Once upon a time I wrote on this blog once per week. In January of this year, though, I decided to write five days a week. My readership has been pretty steady. Excluding people who read via RSS feed, I used to average about 30 hits on the blog per week. Now I am averaging about 300 per week.
What is interesting to me, though, is how easy it would be to turn that into 3000 hits per week. In short, it would take about two extra posts per day. And that includes zero marketing of my web site and assumes I attract no new readers.
Why do I bring this up? Because the allure of web hits is a strong one and a self-reinforcing event. This is why most blogs post so much garbage: the more posts, the more page views; the more page views, the more revenue per ad.
The problem, though, is that I don’t want to see all this garbage. What I really want is someone to decide what the most important headlines of the day are and present them to me. Nothing more, nothing less. And this is hard to find.
I have tried a number of apps and websites and been unsatisfied with the results. Even sites that advertise the top news of the day show it to me in time order. Guess what, folks? The most important news might have been at 8am this morning. It should still be the top headline.
I recognize how hard this is to solve. First, how much is too much and how much is too little? Is the New York Times too much while the BBC app is too little? Second it is impossible to get discovered. There must be three billion “news” apps all trying to do the same thing. Third is that elusive thing called ad revenue, which drives the bulk of the revenues in that business.
My desire to be informed conflicts all too often with the time I have to do it. In the evenings I like to sit with my iPad and catch up on the happenings outside of my little mobile and tech world. After three years, though, I’m still searching for the right app to do it.