As I continue to write for The Fosbury Flop and engage in more and more digital conversations on Twitter, I’m beginning to identify some distinct patterns. Nothing revolutionary, but until now, I missed this one. People online, as they do in all other settings, tend to rally around themes of mass popularity and generate buzz. I’m actually embarrassed that I just wrote that last sentence.
Some blog posts are well-researched, smartly-written and timely, but they fail to catch fire and suffer a lonely existence among the ranks of the unread. Yet other posts and tweets, regardless of their quality, whirl into a global storm of popular interest. Again, this is not a novel revelation. In the democratic society of the Internet, the masses rule and zeitgeist is the constitution.
Now that I’ve worn out the obvious, let me give you my plan for future contributed content. I plan to be more strategic with my topics and use science to light the path. Our friends at Google continue to innovate the way we compute – and even the way we think. (In fact, I would be willing to wager that Google already knows that I’m writing this post now. I’m even convinced that their software engineers in Mountain View can code algorithms that predict what I will want to eat for dinner on August 26, 2014.)
From now on, I’m going to harvest my blog topics from what’s hot with the masses. Using Google’s popular thermometer, Google Trends, I will endeavor to write what the people want to read. This research will keep me both relevant and timely. Google Trends collates the most popular searches on search engine at any given time. More importantly, the service plots the rise and fall of search habits, allowing me to make a reasonable prediction for what will become top-of-mind for net surfers.
All kidding aside, coordinating contributed content with what people want to read just makes sense. It’s exactly what happens each and every day in newsrooms throughout the globe, so there’s no reason why those of us who blog shouldn’t do the same. Uniting quality content with popular opinion is a recipe for more strategic SEO, greater readership and broader engagement.
So this will be my last topic for the foreseeable future that will swim outside the mainstream.