Where Have All the Readers Gone?

I am sad to report that MacManX.com has experienced a 90% decline in readers over the past week. Over the past four months, MacManX.com has steadily dropped from an average of one legitimate comment per day to an average of 0.8 legitimate comments per month, so I already knew that a lack of interest was beginning to form. But, such a significant decline in readers over such a short amount of time is simply staggering. So, before you hit that “Unsubscribe” button, I have just a few questions for you.

  • What can I do to improve MacManX.com?
  • What can I do to keep you as a daily reader?
  • What can I do to attract more readers?
  • Would you like to see more or less content?
  • What kind of content would you like to see more or less of?
  • Would you like to see more Favored Freeware reviews? If you would like to see more Favored Freeware reviews, please help me out by providing suggestions of any freeware applications which are at least Mac-compatible, if not cross-platform.
  • Would you like to see less freeware update notifications? We all know that there are plenty of other sites which are much better at providing such notifications.
  • Would you like to see a new and/or better design here at MacManX.com? I know that I would, but I can’t afford the price of my favorite designer right now. However, if all 19 of my regular readers wouldn’t mind donating $25 each, I’m sure that we could have a sparkling new design done within the year. If you are actually considering a donation, please contact me via email first. Yes, on average, there are only 19 of you left.

Again, what can I do to improve MacManX.com? Please use the discussion area of this post to submit your suggestions and/or constructive criticism. And, even if you can’t think of anything to offer, please post a comment just to let me know that you are alive and that you do read MacManX.com. There’s no reason for a blog to exist without readers.

Update: Based on a suggestion by Khaled, an About page has been added.

Update 2: Based on a suggestion by Rafael, Favored Freeware review links have been added to the Favored Freeware page.

12 responses

  1. Well I found your blog coming from the WP forums, I subscribed because you were writing about mac stuff. I learned about available software for the mac and eventually I switched.
    I think it’s not lay out that people subscribe and keep coming back, often I use sage (firefox feed reader) to read posts. It’s mainly content that attract subscriptions. And as for me I like to learn about (free) software tips, user experiences and web stuff, Among that WP.
    Don’t worry too much about readers James, people come and go and come and…

  2. Thanks, George! I really appreciate your subscription and encouraging comment, and I am glad that MacManX.com was one of the little “taverns” along your road to switching to the Mac platform. ^_^

  3. Dude, what happened? You don’t seem to have changed anything in the format that you’re posting. You’ve got a good thing going here. It’s updates, it’s links, it an info blog. I subscribe because I don’t generally keep track of everything, but you filter everything which I find very useful.

    I guess maybe making it clearer what the blog is all about? It does help really.

    As for a new design, dude honestly I wish I could do it for less but I’m swamped to the bone as it is (listen once I’ve got a couple of things off my plate, I’ll be sure to drop you a line and we can talk some more).

  4. Thanks for responding, Khaled! Yeah, I’m not really sure what happened. All I know is that 90% of my daily returning visitors suddenly vanished this week, it can’t be a coincidence. I am very glad that you are enjoying the content here and I appreciate your subscription.

    I think that you’re right when you say that the purpose of this blog is not entirely clear. I will add a mission statement to my list of things to do and find a good place for it. Maybe it’s time to put Rin’s “About” page template to use. The “About” page has been added! ^_-

    As for the design, you certainly are one of the busiest bloggers that I know, which is why I wouldn’t want to pay you any less than your usual rate, especially now with Shuttle, the FOFRedux redesign, the release of “Broken Kode | Season One”, Broken Kode v5, the completion of Splash Panel, the upcoming Rin and Manji flavours, and InkSmith on your plate. You never know, one of the upcoming Rin flavours may be exactly what I’m looking for.

    As always, thank you for your encouragement and generosity!

  5. I too am another of the RSS readers, and look forward to the blog diving and favored freeware posts. And I for one can admit being guilty of not commenting enough on posts found via RSS. I sometimes have so many articles in my feedreader, that I go through looking for gems, tabbing them for future reading, and move on. So it may be a case of that. I hope you stick to it though, cause I don’t always catch when my daily used apps like Smultron (thanks by the way for that annoucement, I just bought a new dual-core mac mini, and the more universal binaries available the better. Seeing the annoucement and getting the update reminded me there was one for that app).
    Anyway, keept it up, and hang in there.

  6. Thanks for stopping by, Michael, and thank you for your encouragement! The Blogroll Dives will never stop, I enjoy working on them far too much. As for the Favored Freeware reviews, they will always be limited by the amount of available favored freeware applications. Fortunately, I have just finished composing five more Favored Freeware reviews! The first one will be posted next Saturday.

  7. I first found you on the blogroll at my friend’s site. I have always enjoyed your mix of content. I’m very bad at remembering to check for updates, so here I can find when VLC or OOo rolls out a new release. Also, the Favored Freeware has helped me expand my horizons for what there is to see and do on the Mac platform. Some of the progams, like Celstia or Admium, I was using long before you posted them, but others, like Quinn, I just didn’t know about. However, you might want to consider making updates its own catagory so that they don’t drown out the actual Favored Freeware reviews, especially since they don’t have there own listing. You could solve that by adding a link to each entry on the Flavored Freeware page.

    Lately, you’ve just been doing software. It’s been months since you’ve talked about music, nostagia, or humor (my favorite catergory). You said youself that there are many fish in the see when it comes to reporting updates, and if you look at the last few pages of archived posts, it’s almost all update notices. While I’m not saying you shouldn’t do them, there just a part of your blog, and not the best one at that. Bring back the wit and sarcasm of you normal ramblings, which has been in short supply since late October. That show bring the readers back. If you want to further improve things, add some personal style to the update postings, they’re kind of dry. While that’s for obvious reasons, it woulld let you stand out from other update sites as well as explain why such postings would be in someone’s blog.

    I have never read this site by RSS. I feel that you lose the presentation that the full site offers and that the writer intended. Thus, a redisgned site might be nice, but you don’t need to go so far as purchasing a whole new design, just some suttle alterations or variations might help. I preferred version 6 of the site, but your presentation decision is your choice. However, adding something like rotating header image could add something to the sight and be a bit more expressive of your creativity without to much effort. Though, if you do get a new design, that will certainly kick ass. I also read passively, meaning I don’t make many comments (this is the first one I’ve made here), so I don’t believe that’s the best way of measuring your readership.

  8. Rafael, thank you for taking time to write such a lengthy and comprehensive reply! I try to keep the freeware update notifications as copy/paste as possible, just so that I can post them ASAP no matter where I am or what I’m doing. However, you are correct about that detracting from the visibility of the actual Favored Freeware reviews. I like your suggestion about linking to the reviews on the Favored Freeware page, and I will begin work on that ASAP. The review links have been added! As for the other content, such as music and humor, I will do what I can to bring that back to this blog. Thank you for your suggestions!

  9. My two cents…

    I wanted to let you know I regularly read MacManx.com. I enjoy the
    blogroll dive most as it helps me find interesting posts. Personally I don’t
    go into much of the Mac stuff simply because I don’t own one.

    I think the simplest recipe for more readership is more posts more often.

    I don’t think there is any problem with the layout or design. They look
    great, much better than what I have at Simple Thoughts 🙂

    More specifically –

    > What can I do to improve MacManX.com?
    > What can I do to keep you as a daily reader?
    > What can I do to attract more readers?

    More posts on a regular basis.

    > Would you like to see more or less content?

    > What kind of content would you like to see more or less of?
    WordPress related, Blogroll dive etc.

    > Would you like to see more Favored Freeware reviews?

    > Would you like to see less freeware update notifications?

    > Would you like to see a new and/or better design here at MacManX.com?
    The design is fine.

    Hope that helps.

    BTW: I tried emailing this to you thrice, but it bounced.

  10. Angsuman, thanks for stopping by to respond, and thank you for reading MacManX.com on a regular basis! “More posts on a regular basis,” is exactly what I am tackling at this time. There will be more posts and more variety. I’m glad that you enjoy the Blogroll Dive, especially because you’re featured in it quite often, and the reason for that is because your blog has “more posts on a regular basis” and more variety than most blogs.

    As for the email, you may be trying to use an old or incorrect address. I just tested the contact form and it is working properly, so you might want to try that next time.

    As always, thank you for your encouragement!

  11. Dear James,

    Sorry to be so late to the game! I’m resurrecting this post!

    Normally I read you in Safari RSS when I’m waiting in the car (away from a wireless connection), but in the last two weeks I’ve been so swamped with real life that I’ve left off even that, as well as commenting, and now, I’m freaking because I haven’t posted daily on my own site. I need to organize my time better. (I should erase iMovie from my hard drive! It’s too addictive!)

    My only suggestion for your site is when you describe an update, or a freeware, if you mention what the software does. Like, for the Smultron post, tell the reader that it’s a text editor. Otherwise the only way I know is to click on the link. (I didn’t know what Dylan syntax highlighting was.)

    I always like reading about new Mac software, the Mac experience, personal opinions about the Mac industry, personal experiences with Mac products, etc. Personal opinion rocks and rolls! I say, inject more of James into MacManX!

    By the way, what do you consider your targeted audience for MacManX?

    From your posts I think the targeted audience is a Mac user who knows his/her way around a Mac very well. I feel more like a newbie and am always learning new things about Macs even though I’ve used them since 1985.

    You’re really good at explaining how to do stuff to noodles like me who need step-by-step instructions, and I think your site would benefit if the reader could see more of that in your posts. It might make MacManX more accessible to the inexperienced Mac user.

    Always consider me a loyal MacManX reader, even if I have to occasionally take off some time from the internet to deal with real life.

    Take care!

  12. Bonnie, thanks for stopping by to leave your lengthy and encouraging comment! I am glad to hear that MacManX.com helps you pass the few boring minutes that you encounter while trapped in your car. I must admit that real life has played a very significant role in the reduction of my postings here as well. That “real life” thing is tricky, isn’t it? ^_- And, if you think that iMovie is a time-waster, you should try GarageBand!

    I have been contemplating two ideas on how to deal with the update notifications. My first thought, originally suggested by Rafael, is too add more detail and a “personal touch” to each notification. This will, of course, come at the cost of the timeliness of the notification, as it will no longer be handled by the ease of copy/paste. My second thought is to post a weekly summary of updates each Sunday. My ultimate goal is to increase the comprehension of each entry here at MacManX.com, including the update notifications.

    I consider my readers to be more of a group of friends with a variety of interests, so I have made an honest effort to keep most of my postings here as cross-platform as possible, but I can honestly say that MacManX.com is primarily Mac-related.

    As always, thank you for your encouragement and suggestions!