What Good Are “Vendor Blogs” Anyway?

Curt Monash is a prolific writer and analyst who maintains several blogs and routinely contributes to online publications. I try to keep up on his writings at DBMS2 as there is plenty of interesting DW/BI-related content there.

In a recent post in Text Technologies Blog, Curt was making some points about what effect social media might have on the future of the “information ecosystem.”  When referring to “Vendor Blogs”, Curt had the following to say:

Presenters of news. Vendors with stories to tell will take increasing responsibility for telling them deeply and well. Their economic motivation is obvious. And sometimes it goes beyond money. One of the most effective vendor blogs is surely Kevin Closson’s, and I know from talking with Kevin’s boss’s boss that Oracle was as surprised as anybody when his blog burst into popularity.

I was quite surprised to see Curt making mention of my blog out of seemingly thin air because (admittantly to my discredit) he and I have locked antlers a couple of times as a result of my zeal for all things Exadata.

But I’m not blogging about any of that.

Rockets: Red Glare. Blogs: Bursting in Air (or Popularity)
I thought Curt’s quote of my boss’s boss’ surprise was interesting and it got me curious. Has my blog “burst into popularity?”

I started blogging 11 months before I joined Oracle. So I thought I’d check my WordPress statistics to see what the average page viewing traffic was for:

  • The six months leading up to my starting date with Oracle
  • The 12 months prior to the release of Exadata
  • The 30 days following the release of Exadata
  • The last 6 months (dates back from today to the release of Exadata)

I’ll treat the average of the first row in the following table as the baseline and represent all other figures relative to that baseline. The data:

Time Frame

Average Page View Units

6 Months Prior to Joining Oracle

1.000

6 Months Prior to Exadata Release

0.876

30 Days After Exadata Release

1.460

6 Months After Exadata Release

0.986

The 30 days following the release of Exadata was a roller coaster with a 46% jump in reader activity, but I have to admit that losing 1.4% compared to my pre-Oracle days feels more like waning into obscurity than bursting into popularity :-)

Vendor Blogs
I don’t really consider my blog a “Vendor Blog” per se, but I’m glad to get the hat-tip from Curt nonetheless. I admit there are technology-related topics I’d love to blog about but feel constrained as a corporate employee. I wonder, does that make me a shill?

3 Responses to “What Good Are “Vendor Blogs” Anyway?”


  1. 1 Curt Monash April 1, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Kevin,

    I think reported page views are wildly misleading. I don’t know why. I can’t reconcile DBMS2′s page views with the number of people who are familiar with my blog, e-mail me out of nowhere to ask me to consult for them, assert that lots of people they know talk about DBMS2, etc., etc.

    And next to mine ;) — and maybe also to Vertica’s — I think yours is (by similar anecdotal “metrics”) the data warehouse DBMS blog getting the most attention out there.

    CAM

    • 2 kevinclosson April 1, 2009 at 11:08 pm

      Curt,

      I think you can tell how cheekytongued this post was :-)

      I wanted to use statscounter unique/return visitor counts but I didn’t plug statscounter in early enough to draw the comparison to pre-Oracle to now…

      I just took a glance at unique visitors and that particular data shows a sidways trend (with +-20% bumps) by month that predates my tenture at Oracle by a couple of months…hmmm…

      And, before I forget, I want to say I’m sorry of the news of your house fire. Cheesy as it may sound, I’m glad the damage was “that limited.” Now, having said that, please tell us what possessed you to keep an antique electric stove in the first place? :-) :-)

  2. 3 joel garry April 2, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Easy to tell if you are a shill. Are you pretending to be impartial when you are not?

    I think anyone who holds Oracle in a positive or putatively neutral light will think you are honest and be glad they can find in-depth information (I know I do), and anyone biased against Oracle will think you are not.

    This is amplified in blogoland, google “the daily me” +negroponte

    Ignore those huffingtonpost shills, of course. :-D


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