I love reading RSS feeds. I try to make time to read them at least one hour a day. My job requires me to stay updated with new development in marketing communication, but mostly I read my feeds because it’s rewarding to read stuff that make me respond, “I didn’t know that” or “I’ve never thought of that”.
I too find joy in sharing the articles that fascinate me using Twitter. Maybe because I’m vain, I want to know if others are also interested in what I share. This is why I track the number of click-through of each link I share via bit.ly.
Few days ago, I learned that an article I shared on a Sunday afternoon gained around 550 click-troughs. Normally Sunday afternoon is a slow time for my tweeted links, but maybe something about the content really captured people’s attention.
This triggered me to trace back all the links I’ve shared that are recorded by bit.ly (unfortunately bit.ly doesn’t track the links I share via Flipboard and Zite). I came up with a list of articles that gained more than 100 click-throughs.
Do inspect the list, and let’s make hypotheses on what kind of topics gain the most attention from people who get exposed to my tweeted-links. From that, what can we tell about those people? Will we be able to generalize the hypotheses to a bigger population?
Why Atheists Should Fight Anti-Muslim Bigotry (104 clicks)
I don’t know which one caught the most attention: the anti-Muslim bigotry or the atheism. I have shared more links about atheism, but most of them never gain more than 50 click-throughs. It’s more likely what pulls more interest is the anti-Muslim bigotry, or the seemingly contradicting topic.
Brain Imaging Captures Female Orgasm in Action (106 clicks)
Sex always captures attention, I suppose (we’ll see more evidence later). I wonder if the topic was about the brain image of a male having an orgasm we would see the same level of click-through. If no, then what makes the topic of female orgasms more interesting? Is it because they are more elusive? Or maybe those who clicked through the link were mostly men, who were rather curious if they finally could decipher when women faked it or not?
Same Sex Marriage (Revisited) (109 clicks)
This article refuted the objections against same-sex marriages clearly and convincingly. Considering that I also tweet as @nickynmita that supports LGBT youth in Indonesia, I believe the readers of this article are those who are actually pro same-sex marriage, and they want to find rational supports from their belief.
Creative Review’s Advertising Picks of The Year, 2011 (109 clicks)
I guess people who don’t work in the advertising industry can be enticed with a classic top-ten or best selection kind of title.
Paul Krugman on Inspiration for a Liberal Economist (110 clicks)
The context mattered a lot: I have no data but anecdotal evidence makes me suspect that the educated urban middle-class Indonesia, “the tweeting class with fleeting social consciousness” I often call them, harbor suspicion to anything called liberalism, liberal economy, and especially “neoliberal”. I’m not at all sure if this article helped dissuade their prejudice against neolib or not.
Top 10 Most Overpaid Actors in Hollywood (110 clicks)
Maybe we like reading about celebrities, and more so if they become the cautionary tale of moral failing. Agree?
You Might Be a Marxist (113 clicks)
Do people silently fear that they could be Marxists? Or do they actually think it’s cool to be one? Or mostly they simply want to know what Marxism is all about? What do you think?
Case study video of an advertising agency proposed a microwave that played music (114 clicks)
What’s more surprising for me is that people in Indonesia actually bothered clicking through this link to a video. Maybe it was something in the link bait –it was about how great agencies came back with better solutions if they started thinking about solving the problem, not just making ads.
Is “Word of Mouth Marketing” Overhyped? (115 clicks)
One of my pet peeves is how old thinking in the broadcast media is forced to fit into the new media. This results in marketers and their mindless agencies keep believing they can easily and unilaterally push their branded content via people they deem as “influentials”. I hope this article can help them see the light and stop wasting money and energy doing social media marketing the wrong way.
‘Secret Ingredient’ In Religion That Makes People Happier (117 clicks)
In case you’re curious, it’s the social connection from the community rather than the belief in the content itself. I guess happiness is an interesting topic, and the word ‘secret’ always amplifies curiosity.
Horoscoped (117 clicks)
I can’t help being intrigued how two major sources of superstitions, religions and astrology, get the same level of interest.
Never Tell a Woman You Love Her! (Unless…) (119 clicks)
I guess the title says it all. It makes a good example on how to write a headline for banner ads.
Go to Work, Mom, the Kids Will Be Fine (123 clicks)
I suspect this tells how working mothers’ guilt and anxiety are still relevant for some who get to see my tweets.
Search by Image (131 clicks)
You’ll see again that tools (in this case, Google Search Image) and tips to do better search are relevant.
Who Runs The World? (133 clicks)
This is an infographic about conspiracy theories. I guess this gives another anecdotal evidence how popular this topic is for certain audience.
Marriage 3.0 (133 clicks)
This is a landing page to a blog in Big Think mega site. The blog writer, Pamela Haag, offers new perspective to see marriages and relationship. I find her perspective more realistic and healthier for today’s world where more women are more educated and wealthier, and when they start to realize romanticism might be over-rated.
“Sticking it Out for the Children:” A Home Design Solution (135 clicks)
This is from the blog mentioned-above. I wonder if the popularity of this article relates to the state of marriage of its readers, i.e. unhappily married but decide not to get divorced for children’s sake.
The Personality of Sperm Donors (136 clicks)
I really can’t tell who mostly read this: those who are interested to be donors or recipients?
“What is the best way to stop your child becoming an athiest?” (137 clicks)
Again, another example of when I really don’t know whether most of readers get disappointed or amused after reading this article? In case you ask me, I find it really funny.
Unwanted Penis Tattooed on Man’s Back (138 clicks)
Enough said. Next.
The Boner Curve: New Study Links Penis Size to Economic Growth (138 clicks)
Oh, the persistent appearance of penis-related topic in the list of intriguing articles. But one a more serious note, this is a good article reminding us not to confuse correlation with causation.
When I Came Out… (145 clicks)
This is landing page of a Tumblr of stories when people came out. I’m glad people are interested. I seriously think we need to have an Indonesia version of this.
Does Internet Piracy Really Hurt the Economy? (145 clicks)
The link was shared during the heyday of SOPA. Another example of the importance of context.
Is Marcus Bachmann gay? Dan Savage and Jon Stewart Think Gaydar Answers The Question. They’re Wrong. (150 clicks)
Even without data, I’m almost sure most readers of this article are LGBT people who like to debate whether gaydar exists or not.
Agency Client Speak Translated (151 clicks)
I can’t imagine how this article will interest people who don’t work in advertising agencies. And I’m sure they read it as catharsis.
Twitterature: The World Greatest Books in Twenty Tweets or Less (165 clicks)
I never understand why Indonesians (I don’t know about other people in different countries) embrace lectures-via-tweets so much. Are we Indonesians too reluctant to read blog posts? Is it because they love being spoon-fed, too busy, or they think our bad Internet access will not allow it? Anyway, I was being sarcastic when I shared this link. Lo and behold, many were probably enthusiastic instead of enraged by what the book offers.
Condom Campaign Highlights Dizzying Costs of Having a Kid (172 clicks)
One hypothesis: the article shows clever strategy and good creativity. Another hypothesis: condom is probably a proxy for penis. See above.
What Are We Voting For? (175 clicks)
The link was shared, I believe, during the general election time in Indonesia. The article discusses how ‘irrational’ and swayable voting behavior is.
How to Use Google Search More Effectively (200 clicks)
See the article on Google Image Search. Tips about tools most people use frequently are appreciated.
Your Followers Are No Measure of Your Influence (232 clicks)
This is similar with the article on word of mouth, i.e. the prevalent and persistent misperceptions in marketing communication, especially social media.
System Thinking: Lessons From The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook by Senge, Kleiker, Roberts, Ross and Smith (248 clicks)
This is the only presentation slide that makes to the list. My guess is that the topic of system thinking is interesting for many sets of people, especially those who don’t usually get exposed with my tweets.
HIV and AIDS Information Pack, 2011 (257 clicks)
The PDF was shared when the Indonesian Twitter universe was busy discussing the case of possible discrimination threat of a daughter of someone seropositive. I hope the article somehow contributed to minimize misunderstanding and prejudice about HIV and AIDS.
Marissa Haque: Addie MS Diduga Bermental Bully (dari Hasil Investigasi Masa Lalunya di SMAN3) (251 clicks)
I’m sorry, my non Indonesian-speaking readers, but I can’t translate this into English and still make sense to you. In short, for many Indonesian people on Twitter, the public display of the manic meltdown of this local, has-been celebrity is just too legit to quit.
The Password Conundrum (297 clicks)
I will classify this as “useful tips or info about using Internet more smartly” category.
Five Signs You’re a Bad Boss (333 clicks)
Are many managers wary that they might be bad bosses? Or most of the readers are people who want to check if their loathsome bosses are certified evil? I’m leaning more to the second explanation.
What Our Words Say (350 clicks)
I suspect this article gets shared a lot amongst passionate bloggers.
How Twitter Makes You A Better Writer (430 clicks)
Another example of the popularity of writing tips. I’m not surprised if these two articles are shared and read by the same group of people.
15 Strat Tips For Crafting the Coolest and Most Impressive Twitter Bio (491 clicks)
Despite its seemingly serious and bombastic title, this article is really hilarious and I guess that’s the reason it’s popular.
Twenty-Six Years Later, What Happened to the “Marriage Crunch” Generation of Women? (550 clicks)
This is the article I talked about in the beginning of this post. I suspect most of the readers and the spreaders are women. It suggests that getting married in time still preoccupies many middle-class, educated Indonesian women.
A World of Tweets (921 clicks)
This is an interactive real-time map of Twitter activity in a country. I guess many Indonesians were fascinated to see how the country dominated the Twitter universe, especially during desperate traffic jam in Jakarta.
So there you go. Do have your own explanations why certain topics are so popular? Do you have other questions? Please tell me what’s on your mind. If you post it in this blog, I promise I’ll tweet the link.