Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells 2.0

As any of you who know me will be only too aware, I’m a sucker for a good bit of letter writing. Like the proverbial Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells I do love writing to newspapers & magazines (although I like to think I’m a bit more reasonable than your average ‘Disgusted’); I’m not really sure why – probably the same reasons I love blogging so much I guess.

To date I’ve managed letters in The Guardian, The Observer, Word Magazine &, my proudest moment, Private Eye (when I managed to get them to print that Andrew ‘Brillo Pad’ Neil photo again). I’ve yet to beat my Dad, who has had a letter printed in The Times, surely the pinnacle for any British letter writer. Then again, my Dad helped put men on the moon, whilst I develop Facebook strategies, so I guess I should be used to not trumping him.

Anyway, recently I’ve managed to get a couple of ‘letters’ in The Guardian’s Thursday Technology section, and I didn’t have to write an email, let alone pick up a pen. That’s because The Guardian’s Tech section are cleverly playing on the innate need of the blogosphere to respond to content printed in the mainstream media, and publish excerpts from blog posts which link to articles that appear in the printed edition.

My article on The Guardian’s attitude to SEO included two links and not only was part of the post printed in last week’s edition, I also received two links from the weekly blog post in which they list all of the pingbacks they’ve found (although I wouldn’t have minded a decent bit of anchor text).

Anyway, apart from the terrifying insight this probably gives you into my psyche, it also provides a couple of interesting points to think about.

The first is the fact that having my URL published in a paper with a circulation of over 300,000 and a readership of over 1 million, or linked to from a website with a (total) monthly audience of  over 18 million, hasn’t resulted in any uplift in traffic at all. In fact, Thursday & Friday of last week (the day of, and after the Tech section is published) actually saw lower traffic than the Wednesday. And as for today, following the blog post being published yesterday? Well, the day’s not over but the traffic certainly isn’t looking out of the ordinary. So much for print pushing people online.

The second is that despite the fact that I linked to the relevant posts The Guardian only saw my post because I Twittered one of the journalists about it even though The Guardian usually track links using Technorati & Icerocket.

So, what have we learned from al this?

  •  Icerocket & Technorati seem to be acting up at the moment
  • Offline PR doesn’t always necessarily translate into traffic online
  • I need to get out more…

Postbox image by Gaetan Lee on flickr

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