In the last week, I've done two posts linked to Wall Street Journal articles that have attracted plenty of hits. I also did one that I thought was a sure-fire hit, but never went anywhere. I still don't quite understand how they link to blogs. The Washington Post links to you on the article's page no matter what. If there are more than five, then they rotate through the blogs linking to their article. For the WSJ, it looks like they only list linking blogs if that story is in their top ten most blogged about stories.
Like I said, it's confusing.
WSJ readers bring their wallets. In the two posts that got the big hits, my AdSense click-through rate rose by a factor of 10. In contrast, my cat and World of Good posts get lots of hits, but have click-through rates near zero.
I just stopped by and checked out the Carnival of the Capitalists and Carnival of Personal Finance and found that the number of people posting had doubled since the last time I looked. That's the definition of the long tail. Lots and lots of content providers.
I also found something called the Carnival of The Law of Attraction. As near as I can tell, The Law of Attraction is a total fraud designed to separate money from suckers. Essentially, it says that certain people have luck because they attract it. Actually, certain people have luck because, statistically, in a nation of 300 million, you're going to find people where the breaks all go their way in life. There's a huge, undeniable correlation of good things happening to people who get and stay married, save money, acquire desired skills and stay sober. Not much luck there.
In rooting around through those finance carnivals, I came up with another reasons I don't like Google as a stock. There is almost no barrier to exit for their customers. There's no lack for competitors as web hosts or search engines. By contrast, there are no competitors for Northrop Grumman's aircraft carrier construction business.
Let's see the folks at Mountain View bend compound curves in 3' thick plate steel. Or anyone but Northrop Grumman, for that matter.
Last in my list of totally disconnected topics, I have to say that I have avoided using Technorati, del.ici.ous and digg in my posts because I hate the way they make them look. I used Technorati for a while and found that it added nearly nothing to my hit count. I'm too far down the long tail to get any hits from viral marketing. I may reconsider that, but as I write this I realize that the start of this blog post shows me why it's not worth it.
What I want are certain visitors, like my friends in the blogosphere and folks coming over from the WSJ, not totally random ones. If I'm going to go for a completely random readership, I might as well subscribe to the theory underlying The Law of Attraction and hope for some magical hit from a big time blogger who falls in love with The Scratching Post and then links to me frequently, like Instapundit does with Ann Althouse.
There's a blog post somewhere in all of that.