Colin Devroe

Reverse Engineer. Blogger. Chills easily.

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Jack Baty on follower counts

Jack Baty:

Years ago on Twitter, I would use follower counts as an indicator of authority or perhaps as a way to gauge someone’s impact on a community or topic. With so many followers, he or she must have useful or interesting things to say, right? That probably wasn’t a great way to think about follower counts even then, but it worked as often as not.

I quit Twitter with thousands of followers. Many of which I’d say were bots. Accounts with millions of followers also have a huge percentage of bots following them. I restarted my account from scratch and now only have dozens. Follower count means nothing about the person behind it.

Reminds me of this 2014 post.

Python is blowing up

David Robinson, not The Admiral, for Stack Overflow:

We recently explored how wealthy countries (those defined as high-income by the World Bank) tend to visit a different set of technologies than the rest of the world. Among the largest differences we saw was in the programming language Python. When we focus on high-income countries, the growth of Python is even larger than it might appear from tools like Stack Overflow Trends, or in other rankings that consider global software development.

I don’t think I would have guessed this.

Colin Walker on evergreen content

Colin Walker:

Evergreen content. It’s what many bloggers crave. Posts that keep people coming back. Passive traffic that you don’t have to do anything more to receive.

Back-in-the-day we called this the longtail. Publish enough posts on a given niche and generate tons of traffic over the longterm due to people searching for those topics and your blog becoming a valued resource.

The problem is that it is crap traffic for a personal blogger. It is someone in a moment of need of a piece of information and they are looking for it via your site. It isn’t reflective of your audience size, it isn’t someone that is interested in your opinion or perspective, it is just someone that jammed their fingers in the right order on Google and found your site.

I have a post here on my blog that generates ridiculous amounts of traffic. It skews every number in my analytics. None of those thousands and thousands of people ever come back to my site. Very few even click around. I’m glad people are finding my solution to that particular issue but other than that it provides me no value at all.

That being said, if I was a professional blogger that wanted to make a living at writing I’d be all over it as it is the best traffic for generating money via advertising.

Live streaming video, by the numbers

Dan Kimbrough:

Facebook makes sense as the leader. More people use Facebook than YouTube. And by that, I mean we consume a lot on YouTube, most of its traffic is viewing videos, not creating. I think that most companies and influencers have a big enough audience that they can stream anywhere and their followers will…follow.

Facebook should be able to hold this top spot for some time. Their live video platform is easy to use and very, very good. Couple that with the massive audience and they have the killer live video product for a while. Also, a little birdie told me to expect Instagram-like Stories coming to Facebook soon as they are already testing this in smaller European regions. If they do that “Stories” video is going to go through the roof.

YouTube, on the other hand, is still only dabbling with live video. It seems they care more about live video for events than pushing live video from users. I’m sure this is a conscious choice. Perhaps, they’d prefer their live video to be of higher quality when they promote it. However, I just recently noticed their app has a tab (not a navigation item) for live video. I used it to watch to a few “radio” stations and someone playing a game. It was a very good experience. If, like Facebook, YouTube added that navigation item (and allowed directly sharing through Facebook and Twitter) I’d bet their numbers would sky rocket.

Dan also mentions the absence of Instagram Stories in the numbers:

Another note, I’d of thought Instagram would at least make the chart, but it’s live functions are only two and half months old. I think that they have the potential to move into third place, maybe even second.

He’s right (as always). The charts in Dan’s post are from polls conducted in November 2016. Instagram Stories hadn’t even existed yet (can you believe that?). EDIT: Instagram Stories launched in August 2016. It was Instagram Stories w/ Live video that came later. Thanks Leni. END EDIT. Already Instagram is crushing Snapchat so I expect the live video numbers to be also representative of that. By the time these polls are conducted again I’d expect Instagram Stories to rank very highly.

Another thing to note is that Twitter’s Live Video numbers are skewed slightly due to the fact that the feature for users is only available through Periscope and not yet a first-class citizen. Their live streaming video numbers — aside from Periscope — are likely due to their deals with large broadcast organizations and the NFL. If Twitter opens up live streaming video to users I’d also expect their numbers to climb. Historically Twitter hasn’t been very good at running separate brands so I think to do this they should bring Periscope into Twitter.

It is good to keep an eye on these trends as viewership shifts back and forth. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the numbers overlap somewhat but I’d love to see some statistics on how many separate and distinct live streaming video platforms users are getting their content from.

This post edited on February 15, 2017.

Stop tracking referral spam with Google Analytics

Nice tip from Scott Buscemi on the Luminary Web Strategies blog:

Have you ever logged into Google Analytics and noticed a huge, unexpected spike in traffic to your site? Maybe your last blog post was shared by a huge influencer on Twitter — or maybe you’re the victim of referral spam.

One simple click. Be warned, though, you may be humbled by how much real traffic your site is getting with all of the junk removed. However, it will be a far more accurate picture of how many real people are visiting.

Stop caring about follower counts

Matt Gemmell on what has changed for him in 2014 — mainly, that he no longer worries about things like stats, follower counts, and numbers. He now writes for him. But he used to.

I’d second-guess tweets and even articles, based on what I thought would appeal to my readers – who were mostly programmers. My online presence was essentially a professional one, under a personal name. It never sat well with me.

If you write for an online magazine or media outlet you need to obsess over such things. But if you have a personal blog or Twitter account, you should really stop.

I can’t tell you how many Twitter followers I’ve lost due to my propensity for unfollowing every account a few times a year and starting over. Some people don’t get it, others take it personally. I’ve learned to stop caring and do what I want to do. I try to explain, through my blog here, why I choose to shake things up from time-to-time and if that isn’t good enough for people, so be it.

And, as far as what I write here on my blog. I have never written for stats. Not here on my personal blog. This place is mine.

Back to Gemmell:

I may bore you. I may offend you. You might unsubscribe, or unfollow. Reading is brutally democratic, after all. If you choose to go, it’s been a pleasure. And if you choose to stay, well… that truly matters to me.

His entire piece is a worth a read.