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!