Monday, April 16, 2007

The New Phonebook's Here, The New Phonebook's Here!

“Things are going to start happening to me now.”

Let me tell you about my Navin R. Johnson moment. A couple weeks ago, in a moment of searching for some self-validation, I did a Google search for “Brim to the Dregs.” The result was this.

Of course, that recognition and five bucks will get me a cup of coffee. It’s still nice to know that if you go looking for my blog, it’s easy to find. It’s nicer to still to find Brim mentioned elsewhere on the Web. Many thanks to those of you who have linked to me or mentioned Brim in your own writings.

I write this blog for the enjoyment of others, so I want people to find it, like it and, hopefully, share it with their friends.

All this occurred to me when I received an e-mail the other day from Ken at Ala Wine informing me that Brim had debuted on his list of the top 100 wine blogs—at number 93. While I’ve seen the various “top” blog lists, I’ve never paid much attention to them, possibly because Brim never appeared on them.

Another reason I have never paid these lists any mind was that some bloggers seem to gauge their success based on such rankings. If being near the top of the list drives more traffic to your blog, then it’s a worthwhile measure; however, I suspect in many cases it’s more about ego-gratification (this coming from someone who knows a little about that subject).

It’s the wine-blog equivalent of having 5,000 MySpace friends. What is it really worth?

A quick look at the Ala list reveals some interesting rankings. The other day when I checked it, Fermentation, by Tom Wark, was number one; The Pour, by NY Times writer Eric Asimov, was number six. While I have the greatest respect for Fermentation, judging by the average number of comments on The Pour, I think that The Pour is much more widely read. More importantly, I’m willing to guess that The Pour has a higher percentage of readers who aren’t wine bloggers.

Let’s face it—a great deal of the people reading wine blogs also write one. Capturing the average wine drinker’s readership is, in my opinion, the Holy Grail of wine blogging.

When it comes to my own assessment of Brim’s success, I go strictly by comments. The more I get, especially from new readers, the better I feel about the quality of my content. When the comments stop coming, I start thinking of ways to improve.

One of these days I need to start tracking my page hits, but even then I’ll keep watching my comments. If I can write something that inspires my readers to take a minute of their precious time to leave a comment, then I know I’m doing something right.


Sonadora said...

Glad to see you are back at the blogging (I've been out of town for over a week and am catching up on my reading today!). Hope your garden is starting to come in nicely.

John said...

Thanks, Sonadora. It's coming along. Nice to see you in my comments again.

Dr. Debs said...

I loved this post, John. I am with you--comments is where its at. And while I love hearing from friends and fellow bloggers, I get a special charge from readers who tell me that they've had a wine, or ask a question. I think it shows that you've hit a chord with them, and that they trust you enough to interact.

Ben Bicais said...

Hi John, Congrats on cracking the top 100, but I think you are right that it is the amount of interaction that is really important. And browsing through your previous posts, you seem to be doing much better than most on that score as well!

John said...

Thanks for the very nice comments, Deb and Ben. I'm constantly humbled that so many people take the time to stop by, read and leave their thoughts. It makes me work harder to make the visit worthwhile.