I’ve been experimenting with Twitter to broadcast my scanlation releases and looking at my blog analytics, Twitter is completely ineffective. Of the 69 sources of visits to my blog, Twitter accounted for 1 out of the over 2000 visits to my anime and manga blog last week. Most of the visits to my blog originated from the popular manga websites, Google searches, links from other people’s blogs, or people directly going to my blog.
And here comes the VERY BIG BUT
There is a big unknown, though, with respect to Twitter. I often don’t directly “follow” people on Twitter because I don’t want to broadcast to the world or the person that I’m following them, so instead I pull an RSS feed of the tweets into Outlook. Clicking on link from Outlook gets counted as a “direct” visit to my blog. I don’t know how to get information on pulls from RSS feeds, so I have no idea who pulling RSS from my Twitter or my blog.
Soooo….now a simple comparision: there’s a BIG jump in visitors from the popular manga sites on days when I release compared to days in between releases. On the days that I release, 70 – 80% of traffic comes from those sites. On the days in between most of the traffic comes from Google searches and direct visits (about 50% combined). I tweet the release at time of the release, so from this I conclude, that Twitter is most likely ineffective and the best way to get the news out about my scanlations is to go where the audience is and that appears to be the popular manga websites and their forums.
I don’t know how Twitter is working for other people who are trying to promote themselves or their products. But this is my story and I imagine it’s not an uncommon one. What does this mean for Twitter? Well, it may not be the best tool for advertisement as hoped, but I think it needs more time and some serious studies to make a conclusion either way. As always, its good to know where your audience is and to tap into those sources. Following that logic, if your audience isn’t on Twitter, you certainly aren’t going to bring them there and it’s probably best not to waste your resources on maintaining a Twitter account. A good way to find out if people are tweeting about you or your product is do a search of Twitter and see what comes up. I did is for myself and my “product” and not much came up. As for my future on Twitter: the experiment continues …
Here’s an interesting article from Ad Age about how magazine publishers are trying to get a leg up on iTunes before the anticipated release of the Apple tablet.
Not to disparage Apple (because iTunes is very easy to use and the pricing is right for the content), but I would love to have a device independent version of “iTunes” to purchase content. I think Amazon is very well suited for that. The magazine industry, however, wants their own storefront so they can control distribution (pricing) of their content. Hahaha! Well, I hope publishers don’t get greedy and make their content so expensive that people turn to piracy or don’t get the information at all.
It will be interesting to see what the next generation of tablets are like. As of now readability is a issue with LCD screen and some of the e-reader devices have resolution and color limitations. Again, I can’t wait to see how laptops and e-readers will converge, both in terms of screen technology and usability.
I have seen some interesting Flash based e-magazines that could serve as prototypes for future e-readers. I especially like those e-magazines that allow for zooming in and links to other content. With schools looking harder at e-text books, I think we may be approaching a tipping point where e-reading begins to become the norm. I am eager to see what will happen with all of this in the next 5-yrs. How will this change “brick-and-mortar” bookstores (especially used book resellers)? Will this be end the “periodical” as we know it? Will be see micro-targeted advertisements in everything we e-read? And what will happen with books, newspapers, and magazines when reading becomes a shared experience through social networking? It’s a lot to noodle on and I’ll more to say about it after I digest things for a bit.
I’m beyond irritated with the quality of news we get in the US. It seems their latest thing is trying to scare the crap out of everyone about the “Swine Flu.” This morning I even saw rumblings about the Swine Flu thwarting the economic recovery. If I’m not mistaken, the news agencies are funded by advertising and the amount companies spend on advertising is linked to how well the economy is doing. So … isn’t it best for the news agencies to have a good economy? It seems to me their deliberate drive to scare the crap out of everyone is very short-sighted. Sure panic and sensational headlines may grab eyeballs, but those eyeballs aren’t the ones paying media producers to deliver the news. I’m not saying that the news should only report good things — but what I’m suggesting is perhaps the news should get back into the business of delivering the news instead of opinion and tabloid sensationalism. A balance of good and bad news would be nice. Clearly separating the news from opinion and taking a serious look into what is news worthy and what is not would be nice. Seriously, does 40 confirmed cases of the Swine Flu, which so far has manifested itself as the normal flu, equal a pandemic and the precursor to global financial meltdown? And, seriously, do the media producers wish for global financial meltdown, because that would mean they would go extinct too. So media producers and news people out there, give the news some thought before you start spouting sensational headlines and spinning everyone up with apocalytic prophecies and crazy what-if-a-frog-had-a-glass-ass scenarios. Be responsible in your reporting and most importantly quit “driving” world events into the ground! It’s irritating. So irritating in fact, that I’ve limited my access to news to ~about 1-min/day to make sure the world still exists, while at the same time keeping myself from spiraling into mental depression.
Here’s a link to an interesting article from Ad Age Magazine. The CEO of Time Warner, Jeff Bewkes, want users who access TV content online to prove that they are cable subscribers. Buwhahahaha!!! I guess he sees the writing on the wall as a middle man between customers and content producers. As usual, it’s a fight about how gets the ad and the subscription money — the content producer, the content provider, or the Internet Service Provider. Personally, I see no point for cable to do anything more than provide a content “pipe” into my house. I pay for that pipe just like any other utility and get what I want from it. As for paying specifically for content, I’m a little confused. We currently pay a subscription fee to Tivo and Netflix to watch content when we want to. My husband is currently watching “Jericho” as a video stream from Netflix. It’s convenient for him and he doesn’t have to deal with commercials. But that’s beside the point. I imagine, currently, many people get broadband access through their cable provider, so why add the extra layer of authentication? If a person drops their cable service but keeps broadband … so what? It just means that the cable companies are no longer “double dipping.” In theory, if cable providers only provided the pipe, then they could quit serving up cable tv in general and let the content producers figure out how they want to generate revenue. It seems to me to be a logical simplification.
On the other hand, let’s consider how many people are gonna give up cable in general to watch things on the small screen. Not everyone is tech savvy enough to pipe content from their computers to their big screen tv. I think for the most part, watching via a computer is a singular experience, whereas you watching the big tv in a group. Until the tv and computer become one with a simple interface to access content from the internet, I think Bewkes is barking up the wrong tree because people are gonna view via the both small screen and the large screen. The proper move to make is to develop that technology that joins TV, the PC, and Internet and to charge for that convenience to both the customer and the content provider — “TV Everywhere + Any Content.” With respect to Bittorrent … well, content providers should put out their own Bittorrents and high quality streams of a show in a convenient location and either charge a “reasonable” fee to watch the show or make people watch commercials (or maybe forward the trend of incorporating product placements into the shows). Either way, the only way to beat pirates is to join ’em ;p. I will say this though, as this economy tightens, and money tightens, the urge to kill cable and just go broadband is strong.