Product & Startup Builder

Techcrunch subscriber stats - This post can wait until Wednesday

Added on by Chris Saad.
We have all seen this post 'A peek inside Techcrunch's 100k' which shows Michael Arrington's meteoric rise from fledgling blog to blogging superstar.

It's old news.

But something struck me as I was looking at our own subscriber history today. We have the same up and down pattern every week that Techcrunch does. And we are nowhere near as cool as them.

The reason is obvious. Most people turn off their work PCs during the weekend causing the subscriber count to drop and most people turn on their feed reader on Wednesday - literally hump day for feed subscribers - when they are bored and feel like catching up.

So what does that mean? It means that feed reading is (at least for a noticeably large group of people) a 'sometimes' activity. It's an activity that we dedicate time to. It's like we go off to read a newspaper - we dedicate a block of time to 'reading the news'. And there are times when we stop reading the news and turn off the PC or the feed reader - or at the very least minimize it away and stop paying attention.

So what about those other times when something happens that we need to know. An event in a new fangled web-based app...

  • You have a reminder from Google Calendar - wake up!
  • Come and pick up that file in that workspace your working on in sharepoint
  • You have a friend request from MySpace
  • Your industry just had a major shakeup
  • Your employer just filed for bankruptcy
  • Your competitor just changed the game on you
  • A customer just said something negative about your company
  • Your daughter just posted a picture of her new child on Flickr.

These are important "right now" events.

We need a feed reader that can stay 'on' without being 'in the way'. Reading feeds does not need to be like reading a newspaper - it can be a filtered and managed experience so you can stay informed while you're being productive.

That's the dream of Touchstone.