Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pumping blog traffic with DZone, etc.

This is microscopic blog, readership-wise. Since I started tracking traffic in June 2006, there's been 15,514 visits. Each blog entry usually gets around 100-300 views, with a few odd cases booming into the thousands, like my Spring TestContext post with 2,378 views and counting. The thing that made that post so popular was that it got 'DZoned', and is still the 3rd result on Google on the subject to this very day.

By any standard of the Internet, my blog is tiny, but I don't mind, cause for me it's just my voice in this "tribe" of these 300 like-minded people, typically Java-enthusiasts with a sense of agile in them. Many of them are old friends and colleagues, and some are new people that I sometimes meet at user-groups and conferences. The blog is part of my dialog with them, just like with my twitter account (number of followers is also right under 300).

Recently, I devoted quite a few evenings putting together my first ever screencasts, on the topic of Git/Subversion. After blogging it, tweeting it, and talking about it at a conference, there were still only about 150 views on YouTube, all seven videos together. This was a bit.. disappointing, because I thought this would really be useful to the world of software developers, not just in my "tribe". I mean, there are a lot of Git lovers out there stuck with Subversion (about every fifth Git-user uses git-svn)!

So I went ahead and blogflogged, and DZoned my own article.

The result? Boom:


From an average 10 hits a day (meaning for that page, not the blog in general), up to 400. 

It feels a bit.. rotten. First of all, it feels a bit like cheating. Secondly, it's a bit sad that you have to pull pagerank like this to get out there. I'm not saying Google is broken, but it's very unfriendly to fresh, might-be useful content. I mean, my Spring post is so outdated now, I would remove it from the Google search result if I could, and replace it with something newer.

Are these the right people visiting? The avg. time on site seems above the usual, so I guess they thought it was interesting.

Should I DZone every post I make here and automatically become 100 times more Internet famous? In the end, I guess it comes down to what the purpose of this blog is (as described earlier). So I think no in general. But if I write an article or something important, and I feel "the world needs this!", I might do it again.

Thoughts?