Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's all about timing...

I'm sure many other bloggers have noticed this, and to be frank I should have remembered this from my days posting writing on websites that rate popularity of posts based on views and approval, but if you post things in the middle of the night they don't get much action on the web. I hadn't thought of it much, especially since right now 99% of my web traffic is friends and family, but even amongst friends and family the wee hours of the night are not popular hours. So, posting to this site and then spreading the word through facebook or google + in the middle of the night does me no good whatsoever in terms of getting people to read it. Which is a bummer, because that's often when I'm most productive.

But here I sit, in the middle of the afternoon for once, with some time to write and the motivation to do so. So this will go up before the end of the work day, and will consequently be more popular. However, it won't be nearly as popular as it would have been if I had posted it just before or after lunch time, or in that 2-4pm afternoon slump. It's crazy to witness, but if you've ever checked the popularity of a forum comment or the reactions you get on facebook posts, they are most popular in the MIDDLE OF THE WORKDAY. Turns out, people love to procrastinate, and following a link to an article via facebook is one of people's favorite past times. As is checking forums that people are stoked about, or checking RSS feeds to their favorite websites. Don't believe me? Go to your favorite forum and check the posting times of the threads with the largest reply count. I bet you the majority of them were posted in the middle of the day. 

Anyway, all of this has made me think that what I really should do is write a post whenever it suits me, and then wait to post it until the middle of the following afternoon. I don't know if I'll stoop that low though. In truth, I mainly write for me. I get a kick out of other people reading it, and it's a total ego boost to see lots of hits on my website, or to get positive comments etc., but probably not enough to get me to change my writing habits. We shall see. After all, a blog is by definition for other people, so posting at a time when other people won't see much doesn't make much sense. 

In other news, I scared the crap out of a number of high school students today by making them pick up and carry (for a few seconds) a full backpack that is about 15-25 lbs LIGHTER than the backpacks we will be taking into the Grand Canyon in November (those packs will be between 60-80lbs at the start of the trip). The students I frightened with this act were, of course, the students who will be joining me for this trip. The reactions were humorous, but the good news is, no one fell over. Oh underclassmen... you are so small and easily scared. 

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