The Blogosphere Is Talking About You Mitch Joel

Occasional One Degree Guest Contributor Mitch Joel of Twist Image was one of the “participants” in our “One Degree Calling challenge. Our post listed ten Canadian Internet companies with links to their home pages. My goal was to see who was paying attention to the blogosphere and how quickly they would respond if someone “pinged them” with mention and/or link in a blog post. Mitch did well, replying in less than a day (I think that’s great). But he took a bit of exception to my methodology:

Here’s why One Degree is kind of off. It actually took me no time at all. I get the One Degree RSS feed as soon as they are posted, I just don’t read all of it right away — specifically postings with titles that seem to have little immediate relevance to me or are ambiguous (like One Degree Calling). If you’re into the Blogosphere (like I am), then you’ll have hundreds of feeds (like I do).

And a bit later he says:

If anything, One Degree Calling was a better example of how fast word-of-mouth can spread online as I probably would not have even read a post with a title like that unless someone had specifically told me to. Getting beyond the little One Degree “experiment,” what it made me realize is how much great content is out there, and how much care has to go into making every word count. Especially the call to action — which in this case was the title. If it does not resonate with me, no matter how much I like everything else that has come out of there, I am just ambivalent towards it (maybe One Degree could have done multiple postings for each company, so one could have been titled, “One Degree Calling Twist Image” — that I would have read fast).

I appreciate Mitch’s feedback and I know he gets this blog stuff more than most in Canada, but I think this shows that our methodology was perfect. My goal was to see who monitors the blogosphere, not who reads our feed.

I’m happy that Mitch gets our feed (told you he was smart) but I certainly wouldn’t expect him to read everything we post and I certainly didn’t mean to imply that all ten agencies should have round-the-clock monitoring of One Degree in case we mention them in passing.

What I would expect is that all these agencies have set up multiple ego-searches on their names, their company names, their client’s names, and all the associated URLs using all the blog and feed search tools like Technorati, PubSub, BlogPulse, Google Blog Search, Bloglines, Feedster, etc. The name of the post was intentionally cryptic and intentionally mentioned all agencies at the same time — my goal was to see who would find their company and URL mentioned in an obscure post and respond to that. Since we put all the agency names and URLs in the post and in the feed, it should have been picked up by all the search engines within a few minutes of us sending our pings. So anyone monitoring the blogosphere should have got wind of this the next time they checked their ego feeds.

I’m okay with people checking these once a day (once an hour may show signs of addiction!) so Mitch’s response-time was perfect, even if it was based on word-of-mouth. In June I mentioned Technorati in a post and within a few hours of the post going live, David Sifry founder and SEO of the blog search firm had added a comment to the post. I’m sure he didn’t know we existed before we posted about his service, but as soon as we did, he was there. That’s what I’d like to see from all Canadian web agencies now, and eventually from all Canadian companies.

Oh by the way Mitch, I’m posting this 4 hours after you posted and that’s only because you posted at 5:30AM on a Sunday morning! I hope the title of this post got your attention!

Originally published at on October 2, 2005.