You’ll have to forgive me today, I’m not running on all six cylinders. I’d have to say the one thing I’ve found most fascinating about this whole Mob thing is how the word got disseminated. I sent the link to only two sites: BoingBoing.net and SmartMobs.com. Both linked it the same day, and I immediately began seeing the number of hits to this site rise.
What fascinated me even more was the amount of influence (or whuffie, if you prefer) that these sites – BoingBoing in particular – had on the Web. Thanks to dozens of RSS feeds and the re-blogging of Cory Doctorow’s link from BoingBoing, the news of this spread to tons of sites, getting eyeshare from thousands of people, many of whom clicked through to check things out. I had hoped that a lot of people would find this interesting and want to join up, but the reality far surpassed my expectations. It’s amazing to see how two simple links propagated outward in such a complex way.
I’d have to say the biggest factor was definitely BoingBoing’s RSS feed. I’ve long known that RSS feeds were a great way to help spread one’s content around the web, but I never really understood their power or potential until now. If you have syndicated a respected site that has good content that a lot of people want to pick up, your audience seems to grow exponentially, as does your influence. I’m a bit shocked to see that some of the bigger news agencies out there still haven’t picked up on this. I know that content partners pay a pretty fair sum to co-brand CNN news on their sites, but imagine how much more traffic CNN could get if they set up a simple, free RSS feed for anyone to grab. They could even pepper it with text ads if they felt a need to make it part of their business model (provided they placed some kind of “advertisement” disclaimer on it). Let’s see: increased traffic + increased advertiser exposure – messy cobranding agreements = smart business move in my book. There’s definitely an untapped market here.