently comprised of 711 folks I follow, and 854 that follow me.  I don’t have a lot of time for Tweeps who just push.  I’m not a big fan of Tweeps who send thousands of quotes, but don’t interact.  I like to believe I have a discerning eye for Tweeps who are going to become spammers, or just want a large following to brag to their friends.

In my Twitter, there is ALWAYS room for discussion and disagreement.  The form thrives in the forum, and the debate.

Late at night, the dark side of Twitter sometimes emerges, with the tweets becoming a deeper blue, from the daytime Turquoise.  Not my thing… but that is the joy of MY Twitter.  I am not obliged or compelled to participate in a conversation that doesn’t “speak” to me.

However, rudeness and ill will have no place on MY Twitter, and will not be tolerated.  It is called Social Media, and to my mind, the Number One Rule of Society is, and always will be, “Treat Others As You Would Like To Be Treated

I have, apart from Spammers, never blocked anyone, until a few days ago.

The individual in question insulted me, before engaging me in debate… and repeatedly ridiculed my points without providing any counterpoints.  In the end, I realized he was wasting my time, so I sent a brief “We shall agree to disagree” tweet, and blocked him.

Yesterday, using a different user name, I was assailed by the same individual. (Apparently he only has the one picture ?  Brilliant !)

I have heard from a few other Tweeps that they, too, have recently had similar experiences…  some have had someone RT (ReTweeting) tweets, but subverting the contents.

Being that I am civically minded, and tend to express my opinions… these incidents have, just for a moment, given me pause.

Not because I am being attacked and targetted, for expressing my opinions, in a Democratic Country… but because, in the same way that we can rally around Team Canada without being present in Saskatchewan in the rink, Twitter also offers an opportunity for those with ill will to gather, and sometimes apparently, to transgress the border, into MY Twitter.

I guess if it happens again, I will have to look into the Spam and Abuse rules.

In the meantime, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it, but I love Twitter !!!

Would love to hear your thoughts…

Twitter, Tweets and Twits…

With all due respect to the fine work Mashable does, on an on-going basis, to keep everyone “on the path” of using Twitter in a socially acceptable manner…

… I would like to offer my own list of “Rules” which I use to guide my Twitter journey.


I realize some of you use Bots to send Tweets, find followers, acknowledge followers, or do other sundry tasks… but I have a 2 part request:

– If you stopped using Twitter in August… and haven’t Tweeted since late July ?  Maybe turn off the Follow Bot ???

– Tailor your Bio to reflect the actual, not project the possible.  I’m a big fan of “Fake it until you Make it” but if your User Name or Bio says you are a Twitter Marketing Expert, and the Tweets you’ve posted, still include your “Twitter is stupid… I don’t get it” Tweet… I would say that it marginally diminishes your Brand.

I also have a series of ever lengthening rules, which when I review your Twitter Page, may dictate that I’m not going to Follow you (or Follow you back) if:

a) You Tweet about getting whiter teeth

b) You obviously use trending topics and hash tags (other than #Canucks) to get “hits”

c) You Tweet about how I can make big $$$ on Twitter, like you

d) You are a Restaurant  3000 miles away from my home

e) Your User Name has the letters BRITNEY with interspersed punctuation.

(If you don’t understand what this rule means, you are either VERY lucky, or don’t review your followers)

f) You are a New York Rangers fan.  (And yes, I intentionally chose “F” for this rule)

g) You are following 6000 people, and have 12 followers

h) You are following 16000 people, and have only posted 3 Tweets

i) Your whole focus seems to be anger or frustration, over a cascading series of progessive Tweets, on various days.  (The OBVIOUS exception here is if that anger is directed at the New York Rangers… then, welcome friend !!!)

j) If you have (for example) Tweeted that you want someone to publish the songs you have written… but have no location, website or ANY information in your Bio that would enable someone else to know if they could or should possibly help you

I’m sure there are more… but this was written in the middle of the night, when sleep was an escape that seemed not to be an option, and I was looking at people who had followed me, who I STILL haven’t followed back… and these folks apparently, just don’t “get it” !!!

The other subject that personally is up for debate, is the Direct Message reply… (as opposed to a General Tweet or an @Message)   Some people have expressed an almost fanatical dislike for the DM reply, to the point where they will unfollow someone who DM’s them.  I don’t mind a DM, if it is a private matter, but get irritated when I get a DM that could easily be public, and sent by @Message.  The reason for me, is that I’m often on Twitter using my Blackberry, and NEVER check my DM’s on mobile.  It is also contrary to the very nature of Social Media, to hold private conversations about subjects that are public. (The Canucks played well last night, I tried a new Scotch, like your Blog, etc)

Whew… I certainly feel better !  (Not that ANY infringers are likely to stumble across my Blog, but…)

If you see any “Rules” I’ve missed, please don’t hesitate to let me know, and I will edit/amend as necessary !

If you are reading this, and not following me, providing you “meet the criteria” posted above, please follow me on Twitter… my user name is @BobSongs !

“Thank you for Following me… I look forward to reading your Tweets !!!”

; D

Project “Impact”…

Wal-Mart logo - BobBlahBlah.comWas stunned today to hear that WalMart has turned a corner, in terms of their approach, and are openly and aggressively going to be trying, in the next 18 months, to drive their largest competitors out of business.

For quite a few years, I ran a store, and in all our endeavours, while we may not have thought highly of our competition… the number one focus was never to eradicate competition.  It was product quality, product availability, customer service, product price… and if we kept to our goals, and maintained a good position on ALL of these points… it would possibly make it more difficult for our competition… and if they aren’t well positioned, they may fail.

I took Marketing in University… (back in the day) …and one of the tenets of Marketing, was the “Four P’s“…  Product, Place, Promotion and Price.  These four factors, when combined with the “T” of  Timely delivery, was the key to a successful marketing strategy.

Now, apparently, it is down to the “One K“… Kill your competition !!!

(And, as an aside, KMart is one of the first targets)

I think it is scary when a retailer becomes SO big, that they do not have to be cagey, or circumspect in their attempts to take over the world, and stamp every inch of the planet with their “mark” !