Yesterday, we were delighted to win a spot on the WordPress.com Freshly Pressed page for our Kaposi’s Sarcoma article, and that sort of public recognition has, in the past, meant big booms in readership and other quantifiable areas of blog publishing and — as I did in the past with our first Freshly Pressed win for Black Cat Bone — I will share those metrics with you now.

First, because of our Freshly Pressed feature on June 5th, we enjoyed our “Best day for Follows on Boles Blogs” — that is a big and huge record for us because followers tend to become dedicated readers and they stick around.

WordPress.com followers are counted, and not counted, in odd ways.  Facebook friends are counted in the final, public, tally, while  “moved” followers from old blogs to a new blog do not count.  No LinkedIn connections are counted as followers — even though they should be — to match the same relational logic as Facebook friends.

When our Black Cat Bone article was featured on Freshly Pressed in July of 2010, our readership for that promoted day brought in a massive readership increase by a factor of ten and then fell off the next day:

Here are the same stats set for the Kaposi’s Sarcoma article.  Sure, June 5 took a bump in readership, but not by a factor of 10 and not in anyway did we get the high views punch we expected.

I’m sure there are many reasons for the smaller bump.  Over the last three years, WordPress.com may have changed the way they measure such events and, perhaps, people may have been more inclined to click-through to read an article on Blues music folklore than on deadly skin lesions.

One quite lovely, and important, boost we won yesterday was an increase in new, and thoughtful, and careful, commenters. We require all commenters are logged into an identity service, and while that requirement represses the anonymous masses from filling our threads, the consequential metric that matters most is a large increase in the quality of the comments.

Sure, we had a couple of people logged in trying to Spam us, but that was easily fixed, and the overall effect of Freshly Pressed on the quality of our new commenters was overwhelmingly grand and considerate and experienced.

We are grateful for our Freshly Pressed win and for our new friends — and the key to being featured on Freshly Pressed is to never expect it to happen, but to always be prepared for the aftereffects in whatever form those gifts are given to you.

UPDATE:  Today, June 6, 2012 — is officially now our “Best Day for Follows on Boles Blogs!”  Yay!  This is the “Freshly Pressed Effect” in everlasting mode, with in situ, quantified, proof, and we continue to thank you!

25 Comments

  1. I wonder why WordPress’ follower counts work the way they do, especially with the lack of LinkedIn connections. Is it done for a reason or has it just not been properly addressed yet?

    Yesterday was definitely a success though. I love to see lots of real, thoughtful comments outweighing spammers– the best part is that the discussions often end up inspiring ideas for new articles, and the cycle continues!

    1. I have no idea about the how or the why of the followers count. I’ve asked. I’ve been told the developers are considering adding LinkedIn connections to the count.

      Yes, yesterday was grand! I’m about to update the article with a new screenshot!

    1. Speaking of tangents…

      When I first moved to NYC to study theatre on the graduate level, I met a lot of Gay men in the business of the day who looked at me as I had never been looked upon before: With ravenous hunger. I was married. I was fresh from Nebraska. I didn’t understand what was happening. I wasn’t flirting. I was just trying to get work done and yet they were looking at me as I had looked upon the cheerleading squad in my high school days.

      A Gay classmate told me, “You’re fresh meat. Untainted. Shiny from the farm. It doesn’t matter if you’re married or not, and actually, that’s a good thing to some of them because it even more guarantees you aren’t infected.”

      That was an, “Oh, boy!” moment I was never expecting, and I supposed it make some intellectual sense. The Coasts had been bitten hard by HIV and the Midwest was generally not yet in the mighty throes of the disease.

      When I learned it was them, and not me, I just tried to brush off the “look at me” trances, and stopped trying to be “Midwestern friendly” and I stopped making eye contact by default with strangers.

      1. Wow – that is a very interesting story. It gives me a different perspective, one I am not sure I want to elaborate on here…

        I was in high school when AIDS was just getting it grips on the world. i was living in Hawaii at the time and the way people talked about AIDS was strange… like it was a disease confined to the far away land of San Francisco and no one knew much about it other than it seemed to be a gay mans disease – which of course just led to paranoia and hate.

        Then there was the Feline leukemia virus (similar to HIV in humans) which peaked at that time as well and people were convinced it was AIDS and that cats could carry it and pass it to people. Remember that at all? There was a fear people would start going on random cat killings to rid the public of the threat of ‘catching’ AIDS from cats.

        1. Excellent expansion! Yes, I remember the “cat threat” and that AIDS was carried by felines. We lived in such horrible, terrible, fearful times. Oh, if we only had the internet way back then… equal access to right information would have been seconds away even in the din of not really knowing.

          I am amazed by how quickly the Michael Douglas, “I got tongue cancer from cunnilingus” was slammed down by the online media. They talked about his lifelong sex addiction, his smoking addiction, his hard liquor addiction, and summed it all up that was pretty much imposible that HPV caused his cancer and that this whole sorry story sounded more like he was angling for blame in a future divorce settlement… by publicly embarrassing his wife by open suggestion…

          You’re right that HIV/AIDS was a San Francisco/New York “illness” from a Midwestern view. I don’t think that it was limited to the coasts, I just think people on those coasts were better able to be who they were and to stand up and speak up for the scared silent still stuck in closets in the rest of the nation. If you had any sort of gumption or desire to live as you were intended to be, it was pretty common to get up and head for a coast as soon as you were able…

          1. What??? I hadn’t heard of that Michael Douglas story.

            And I think it is a fact that those living in bigger cities with more diverse populations will feel safer to be who they are and will find it easier to join with like minded people so naturally it would seem those bigger cities are more likely to deal with and be more open to discussing issues before the rest of the nation even takes notice of them. But of course with the expansion of the internet we do have access to more and better information (for the most part).

          2. At first, I thought the Michael Douglas “revelation” was a response to the Angelina Jolie mastectomy story — he wanted to correct the record that it was oral sex, not smoking that caused his cancer — but now I tend to agree with the online analysis that he’s angling to hurt his wife, by default, in public, for some reason we don’t yet know…

            http://radaronline.com/exclusives/2013/06/michael-douglas-says-oral-sex-caused-his-throat-cancer/

            http://www.livescience.com/37119-michael-douglas-hpv-cancer.html

            You’re right that living in big cities is safer for the minority power, because you’re likely to be less alone and more motivated to band together as one in a common cause. The internet is great for us, but not so great for our oppressors… as we are quickly discovering today…

          3. Are we really surprised about the internet and the threats to our privacy? It was only a matter of time. Retailers have been spying on us for years, why would we believe the government would be any different? Because they’re the good guys?

          4. It must be the young people who are surprised and outraged at the “loss of privacy” — even though they’re likely first generation who’ve been tracked and monitored from birth!

            You’re right that the retailers know everything about us and now they all share information, so they have fuller pictures of us in every way than our best friends do on their best day.

            It’s the faux outrage that bothers me most — it’s manufactured to earn click-throughs and eyes on advertising.

          5. I was told by someone that search engines “know” what kind of computer you might be searching a topic from- for instance hotels or cameras or blenders… if it picks up you are searching from a Mac – the most expensive items or services will show up first in the search. The supposition being that mac users have more disposable income and therefore will buy the most expensive item or the likelyhood that they will purchase might be higher than for your average PC user. I havent tested this, but it sure seems possible. You , I’m sure, know more about this than i could ever know.

          6. Yes, you’re right about that sort of search correlation.

            There are also stories about online stores tracking the pages you view in your browser and they can then predict for some women, based on their browsing habits, that they were pregnant before the woman even had confirmation!

          7. wow. fascinating and a little scary. Wouldn’t it be interesting to get alerts based on our searches?

            “You appear to be having a bad day, we will send a masseur right over.”

          8. Ha! That’s Google’s entire online advertising scheme! They scan your email and evaluate your web page views just so they can make money off your next stress massage! SMILE!

  2. Hey, look! I’m famous! I’m featured prominently on your screenshot, as a proud new follower of Boles Blogs! And I must say, happy to be here. Great follow-up post, and quite the story today(your ‘fresh meat’ anecdote).

    Our brief discussion in the comments this week brought my memories of Jon and Carl to the forefront of my conscsiousness, and I suppose I may needto write a post about it. So much has come back — bittersweet. I actually came here to thank you for that. I suppose I buried the memories to ‘move past’ in a way, but they don’t deserve that.

    Again, thank you. And now I’m off to read Black Cat Bone. Keep up the good work. Becky

    1. Yes, you’re famous! I love your Avatar! SMILE!

      I appreciate you following us, Becky, and if you write your article about Jon and Carl, please come back here and let us know with a link. You’re right that we tend to bury what bothers us the most — especially in our most helpless moments — and you’re right again that our friends and family deserve better than that, and it’s up to us to brave the pain to try to teach those behind us what we learned on the hard way home.

      Black Cat Bone is a totally different energy and vibe! SMILE!