I launched this site a little over four months ago. I needed a place to share what I’ve been learning about increasing the world’s collaborative literacy and to be more intentional about storytelling.
Since launching in December, over 2,300 of you have visited. Almost 1,400 of you keep coming back. About 30 of you have commented on my blog, a third of whom I didn’t know before you posted here. Many more of you have shared my content across multiple social media channels.
Over 100 of you have subscribed to my newsletter. Half of you actually open it (triple the industry average), and a third of you who open it click on a link (double the industry average).
Based on these numbers and some hand-wavy calculations, I’d say that I have an “active” audience of about 100 people — people who are engaging with this site and this work on a regular basis.
What has this meant in practice?
- Deeper engagement with people I already know. First and foremost, I hear from colleagues a lot more frequently, which in and of itself is gratifying. Moreover, surface-level understanding has evolved into deeper understanding, which is resulting in real impacts in the work. I’m particularly delighted by the number of people who tell me that they’re using one of my toolkits, or that something I wrote helped them with a challenge they were facing.
- New, interesting colleagues who are expanding my perspective. I love discovering new people and new work! It’s a constant reminder of how many people in the world care about this stuff and are consciously trying to improve.
- Better quality work. More, real engagement means that the work itself improves. All of my toolkits have gotten better, because more people are using them in real-life situations and are sharing with me what they’re learning. Frankly, simply the act of “forced” reflection is helping me get better at what I do.
- “Reusable” knowledge nuggets. I’ve been saying a lot of the things I write about in some form or another for many years. Actually writing them down means I can repeat them more easily and that others discover them on their own. The best example of this is my post on networks and power. This has long been foundational thinking for me, and it’s become my most frequently read article, which makes me very happy.
- Seeding a community of practice. I’ve loved drawing attention to colleagues like Rebecca Petzel and Joe Hsueh, but I love it even more when people start discovering each other serendipitously. That’s when the magic starts to happen.
When you start a website, you naturally think about potential reach. There are almost 2.5 billion people on the Internet today, and they’re all just a click away!
Sure, I’d like to reach a lot of people, but I’m actually a bit overwhelmed just thinking about 100.
A thought exercise I often use with people interested in networks or distributed collaboration is to imagine that magically transporting your group to the same physical location. What would you hope might happen?
I’ve been going through this exercise in my head, visualizing 100 people crowded into my tiny office on a weekly basis (I would definitely need to get a bigger space), thinking about what’s already happened and what might be possible. My first instinct is to try to understand this group better. I want to know:
- Who are you?
- What do you care about?
- What brought you here?
- What are you learning?
- Now that you’ve found yourself in a (very crowded) room with 99 other people with similar interests, what would you like to see happen?
I’m looking forward to trying to get some of these answers, to tap into the wonderful potential of these 100 people. You can help by answering these questions in the comments below. Or, if you prefer, drop me an email. Don’t be shy; we all want to hear from you!