It’s not the eyeballs, it’s the brains

Bobbie Johnson wrote a Techmeme leaderboard roundup post in which he divulged that being on Techmeme — gasp! — doesn’t drive a whole pile of traffic, and both Robert Scoble and Nick Carr have jumped into the fray, talking about what Scobleizer calls the “dirty little truth” about Techmeme. Carr says the site has a “fairly modest, if rabid, audience.” Does this really come as news to anyone?

I would have thought that by now we would be past the whole addiction to raw pageviews and hits and eyeballs, but apparently not. To me — and to others like Frederic at The Last Podcast — the benefit of being on is the kinds of readers I reach, and in most cases they are the ones who are passionate about the Web and technology, the ones who are thinking about things that others haven’t yet — the bleeding edge.

I’ve had Digg-storms and Reddit pile-ons and the traffic that they bring is usually fleeting. I’ll take a few thousand Techmeme readers over that any day (no offence intended to my many close friends on Digg and Reddit — you know I love you guys). Todd Ziegler at The Bivings Report says that Techmeme is like one of those bands that few people known about, but musicians and critics love. Loren Feldman at 1938media, meanwhile, argues (not surprisingly) that only he is truly influential.


Bobbie Johnson responds in the comments below.

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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