first_imgRelated Posts Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Written by Alex Iskold and edited by Richard MacManus Understanding your audienceis the key to success in any business – including blogging. Lately the Read/WriteWebauthors have been discussing what it is that keeps readers coming back here. Our recent pollindicated that most of you come back to this blog for Analysis andReviews. We are thrilled to hear this, because we focus a lot on thosetwo things.But the poll results got us wondering about which posts in particular are the mostpopular? And we’re not talking about simple page views – we want to know what content youactually liked. In the web 1.0 world, understanding what people liked was a voodooscience. Luckily, in these days of blogs and social software, there are fairlydefinitive ways of measuring what people like. Comments on posts, bookmarks,Technorati links and of course Diggs, are all entries into the fascinating world ofsocial popularity. So we decided to put our investigative hat on and do a deep dive onRead/WriteWeb popular posts.Read/WriteWeb commentsThe obvious place to look for popular posts is in the Read/WriteWeb archives. We looked for the mostcommented-on posts. Below are the posts that had at least 50 comments:Netscape CommunityBacklash (201 comments)Top100 alternative Search Engines (104 comments)GoogleOS –what to expect (102 comments)SocialBookmarking Faceoff (74 comments)Online videoindustry index (61 comments)Search 2.0– What is next (59 comments)Top Web Apps inIndia (58 comments)RSS RipoffMerchants (55 comments)2007 WebPredictions (50 comments)Note: We close off comments on posts after about a month, in order to prevent spam.Not surprisingly, readers of Read/WriteWeb are most passionate about Search. This is atopic close to the blog’s core focus – because of Google vs. Yahoo!, Google vs.Microsoft, Google vs. the World and most importantly because this is where Web businessis centered nowadays. The other posts on the list also reflect this blog’s character.Comprehensive product surveys, profiles of top applications in different countries, and predictive analysis are definitely topics we spend a lot of time on. The Netscape postbtw just outright hit a nerve!Yet just like the poll, how many comments a post gets is just part of the picture. Tofind out more about what people like about Read/WriteWeb, we need to analyze externallinks to posts.Read/WriteWeb on has become a social phenomenon, but it is now turning into a gem of hiddeninformation. We have written beforeabout the possibility of using as a recommendation engine. Today, we willlook how to use it to distill the popular posts from your blog – and to understand howpeople perceive those posts.You would think this would be an easy thing to do, but unfortunately it is not –because does not yet allow search by URL prefix. So you cannot just searchfor posts that start with Instead, we had to use atrick. We searched for readwriteweb and then sifted through the posts todetermine the ones that belong to this blog. As it turns out, 34 posts from R/WW weresaved by at least 100 people (note: given that it was a manual process to get that data,it’s possible we missed a couple). We saved these popular posts for you under a new rwwpopular account. Here are the top R/WW posts in, bookmarked by at least 500 people:List of Web 2.0lists (872 people)2007 WebPredictions (744 people)E-learning (530people)Search 2.0 vs.Traditional Search (509 people)SocialBookmarking Faceoff (506 people)The pattern on is less obvious, but things become more clear once werealize that and comments on a blog reflect different kinds of actions.Comments reflect passions, bookmarks serve as references – so there is little overlapbetween them. More importantly, comments (like posts) are short lived. Unfortunately inour day and age, news and even analysis has a life span of a few hours. Once a post isoff the front page of a blog, it is less discoverable and typically is not commented onanymore.The bookmarks of, however, have a longer lifespan. After the first personbookmarks a post, it starts traveling through the network, acquiring more andmore links, and growing stronger. What popular bookmarks indicate is a combination oftime and usefulness. All of these posts are roughly 6 months old. It is likely that inanother 6 months a new batch of R/WW posts will cross the 500 threshold on is just how references and networks evolve.Read/WriteWeb on DiggOf course no popularity contest would be complete these days without checking outDigg. This social news site has become a huge source of endorsement and traffic forbloggers. Many R/WW posts have made it to the digg front page, since Digg users have anappreciation and passion for technology. So naturally, we went looking for what storieswere especially popular. Unlike with, it is really easy to find this information on Digg. Here isthe query, using advanced search. Here then are the R/WW posts with at least 1000 diggs(which is a lot on digg):GoogleOS –what to expect (1405 diggs)Calacanis offersto “buy out” digg users (1307 diggs)Last.fmlaunches new features (1210 diggs)Firefox 3 plansand IE8 speculation (1161 diggs)Digg CEO respondsto Netscape challenge (1089 diggs)We noted that the posts that did well on Digg are somewhat different from the onesthat got a lot of comments and picked up more links on The full query results told us that while Digg users love posts about search, they also lovethe posts about browsers. In particular the Firefox vs. IE battle is dear to theirhearts. And of course, digg users love posts about Digg – especially when it’s about Diggkicking competitor Netscape’s butt!ConclusionUsing social information to measure user information is an effective way for bloggersto understand what their readers like. It is also possible to use the methods we’veoutlined here to measure the popularity and effectiveness of pages on a corporateweb site. Another useful thing to do is to dive deeper into and digg tags andcomments. These pages contain a wealth of insightful information about how youraudience perceives your content.While doing the research for this post, we compiled a list of over 50 of the mostpopular posts on Read/WriteWeb. We are thinking about making this available to you as apermanent tab. Please let us know what you think about this idea, as well as thetechniques that we’ve discussed.Image credit: Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationcenter_img Tags:#Analysis#Social Bookmarking#web alex iskold 1 The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img

How Social Sites Reveal What Your Audience Likes

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