Last Friday I wrote a blog post on my own blog about The Impenetrable Layer of Suck and did what I usually do with blog posts these days: I Tweeted it. I saw a few people reTweet it, so thought I’d check my stats. This is what I saw:
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I’ve heard many a time from friends at Guardian Technology, who all regularly Tweet links to new articles and blog posts, that Twitter is a greater driver of traffic than Google News. I’ve found it to be true here as well. On days that I Tweet a link, traffic is much, much higher than days I don’t.
I rarely see links from other websites listed in my referral stats, apart from my own site where there’s a feed in the sidebar and weekly roundups. The decline of the trackback is an interesting, and sad, thing. They got so polluted by spammers that they became unworkable for most people and now I rarely see functioning trackbacks. Blogrolls have also fallen into disfavour, probably because they were such a pain to keep up to date and the technology to look after your blogroll didn’t develop much functionality beyond very basic add/delete/sort links.
This is a shame. In the early days of blogging, I felt like I really was a part of this huge network of bloggers, all passionate about the opportunities this new technology gave us, all excited about the democratisation of publishing. Now blogs feel much more isolated from each other, less connected, less like the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. More like lone voices howling in the storm.
Twitter brings traffic, as sometimes does Facebook, but it doesn’t make me feel that this blog is connected into a wider network. Whilst information flows through my network, just as it did before, that flow is mostly invisible. Twitter doesn’t show me whose Tweet is sending me the traffic, it’s all just a nameless wall of http://twitter.com. The network has slipped behind a veil.
It’s great that Twitter brings readers, but I miss that sense of connection that my referrals stats used to bring me.
So, how important is Twitter to you, compared to other sources of traffic? Do you get most of your referrals from Twitter? Is Twitter now where you find most of your news?