editor on the verge

Online musings from the newsroom and beyond . . . by Yoni Greenbaum

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How well do you know your readers?

December 11th, 2007 · 1 Comment

Am I really a hypocrite?

A colleague recently asked me why I schedule my blog post to be published at 6 a.m. He pointed out that it was decidedly old-school to write something and then let it sit around. Didn’t I see a problem in giving lectures to online editors about the immediacy of the web and the need to publish as soon as possible and then holding my own blog for 12 or more hours? His passioned inquires got me wondering, was I really two-faced?

I know that if I were an editor or producer at a local or regional news site, I would be making the online version of a cardinal sin. Increasingly nowadays, immediate, is not even fast enough. Why we can’t channel the spirit of the wire service reporters running from the courtroom to get their reports on the wire, I don’t know. But my blog is not for a local or regional news site, actually, my blog has no defined geography.

Were I working for a local or regional site, I would make sure that I was considering the habits of my readers, taking into consideration the times that they frequented my site and even the copy they paid the most attention to. And just like my colleagues at these sites, that is what I’m doing.

Somehow, this blog has developed a decidedly international readership and as a result, my goal has been to publish at a time that maximizes my visibility and reach. Complicating this is the fact that I also promote my posts on a variety of social news sites, where time plays a definite role (publish too early in the morning and you can get buried, too late in the day and you get overlooked). In my mind, about 6 a.m. is the best of both worlds, not too early for those in the U.S. and not too late for my international readers. Now I know the kink in this logic is that if I had more subscribers, they would read my posts whenever it fits their schedule. That is true and the number of subscribers is growing.

Until I see my reader habits change, I think I’ll stick to my schedule. Based on the analytics for my site, it makes sense. As for whether or not I’m a hypocrite — no, I don’t think so, but I appreciate the opportunity to reexamine my approach, an exercise every site should consider doing.

Tags: Audience Development · Best Practices · Online

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Mark Dykeman // Dec 13, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    I wouldn’t say that it’s old school or hypocritical to schedule posts. Readers are looking for consistency in bloggers and a scheduled time is helpful. I assume that also lets you batch activities together so you can work efficiently.

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