Featured Photos

Baseball Hall of Fame - 8/23/11

Featured Video

Avery's QuEST Project - It's Healthy!

House Construction

The Completed Home Renovation

Home Renovation - Complete!

Our House Construction Photoblog

RSS Feed

« | Main | »

Man Bites Dog Story: Facebook drives blog traffic

By Brian | February 11, 2010 | Share on Facebook

Lileks, 2/5/10:

Was amused to read that Kids Today have stopped blogging, more or less; they’ve moved the blurtage over to Facebook, which makes much more sense. The web is the Great Heaving Sea; Facebook is an auditorium. Tumblr is a flea-market. Blogs will either be for writers, or communities gathered around a particular ideology or subject, or ace aggregators who can spit out 30 unique links a day.

(Jason Bennion has some interesting thoughts on this too, which I will link to as soon as he gets his blog back up & running).

On balance, I can’t say I disagree with Lileks. Popularity-wise, Facebook is to blogging what blogging was to personal homepages back in 1995. That said, there are some counterexamples.

Take the week of January 25-29, 2010, for example. Someone (and who knows, really, how these things get started) declared it “Doppleganger Week” on Facebook. The idea was that you’d replace your profile picture with a picture of a celebrity who you’ve often been told you look like. So, by the end of the week, rather than reading status updates from your friends Joe, Mike, Janet and Kate, you’re reading updates from Charlie Sheen, Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz and Demi Moore. A waste of time? Sure. But hey – it’s one of those communal time-wasters that gives everyone something to schmooze about for a while, and isn’t that really what Facebook is for?

Now, flashback about 3.5 years ago, when someone sent me a link to a celebrity face recognition service. It being 2006, I blogged about it, rather than Facebook sharing it or tweeting about it. The resulting blog post contains a lot of celebrity images and links to pages about those celebrities, which not only makes it a valuable resource for Doppleganger Week, but also gives it enough Google Juice (hat tip: Jeff Jarvis) to show up at the top of the list in all sorts of queries about celebrity images.

The result? Here’s Facebook’s Doppleganger Week as viewed through my Google Analytics stats:

For the two weeks prior to Doppleganger Week (Jan 11-Jan 22), my little corner of the web here garnered 665 pageviews, with the Celebrity Look-Alike post accounting for just 18 of those.

For the following two weeks (Doppleganger Week actually seemed to last more like two weeks – Jan 25-Feb 5), the Celebrity Look-Alike post received 389 pageviews on it’s own, an increase of just over 2,000%. The site as a whole had 1,045 pageviews in those two weeks, a 57% increase.

The Celebrity Look-Alike post went from 2.7% of my traffic to a whopping 37% of my traffic during Doppleganger Week(s).

All thanks to Facebook. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to cross-post this blog post on my Facebook wall, in hopes of getting that crowd to click over here and read it. Because I’m old-fashioned that way…

Topics: Blogging about Blogs | 7 Comments »

7 Responses to “Man Bites Dog Story: Facebook drives blog traffic”

  1. lisa says at February 11th, 2010 at 9:03 pm :
    mission accomplished

  2. jason says at February 12th, 2010 at 12:32 am :
    Hey, Brian, thanks for the shout-out! It makes me feel a little less isolated out here in the hinterlands of the blogless.

    I’m finding the experience of being without my blog for so long is really strange… On the one hand, it’s kind of like a vacation, an unexpectedly welcome break from the feeling of having to be “on” and the frustration of not having the time to keep up with it as well as I’d like. But I’m also really missing my soap box, and especially whatever tiny community I have going on over there. Facebook is filling some of that social gap in the meantime, but it’s not the same. The sense of connection with others is there, but it’s different somehow… like seeing a casual acquaintance in the grocery store and making small talk vs. sitting down with an old friend over coffee and really having a conversation. Or something.

    Guess I just proved the point about different demographics and their online activities, eh? :)

  3. Brian says at February 12th, 2010 at 1:06 am :
    Welcome back to the land of the living, Jason! When’s the blog coming back? Maybe time for a new hosting provider, no?

  4. jason says at February 12th, 2010 at 2:44 pm :
    With any luck, the blog will be back Monday or Tuesday. I can’t really complain too much about the long outage because the whole thing is hosted and maintained for me free of charge by a friend, who originally built the blog for me as a Christmas gift. It works out great for me most of the time, but obviously when a problem crops up, there’s a big disadvantage in not having a 24-hour help desk available. :)

  5. Brian says at February 12th, 2010 at 2:47 pm :
    OK, fair enough – it’s hard to argue with “free”…

  6. jason says at February 12th, 2010 at 8:56 pm :
    Indeed. :)

  7. Back on the Air | Simple Tricks and Nonsense says at January 21st, 2014 at 3:41 pm :
    [...] blogless for a week proved to be a very odd experience. As I said in a comment over at Brian Greenberg’s blog, it was almost like a vacation to be free of the thing for a [...]


Comments will be sent to the moderation queue.