Another Blogging Research Survey; Following The Hashtag

Yesterday I wrote a post basically asking myself if I was using Twitter wrong. My thought was that I really wasn’t using it in a proper business way, and thus could be impeding my progress in getting more clients and business through there.

Emotional Chaos by Byron May

In particular, I decided that maybe something I should be doing was following the hashtag for “blogging” so I could see what people might be saying. It didn’t start off as a survey or research in any way, but I was kind of amazed at what I found, what happened and didn’t happen, and other types of stuff, and I figured that since I always say that if people paid attention to what’s going on around them that they’d always have blog posts, and I do, that it would be intriguing to share some of what I came across. If not, well, at least it’s a post. lol By the way, the stats aren’t absolutes, but pretty close to what I came across.

To start off with, I tracked the blogging hashtag over a 12-hour period. That’s a long time, and one would have thought there would be tons of blogs to see. There were a lot of blogs, but it seems that most of them were retweets of those blogs using that hashtag. Probably half of all the links I saw were retweets. And at least 35% of those were retweets for big name bloggers such as Darren Rowse or sites like Copyblogger. And one more amazing thing was that on Problogger, none of the posts that were retweeted were written by him; all were guest posts. Of course Copyblogger has multiple writers, so that makes sense.

Next, about 30 to 35% of the blogs that were being shown were Disqus, Intense Debate, or some other style of blog that required one sign in or create an account. As most of y’all know I don’t do Disqus blogs, so I didn’t even read any of those. Yeah, I know, I might have missed something good, but if I’m not commenting I’m not really sharing either; after all, that was a part of the adventures, commenting then sharing the post, which we talked about a few days ago.

Speaking of which, something else that was interesting is that around 80% of the blogs that were shown and then retweeted didn’t have a single comment on them, and the rest that did didn’t have a single comment from any of the people who had retweeted it; well, only one did, and of course it was our friend Pat who’d beaten me there. Isn’t that kind of bizarre overall though?

On the day I found 9 blogs that I felt I could comment on and then retweet. Out of those 9 blogs 5 of them moderated my comment; y’all know how I feel about moderated comments as well. I didn’t get a single response from any of the blogs I commented on… well, not totally true. From one blog I did eventually get an automated response thanking me for leaving a comment and saying that it would be reviewed and addressed later on. Frankly, I’m thinking that’s not friendly enough for me, so y’all know I won’t be subscribing or going back any time soon.

Finally, obviously I read some good stuff, and some stuff that bothered me slightly but it was still good. I wouldn’t have retweeted anything I absolutely hated. I did retweet a couple of things I just couldn’t leave a comment on because they left me with nothing I could add to the conversation, and I mentioned that in the retweet. There are some pretty talented people out there that we don’t know about, and it’s too bad. But we’re not all meant to agree with everything we see and everything we comment on; we’re meant to add to the discussion if possible.

In the end I’ve decided that’s not a great hashtag to follow. There was more blather there than anything else. I really wonder if those folks are reading any of what they’re sharing or not. At least I did some reading and some sharing, and if nothing else happens I think there will be a few more people who will at least know my face and name because of my commenting on their blogs.

Sometimes, that’s the best you’ve got coming to you.

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18 thoughts on “Another Blogging Research Survey; Following The Hashtag”

  1. I love twitter, not for any business possibilities it may have but rather for the fact that it takes so little time away from me. But then I don’t bother with hashtag following or anything else that’s time consuming.

    If I find a post I like I will always leave a comment, unless it’s using Disqus or Intense debate because like you I dislike those. If it’s a good post and I left a pretty good comment I will also give it a tweet so as to promote the post itself and in the hope that my comment will also get some exposure.

    1. Sire, you’ve been MIA! lol This was more of an experiment than anything else in the end, as I was curious how people might use this particular hashtag for their purposes. I was also wondering if it was a way to possibly conduct business; I’d have to say for this purpose no.

  2. Personally, I think that twitter is a good tool if you use it in a business perspective. If you do more then this, it became a real time consuming problem !

  3. Great analogy Mitch. Nowadays, there are so many hashtags being used in terms of chatting about blogging via twitter. Maybe, some other blogging hashtags offers more good blogs and conversation as well. My self is following #BlogChat from time to time and I find it interesting as well although, as expected, that hashtag is also dominated by problogger and copyblogger.

    1. It’s a strange thing that those sites are so dominant Ron, especially because they both have so many other writers. Maybe that’s one of the tricks to consider; not gonna do it, though. lol

  4. Many times when I click on “tagged” words in my tweets, I see that people abuse the system: they add popular words (or names) just to be found for those words. But what they’re tweeting about is usually not relevant to the words…

    1. Sonny, there is something oddly “wrong” about how some folks use hashtags. I hadn’t really paid attention before, only using them for the couple of chats I participate in and when something big is happening in the world. Yeah, I’d have to agree in a fashion with the term “abuse”.

  5. I don’t do Disqus or Blogger blogs that don’t have the Name/URL option available. I often wonder if those blogs are aware they are alienating half their audience. It’s sad because I often see a great blog with no comments and I really want to leave one…but I can’t. I have seen hashtags that really work well in some industries and nothing good in others. I think it depends on the group and how much they understand how to use them.

    1. Melinda, I’ve talked to a few people that use those things, and oddly enough few ever say that they prefer it to other systems. What I often get is “some of the big time internet marketers use it”. What the heck is that? Then again, I also think that if someone has no clue how irritating a system is that they pretty much get what they get. Sire’s survey showed that half the people hate those systems, while half of the others said it wouldn’t stop them from commenting but that they don’t comment often on them. For me, that’d be enough loss to never use it.

      As to the hashtags, I’ve seen people pop in the goofiest stuff, using hashtags as an afterthought, knowing that no one is following them. Frankly, it takes away space from me to say what I want to say so I don’t use them at all and often remove one if it’s in something I’m commenting on. Learned that lesson quickly during the 2008 presidential elections. lol

  6. Same as you, I don’t like discuss plugin, I do retweets rarely. Also Technorati and the new search engime Blekko have not help much to me, however publishing topics on Facebook or MySpace usually leads for much better effect for me and increase traffic.

    1. I’m wondering if sites like Technorati are on their way out. I got email yesterday from the people buying Delicious saying I have to change things over if I want to keep my account, and I think I’m going to let it go entirely.

      1. This may be a scamming email. Nothing official in the press yet. The same situation like paid Facebook which will never happen.

      2. You might be right. I know that Delicious might be being sold, and I’ve seen this written on some blogs, but it hasn’t made any real news yet, though I have to admit I haven’t gone out of my way looking for it either.

  7. I have been following the #blogging hashtag like you for a while from Hootsuite, even though my main issue is about time. It really is time-consuming to follow a hashtag closely, and like you I wasn’t too thrilled by the results. Much better to follow the classic #socialmedia tag, that bears better results even if it’s possibly even more intensive.

    1. I might give that a try, Gabriele. At the very least it might give me something else to write about. 🙂

  8. Mitch,

    The only time I use the hashtag is on Twitter Tuesday when the members of Boomer Diva Nation go out and re-tweet for each other. Since we’re not all there at the same time, having the hastag allows us to go in and see what’s been tweeted so we can re-tweet for them.

    I may, in fact, go in and use it just to see what kind of response I get for my own blogs. You’ve piqued my curiosity.

  9. Mitch,

    You’re so right about everything you said. Most of those blogs being shared in twitter are not really being read at all. I don’t know if it’s just for the sake of getting more traffic.

    And somehow I don’t like signing in to blogs before I comment on them.

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