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Jul 10 2013

That was a surprise

I noticed yesterday a sharp spike in the statistics of those who came to this blog, about ten times the normal daily traffic. I initially idly wondered if the counter had developed a glitch but I then received a Facebook posting from a former student that said that one of my posts had made the front page of Reddit, which explained it. The post in question was this one.

It is still a bit of a puzzle to me why this particular post generated such interest. It is not a bad one but not one of the more controversial or provocative ones that I have written or one that generated a lot of comments.

But since I started blogging, I discovered that I am a very poor judge of what others find interesting and have never tried to ‘gauge the market’ (so to speak) and tailor my posts accordingly. I just write about what interests me on the assumption that over time there will develop a community of people with broadly similar interests who will be interested in the same things as I am.

That approach has seemed to work pretty well.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    Chiroptera

    Huh. I guess that explains some of the odd comments on that thread.

  2. 2
    cafink

    I am the one who submitted that post to Reddit. I hope you don’t mind–I just thought it was interesting, and didn’t expect it to be that wildly popular. I also submitted a link to one of Ed Brayton’s posts, and that one got virtually no attention. Like you, I always have a difficult time determining what kinds of things others will find interesting.

  3. 3
    Marcus Ranum

    It’s a good article and deserves the attention it got!

    You might like this one:
    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/07/5-things-snowden-leaks-revealed-about-nsas-original-warrantless-wiretaps/
    I’ve been enjoying the way that someone clearly made DAMN sure everyone knew it was The President’s Wiretap Program. ;)

  4. 4
    Mano Singham

    No, I don’t mind at all. In fact, I was gratified that people liked it and thank you for taking the trouble to submit it to Reddit. I was just surprised at how word got out!

  5. 5
    jamessweet

    The two most popular posts on my blog, by a veeerrrrrry wide margin, have absolutely nothing to do with the topic of the blog. (The most popular by a full order of magnitude is a catalog of the differences between Scrabble and Words with Friends… then one order of magnitude down is a post about how a certain antivirus company has been engaging in malware tactics… and my next most popular posts, about what I actually blog about, are another order of magnitude below that) So just be thankful this one was at least about something you actually post about a lot!!! :D

    Since apparently so many people liked that post, I hope you won’t mind me saying I personally found the “Independence Lost” post a little boring, despite being a regular reader of your blog. No offense! Like you, I also seem to be a poor judge of what will capture people’s interest…. On the opposite side of that, I actually read and enjoy your cricket posts! ;) So maybe I should just tell you which of your posts I find the most boring, and those will be the most popular! ahahahahaha….

  6. 6
    Frank

    “But there is one person who did go to jail over the torture issue and that is CIA officer John Kiriakou. But he was prosecuted not for committing any of those acts but for whistleblowing about them, revealing not only the existence of torture but confirming for the first time that the US government was committing the ghastly act of waterboarding. He was convicted of passing along classified information to a reporter and is now serving a 30-month prison sentence that began in February.”

    The post as a whole was fine, but the paragraph quoted above was brilliant in it’s simplicity and clarity. I can almost imagine Brian Williams reading that on NBC Nightly News. But no, unfortunately, that won’t happen. Good to know that Americans have other sources of news.

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