Spike

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Until today, the highest number of visitors to this blog in a single day was a round 100. Any new blog by a non-celebrity starts small of course, and we have seen steady growth, from around 200 visits in the first month to 450 in August, and around 1,500 last month.

Today, the post below about the latest Steve Jobs rumours was featured for a short time on the WordPress.com front page as a “hawt post” – another sign that hysteria surrounding Jobs/Apple is unlikely to die down any time soon. The wider exposure has created a spike in visitor numbers and a new daily record of 386 visitors to WeStudyMedia. Never let it be said that I allow a “teachable moment” to pass us by.

The world of blogging is dominated by a relatively small number of “major league” bloggers. If you can manage to get a link to your blog from one of these, your blog will grow and grow. Otherwise, there are certain hot topics you could post about that may garner interest. How do you let people know that you’re posting about hot topics? You use categories or tags, which allow sites like WordPress and Technorati to pick up on your musings and – however temporarily – put them in a place of prominence.

What are the hot topics? Politics is a strong one – if you can take the flack from those who disagree with you (and they will), and if you’re willing to put up with a high level of, er, controversy in your comments. Technology, unsurprisingly, is another hot topic, though what’s hot in technology changes with the season, so you have to be pretty up to date with the latest shows and product announcements. Away from hard news topics, you could always blog about the footie, or review films, or post funny pictures – though you’d be hard pressed to become as popular as LOLcats and the FAIL blog.

For a media student, visiting the front pages of WordPress and Technorati is a good way of sampling the Zeitgeist – and it’s a useful exercise to compare the headlines in the newspapers (and on their web sites) with the buzz in the blogosphere.

The steady trickle of visitors to this blog generally arrives either through a link from somewhere else, or via a search. I doubt we’ll see a spiky day like today again. The image at the top of this post shows a couple of typical days and the topics that people search for.

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