Update 2: After email discussions with Jon, I've discovered my figures were a bit out and so I've fixed that up now. In my updated figures, I now see evidence of what Jon pointed out in his post - i.e. a general tapering-off in new public subs added in December and February (albeit not so pronounced in my stats). Plus, if anything, the updated figures strengthen my own point about how focusing on a topic has increased my subscriber numbers.
Also I want to clarify that my chart below measures accumulative growth, whereas Jon's charts measure acceleration of growth.
Jon Udell has been analysing Bloglines Public Subscribers data and pondering its Long Tail implications. Taking Jon's lead, I looked at my own data in this way and discovered an interesting thing about the Long Tail and blogs.
As you know, I'm very focused on Web 2.0 these days. Based on a search for the term "web 2.0" within my Movable Type console, my obsession with it started in October 2004 (not coincidentally the same time that the O'Reilly Web 2.0 Conference was being run). I've written just under 50 posts since then which reference Web 2.0! Take a look then at my Bloglines Public Subscribers data:
Public subscribers make up about 45% of my total Bloglines subscribers. As you can see, subscription growth for my blog took off in October 2004 and it's been steadily growing since then. [update 1: I edited this paragraph, because originally I thought Jon and I were using the same charting method. My mistake, sorry.]
I mostly attribute this to increased focus in my blog on a specific topic (Web 2.0). I think this goes to show that if you have any kind of ambitions for your blogging, your best bet is to find a niche and focus on it. That's what the Long Tail is all about - niches.
Having said that, blogging is of course many things to many people. It doesn't have to be about focusing on niches, although arguably you'll have more success if you do. Also of course the usual caveats about Web statistics apply...
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