January 24, 2008

The Downside to Raised Blog Expectations

Heading into the last week of January, this has been more than a record-breaking month for louisgray.com. Instead, it's been a tidal wave. Without giving away all the fun statistics, planned for a February 1 post, suffice it to say that we've already had traffic more than 1,500% greater than January 2007, also more than double that of December, which was the previous record.

Rather than resulting from a few Digg spikes or runs at StumbleUpon, this increased level of activity has been through increased presence on Google, significantly higher linkage from other blogs, and a number of highly-discussed posts, both here and elsewhere.

And with the higher page views, site visits, RSS feed subscribers and Technorati Authority, I'm feeling as if I'm going to fall victim to my own raised expectations. While I used to be content to make comments on the latest updates in Bay Area sports, or my favorite TV shows, the threshold has been heightened, and more is expected.

After all, take a look at what Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read/Write Web (and formerly of TechCrunch) was saying on Twitter last night...

Via http://twitter.com/marshallk

Whether he was being too kind or just trying to send me a few new visitors from Twitterland isn't 100% clear, but now that we're getting noticed by some high-profile folks, and achieving previously uncharted levels of traffic, as well as reaching the rarified air of the TechMeme leaderboard, I'm feeling the pressure if I'm staying too many hours at work, or if I'm putting the laptop down a few hours to catch up on TV. My new subscribers are going to expect big things from this blog, and they won't want to be let down.

While I can't expect to find new services like ReadBurner and Shared Reader every day, and I don't anticipate starting a verbal war with one of the most widely read blogs on the planet all that often, I do expect we'll try to find new insight into the world of technology, and hope to earn the kind of accolades I've seen from people like Marshall, or VentureBeat's Eric Eldon that we've received over the last few weeks.

I do expect there will be days when I don't post at all. There will be days when my posts just might not be interesting to people, and there might be days when my RSS feed count goes down as people unsubscribe. And just as we've seen our traffic jump in January, it may fall in February, making me feel we're not measuring up. Even if there were an official "Up and coming tech blogger of the month", and even if I won for January, somebody else would win the next month, and I'd be yesterday's news, potentially fighting to stay relevant.