Rediscovering the `net effect

Even though I’ve been on the `net long enough to recall when Gopher was cool, I must confess that blogging recently made me feel like an Internet newbie all over again. Why? I once again become intoxicated by the `net effect.

It’s simple: I write a post and publish it. Within seconds, minutes, hours, days, I qualitatively and quantitatively experience the `net effect:

  • People view my blog entry via a reference from some other Web page
  • People view my blog entry via a search engine
  • People view my blog entry via a feed

And the WordPress software magically captures all of this ‘view data’, and makes it readily available to me. I find it intriguing to learn which posts generated the most traffic, or which search-engine terms caused someone to arrive at my blog entry. Very intoxicating indeed!

Of course, this `net effect is a well known phenomena that is quantified by Metcalfe’s Law and its successors. (Complex networks are even more intriguing!)

Network theory aside, there’s nothing like a little personal experience, a little personal validation, to remind one of the `net effect.

One more observation: The very first thesis of The Cluetrain Manifesto states that “Markets are conversations”. Reflect on the Open Source movement for a few femtoseconds and you’ll totally ‘get’ this thesis. Because I completely agree with this thesis, I have to ask: Why aren’t marketers everywhere adopting blogging like white on rice? (I’m not suggesting that this isn’t already happening, just that I’m surprised it hasn’t reached exponential proportions!)

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