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My Drama Failure

Note: This blog talks about drama, but does not intend to create any. It is just a reflection on why my previous drama article (the only one) did not work as expected.

Ok—so, as you can see in the previous article, the experiment did not work. I barely topped my top content-oriented article (x1.1), and I over-estimated my reach by a factor of ten. This is a big miss. So either the assumption or the variables were not correct. I am still convinced about the power of entertainment for content, but I think I did not correctly assess and optimize the reach of my drama-oriented content.

I think I had a good point, but did not package it well. Here are the points I think I got wrong:

1) Too Late:

By the time I posted my article, the original event was already old (4 days old). While people gravitate more around drama-oriented content, they also have a shorter attention span. For example, an article today about Susan Boyle won’t do nearly as well as when she was in her highest (or lowest) days. In other words, drama has to be fresh, langouste fresh.

2) No Echo Chambers:

When popular bloggers start a drama thread they usually attack and respond to each other, which creates a huge echo chamber and multiplies the audience. Targeting a too-big fish significantly reduces the probability of being echoed, as fish like to swim in schools. It is very hard for a small fish to be accepted by the big fish (even though all fish were small at some point).

3) Too Long:

The post was probably too long. I should have either removed the content part or the experiment part. From a content point of view, I wanted to have all of them, and even wanted to add this post as a fourth act (The Result). However, from an effect standpoint, the more concise, the better.

4) Too Honest:

While the disclosure part was definitely good (and necessary from my standpoint), the experiment section was perhaps over the top. People do not like to be guinea pigs (neither do I). I thought it was a funny experiment, and I really appreciate people sending the tweets, as I think they were raising the right questions; however, it probably turned many people off. In a way, if you want to start a true drama story, it is better to accept some hypocrisy in your argument; otherwise, you are tempering the emotional effect of your post. While you will probably be spotted from time to time, the main audience will probably get emotionally involved with your argument anyway and will carry the torch (by commenting, trashing, tweeting, sharing, [micro]-blogging, etc.).

5) No Sixth Sense:

Interestingly enough, shortly after I posted the article, a reader commented on HN that I “did not have the drama sixth sense I was talking about.” At first, I was pretty surprised at this statement since I thought I did well. After a few hours, I realized he was right. I just do not have it. So the best I can do is to try to analyze what I do not have.

 

For better or for worse, outside of the length (#3) there are not many things I can improve on to be a good drama-tech-blogger. Honesty (#4)  is part of my core values, and I would not trade it for anything (I have already lost a few opportunities on this, so I am getting used to it). I need to be spelled-checked, which makes producing daily-fresh content difficult (#1). It’s always hard to change your DNA, so it might be too late for me to get the drama “sixth sense” (#5).

The echo chamber (#2) might happen over time; however, statements such as “big fish like to swim in schools,”  “It is very hard for a small fish to be accepted by the big fish,” and “big guys will probably not support a small-guy argument,” are not making it any easier to get accepted by the big guys. So I will either have to change my tone or find other ways to swim with the big fish.

Finally, the not so surprising conclusion for me is that I am bad at drama-blogging; and while I am glad of having tried it at least once, I am actually proud to be a content-centric blogger.

If you liked this article +1 on HN is greatly appreciated.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Jeremy Chone

Jeremy Chone is chief technology officer (CTO) and vice president of development and operations at iJuris, an innovative startup offering a rich Web application for lawyer collaboration and document assembly. In his role as CTO and vice president of development and operations, Jeremy is responsible for overseeing the company’s strategic direction for the iJuris service and technology as well as managing the service architecture, development, and operations.

Chone has more than 10 years of technical and business experience in major software companies such as Netscape, Oracle and Adobe where he has successfully aligned technology visions with business opportunities that deliver tangible results. In addition to a combination of technical and business acumen, Jeremy also possesses an in-depth knowledge of Rich Internet Application technologies, as well as holding many patents in the mobile and enterprise collaboration areas.

See Jeremy Chone's full biography

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