Size Matters

In the type A world of venture capital, its no surprise that VC bloggers are counting their subscribers.

I do it every day.

But what do I count?

Well, for one I count my traffic. I use site meter to do that for me.

Then I count my RSS feeds. I use Feedburner to do that for me, but it only counts the RSS feeds to my blog that are hosted by Feedburner and there are a bunch of people who use the original TypePad feed. And I have no idea how many of those there are.

And then I count my Technnorati links.

It’s the combination of all three numbers that really matters to me.

I think raw traffic is a very important indicator of audience, but a lot of it is temporary, being driven by a link from someone much more popular than me like Jarvis or Malik.

Feeds are an indication of true subscribers, but many people who have feed readers set up to get my blog posts don’t always click on the links and thus don’t always read my posts. I think its a false audience at some level. And I also use Bloglet to do an email delivery and that number is about as large as my RSS audience. And there’s the same problems with that approach.

Links are probably the most important measure of audience to me. When someone links to you, they are doing more than sending you traffic. They are recognizing the value of your participation in the blog world. So what I enjoy most of all, when I am in counting mode, is the total number of links I have. That (as well as the number of feeds I have) is something that grows over time and is a measure of tenure as much as anything, but the rate of growth in links to my blog is the single most important indicator to me.