Quantity Versus Quality

July 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm 1 comment

Scobleizer recently blogged about Fred, a 14-year old kid who’s gotten over 40 million views on youtube for his incredibly annoying depiction of a 6-year old with anger management issues and an alcoholic mom. I don’t blame Fred’s mom – listening to him would drive anyone to booze. He’s even worse than Mary, the screaming judge on So You Think You Can Dance.

The fact that over 40 million people would voluntarily listen to Fred’s high-pitched whining astounds me. Sure, he’s somewhat amusing and his storylines and character development are pretty impressive for a 14-year old. But over 40 million views? Really?

Scobleizer uses Fred to make the point that when it comes to web traffic, quality matters more than quantity:

If traffic is your goal, here’s the formula. Do something really stupid that’ll make people laugh.

Me? I’ll stick with having a few thousand people passionate about learning more from innovative technologists and other leaders.

Why not get into the traffic race? Because I’d rather be in the race for a smart, focused audience. That’s where the real action is.

Scoble has it right. And “action” is the right word. As I’ve mentioned before, I work at a nonprofit education association that launched an education campaign a little over a year ago. I care less about the overall web traffic on our campaign’s website, and more about the number of web visitors who have taken some sort of action. Who’s commented on our blog, downloaded our toolkits, or emailed their friends with news about our campaign? It just makes sense to measure and value action when the end goal is action.

I feel the same way about the media hits my organization gets. Five hundred “hits” in which we’re peripherally mentioned in an article or listed in a bibliography doesn’t mean that much to me. But to be the focus of one positive entry on a well-read blog or to be extensively quoted in a respected trade pub – that’s priceless.

This leads me to the “what is a quality media hit?” question. In our long tail world where the continual birth of blogs, podcasts, vlogs, and more has given rise to countless and increasingly segmented media outlets, I think the answer to the quality question changes based on our target publics and desired objectives.

Parents are a highly coveted public for my organization’s education campaign. Dare I say a mention on ParentsConnect or TotSpot might make more sense for our campaign than a mention in the New York Times?

I’d still take the New York Times though…


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , .

And the Tagline Is… The NCLB Wikipedia Article’s Sordid History

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Michael Broukhim  |  July 5, 2008 at 1:17 am

    Thanks for the mention, Melissa! We are flattered to be even mentioned in the same breath as the NYT 🙂 …Drop me a line, I’d love to learn more about your nonprofit work; we’re always looking to help out in whatever ways we can.

    And congrats on the new blog. Looks like you’re off to a great start. Love the tagline you chose and can’t wait to see the header design.


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