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March 17, 2007

Just So Story — Rebecca Cioni asks: 'Why Eight?'

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Last weekend (Saturday, March 10, 2007 at 9:22 p.m., to be precise) I received the following query via email:

"Dear Joe: I noticed you always post eight posts a day. Why eight?"

Indeed.

Why not nine, or seven?

Or none?

I replied as follows:

"Dear Rebecca: This is the best question of the month and as such deserves a thoughtful reply tomorrow morning when I'm all energized."

Well, it's now Saturday afternoon a week later but I'm forging ahead nonetheless.

Some years ago, when I began bookojoe, I decided the best way to get big globally was to address myself to the world as a whole.

Since at any given moment one-third of the world is asleep and the other two-thirds up, about and doing stuff, I figured why not put up a post every three hours, around the clock, so that anyone on the planet was never more than three hours away from the next post no matter what time of day or night.

Hubris is key to this kind of thinking.

But I digress.

I did just what I noted above, and continued to have posts appear every three hours around the clock for a long time.

I was enabled by TypePad's advance post feature, which lets you preschedule a post anytime in the next year, to the month/day/hour/minute.

Then one day I looked at my statistics and thought about things, and realized that about 75% of my readers came from the U.S. and Canada.

Now it's about 65% as my global ambitions begin to bear fruit — but I digress yet again.

So I figured, why not post during the waking hours of the majority of my readers?

It worked — traffic about doubled over the next six months.

And eight a day seemed a manageable number — not too big, not too small but, rather, "just right."

And so, Rebecca, that's why there are eight posts a day: one every three hours requires precisely that many.

In my next Just So Story I'll explain why posts appear one minute after the hour.

March 17, 2007 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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