August 17, 2007

Seth Godin, Blogging Trend

Click on the image to enlarge it.

There's an awful lot of chatter these days about the evolution of the "conversation".

Some say the conversation is changing. Some say it is moving to other platforms. Some have gone on sabbatical after becoming grumpy. Some wrote the book on executive and corporate blogging, only to make a mistake implementing the process. Others quit after receiving threats.

Among the popular bloggers, it seems like something is up. So why not analyze the esteemed Seth Godin's blog? He's been posting content since January 2002.

The attached image illustrates the number of monthly posts he's written. Look at the orange line, fitted from the data (with an r-squared statistic of 80% for those of you who like to know that stuff).

The orange line peaks at month #52, which represents April 2006. On average, since April 2006, Mr. Godin posts less and less often. Some months go up, most go down. Since April 2006, he's eliminated one post every other day, fifteen per month, from his steady diet of expertise.

Among the trendsetters, behavior may be changing. And yet, ninety percent of my family knows little about blogging, and nothing of Twitter or Facebook. We're at an interesting crossroads --- the leaders are evolving their individual behavior, the masses are trying to understand how to make sense of everything, while large numbers of folks are not even aware of blogs or RSS or Facebook or Twitter or MySpace or LinkedIn, and many others don't even have the financial means to own a computer.

More interesting than these trends, however, is an analysis of the content Mr. Godin wrote about. Go read what he wrote back in 2002 and 2003. In many ways, the world changed a lot in five years. In many other ways, everything is exactly the same.

My favorite post came from September 2002: "A blog I like a lot is called 'sherpablog'. Anne Holland is the sherpa. She's awfully smart"!


  1. Kevin, there's no doubt in the world that they had you in mind when they invented the term "rocket scientist". I'm pretty impressed.

    The causation here, though, is this: I got a bunch of mail about a year ago that said, "blog less, it makes us feel badly that we can't keep up." So I disciplined myself to do one a day. Sometimes I fail (like this week), but that's the goal. It's intentional.

    And is my blog about Anne really your favorite?

  2. Ah, that explains the change in posts.

    Honestly, that was my favorite post. It was written with such simplicity. And here we are, five years later, and Anne has created something amazing.

    I also enjoyed the post with the four young ladies, interns wearing black suits. Good message.

  3. Found you through JaffeJuice Kevin. You had me hooked when you noted that things like blogs-- let alone Twitter and RSS-- were alien to most Americans.

    I will definitely read on.


  4. You are who you hang around with, Toad. And a lot of the blogging world hangs around with like-minded folks who participate in the "conversation". So it seems like everybody is doing something, when in reality, it's not entirely true.

  5. Anonymous1:23 AM

    Just because I am one of the folks that cares about the rsquared, could you walk through how you fit an equation to a distribution like that? That's one form of linearizable relationships that must have been in one of the more advanced stats classes.

  6. Pretty simple ... go out to, and do a search for Curve Expert.

    It is a free software tool that allows the user to fit a myriad of relationships to simple "x/y" data.


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