My colleague, Will Thalheimer, asked what posts were most popular (if you blog, you can participate too). For complicated reasons, I don’t have Google Analytics running. However, I found I have a WordPress plugin called Page Views. It helpfully can list my posts by number of guest views. I was surprised by the winner (and less so by the runner up). So it makes me wonder what leads to post popularity.
The winner was a post titled New Curricula? In it, I quote a message from a discussion that called for meta-cognitive and leadership skills, and briefly made the case to support the idea. I certainly don’t think it was one of my most eloquent calls for this. Though, of course, I do believe in it. So why? I have to admit I’m inclined to believe that folks, searching on the term, came to this post rather than it was so important on it’s own merits.
Which isn’t the case with the post that had the second most views. This one, titled Stop creating, selling, and buying garbage!, was a rant about our industry. And this one, I believe, was popular because it could be viewed as controversial, or at least, a strong opinion. I was trying to explain why we have so much bad elearning (c.f. the Serious eLearning Manifesto), and talking about various stakeholders and their hand in perpetuating the sorry state of affairs.
Interestingly, I won an award last year for my post on AR (yes, I was on the committee, but we didn’t review our own). And, I was somewhat flummoxed on that one too. Not that there weren’t good thoughts in it, but it was pretty simple in the mechanism: I (digitally) drew on some photos! Yet clearly that made something concrete that folks had wondered about.
Of course, I think there’s also some luck or fate in it as well. Certainly, the posts I think are most interesting aren’t the ones others perceive. But then, I’m biased. And perhaps some are used in a class so you get a number of people pointed to it or something. I really have no way to know. I note that the posts here at Learnlets are more unformed thoughts, and my attempts at more definitive thoughts appear at the Litmos blog and now at my Quinnsights columns at Learning Solutions.
I’ll be interested in Will’s results (regardless of whether my data makes it in, because without analytics I couldn’t answer some of his questions). And, of course, I welcome any thoughts you have about what makes a post popular (beyond SEO :), and/or what you’d like to read!