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Comparing how posts perform with different readerships

We have some general guidelines about what fits on each Offbeat Empire blog, but there's definitely some overlap and wiggle room. Newlywed stuff generally goes on Home & Life (but sometimes goes on Bride), reproductive health generally goes on Families (but sometimes goes on Home & Life), and child-free stuff generally goes on Families (even though it's very much about NOT having children). Anything meta (business, community, tech) goes here on Offbeat Empire, but sometimes we also post on the sites related to the meta-issue.

But sometimes there are some posts that stump us…

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See it, click it: getting over my RSS/old school blogger brain

I've talked a lot about my love of RSS. RSS is the outgrowth of a content logic that's very much in-line with my old school blogger brain: show me all the posts, with the most recent at the top. I started blogging in 2000 (aww, look!), and that's just how my brain works: the most recent stuff is the most important. When it comes to how I think about content, it's basically the homepage of a blog. Most recent = most important, and then everything else is listed beneath in descending order of recency. That's how I read everything. That's how I think about everything. That's how my editorial brain works.

I've become increasingly aware however that, thanks to the popularity of Facebook and Pinterest, that's not how many Offbeat Empire readers think about content. These two social media tools are changing the way my readers learn about our posts, and as I adapt to the shift, it's changing the way I think about social media broadcasting and my editorial strategy.

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The social psychology of the Share bar

Across all the Offbeat Empire sites, we've always had our sharing bar (you know, the thing that allows you to easily Like or Send via Facebook, Tweet, Pin, etc) at the end of the each post. The theory here was basic: you read the post, then you share.

But I had an aha moment looking at another blog where I realized that share bar also gives an indication of whether you should read the post…so I moved it. The results were immediate and dramatic.

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How I engineered a viral post

Recently, a post I wrote about cell phones at weddings went WAY viral, getting shared 43,000 times in one day. It wasn't an accident. Here's how I did it.