My latest obsession: comparing the numbers of comments to the numbers of “likes”

Okay, I’ll admit it: there are better ways to spend my time. But for some reason, I have recently become obsessed with the following question:

Why do some articles get many “likes,” but few comments, and some articles get many comments, but few “likes?”

Until recently, I never paid attention to the social network shares on my articles. I paid attention to the comments so I could monitor and respond to them, but I didn’t watch how many people “liked” my article, tweeted about it, or whatever. I guess something happened when I finally joined FB myself.

First, I found myself comparing the rates of “likes” vs. comments on my Tablet articles, then I noticed the same discrepancies on other people’s articles.

I get that it’s easier to “like” than to write a whole comment. I do. Also, “likes” get shared with other people readers think will enjoy or appreciate the article. And that explains why some articles (the most recent one I wrote, for example) have a “likes” to comment ratio that far favors the “likes.”

Do more comments than “likes” signal dislike?


What I don’t get are the stories that move in the opposite direction (including one of my other articles). What makes someone comment, but not “like”? Because they’re mad at me? Because something I said incensed them? Is that it?

Do you have any insight on this issue (as a reader, writer, marketer, or publisher)? Please share it in the comments below.

10 Great 2014 Anniversaries to Write About in the Months Ahead

Following up on a suggestion (I wish I could remember who passed along this hint!), I was scoping out historically significant anniversaries occurring in 2014 as potential topics for my writing.

skyline with arch st. louis

St. Louis, Missouri – 250 years and counting!

In theory, choosing a topic that’s–well, topical–can be a marketing advantage. Unfortunately, none of the anniversaries I’ve found has inspired me so far, but I thought they would be worth sharing because maybe one of them will inspire you.  Continue reading

Abandoned but not forgotten: My startling discovery about the websites of my past

surprised man

“No, really?”

This past weekend, I visited a couple of websites/blogs that I designed in the past but that I had stopped maintaining because they simply zapped too much of my time. One is about running “mommy camp” for your family over the summer, the other is about finding cheap, “kosher” fun around Southern California for families and date nights. I was curious to know how they are doing, because ever since the local day schools went on Chanukah vacation last week, I’d been receiving emails and phone calls for activity recommendations. I wondered how many people had headed to my website instead of to the phone.

Lo and behold! The sites are actually doing quite well. Continue reading

Jewish magazines still jockeying for market share

Hamodia front page.jpgYated Neeman
In the last few years, English-language Orthodox (charedi) periodicals have proliferated. (A little disclosure is appropriate here–I’ve written for both Aim! and Mishpacha Junior, am a long-time subscriber to HaModia.) Interestingly, as new publications show up, the older ones change formats (sometimes repeatedly) in order to improve their market share.
For example: HaModia came out with an online edition and now so has the Yated (honestly, I don’t know which happened first, but I heard about HaModia’s first). HaModia came out with a unique format for the kids’ mag that competes more with Weekly Reader than with any other charedi publication and sets it apart. Supplements targeted towards kosher “foodies” are in vogue almost across the board. Most recently, I noticed that Binah Bunch is now divided in two–one half “Clubhouse” (which seems designed to compete with Mishpacha Junior) and one half a tween magazine (more similar to Aim!).
Watching these “renovations” is sometimes entertaining (trying to guess the reasons behind different editorial decisions, for example), but it’s also a little depressing because these magazines HAVE to compete in order to make money. I enjoy all of them, but I can’t afford to purchase all of them on a regular basis. Neither can the average Jewish consumer, so these magazines and newspapers have to compete for our subscriptions.
It also has implications for us writers. If there’s more variety out there, there are more niches writers can develop for their writing…which is fabulous. But if everyone just tries to do the same thing, just better, (how many food magazines do we really need?) writers get locked in. I’ve seen a little of both in these format changes.
On a happier note, I think the competition has forced all the magazines to strive for a level of excellence that I don’t think has been reached before. Not only are there more magazines, but they are better than ever, I think.