The Robert Pattinson effect

An interesting thing happened on the way to building readership of our school library blog.

One of our staff wrote a post about Robert Pattinson. (You know him, he plays Edward in this film that’s done pretty well at the box office of late. Twilight, that’s the one. If you work in a library you’d know all about it. It’s the series of books by Stephanie Meyer that haven’t sat on the shelves in months; they’ve been from one schoolbag to the next  and are lucky to be still in one piece after the countless times their pages have been thumbed.) 

And our stats went through the roof.

We now have this cluster map showing big red dots from all over the world and blog stats showing 4,524  hits.  The biggest day registered 357 hits on the blog, and we’ve been averaging 230 hits or so a day since it was posted. Already today the 2rak info 4 u blog has had 50 hits while I’ve registered a paltry nine!

So, what does it mean. Not a lot in terms of the meaningful readership of our blog that we are aiming for. We are trying to have our school community access the blog and use it to learn about events we are promoting and new ideas they may find helpful. I’d say maybe 800 or so (quite possibly less) of the 4,254  hits we’ve had are from our school community. We’ve still got a lot of work to do in shifting the mindset of our staff and students in terms of having them access this resource as a natural course of action. We, too, need to try very hard to get posts up; invariably we get caught up in the reactive nature of school library operations and find time is against us. At this early stage we still have to send out emails alerting staff to posts we’ve written.

What does it mean? It means that Robert Pattinson is very hot property and can probably pretty much name his price for his appearance in the next movie I’d expect.  

It also means I’m about to conduct my own market research into the effect of writing a post about a popular movie icon and what this does to your blog stats. I’m well aware that this may cause inflated stats that do not reflect the quality of posts appearing on this blog that deserve readership. It will reflect the number of (predominantly) teenage girls who are accessing the web to find information about the much desired Robert.

It’s going to be interesting. Keep an eye on those stats.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “The Robert Pattinson effect

  1. hi there,
    Interesting observation. I had a similar thing happen (on a much smaller scale) when I posted about a book titled “The Wild Girls”, which is an innocent coming-of-age novel.
    Tweet ya later!

    • jennylu

      It is an interesting phenonemon isn’t it? I am very interested in monitoring what may happen to stats over the next few days.

  2. Interesting. I’ve also noticed that I sometimes get an unusually high number of hits for a blog post which is about a popular topic, many more than I get for a more thoughtful post. I’m interested to find out what your stats will be, Jenny.

  3. Okay,
    I have just shamelessly posted about Twilight on my lonely blog.
    Let’s see what happens.

  4. Mark

    When yougoogle image search “bully” my blog is the 2nd thing that shows up. For a while, I was also the 4th thing for a google image search of “hummingbird.” so my new posts were getting their usual 30-40 hits, but I am still on average getting around 100 more than that on any given day. In other words….I totally see your point, both in the efficacy, and the weirdness of this.

    • jennylu

      It makes me wonder how many people are using posts like this to boost their hits and raise their profile. I suppose most teachers who are blogging are purists in a sense; we write because we care about what we are doing and have a desire to share knowledge. If hits come so be it, but the important part is the transfer of knowledge and building readership based on respect for your work. That’s not to say that I don’t think about the title I give to posts and tags, hoping that they will pull in some readers who have an interest in those topics. I don’t pull in huge numbers every day on this blog; sometimes I’ll have a run of 100+ days, but other days I’ll be lucky to get 30 or 40 hits. Blogging is definitely an interesting science; if i were in it for the money I think I’d know a little bit more now about how you market yourself.

  5. Pingback: Robert Pattinson = no effect! Not here anyway. « Lucacept – intercepting the Web

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