Year 2 has come and gone… As I am excited to see another year of people using the Blogging Meetup, I hold back a little bit as I know I have been very distanced from it in the last year as I was working to prioritize various extra projects in my life last year.
Look back at Year 2My thoughts haven’t changed though as I really enjoy this little side project and I intend to keep it around. In fact, as of today, we have 450 people registered on the site. That is up 67 from last year where we had 383 users on the site. Maybe when we hit 500 we should have an online party :)! Now only because I am a numbers guru I want to show you the stats of the last two years by month. As you can see it is trending down and in about August last year it started declining faster. In fact, February this year looks like it will only be about half of last year.
Peeling back the NumbersI didn’t need to dig into the site stats to produce the chart above as I already had an idea of what the results were going to be. If you have looked at the site a couple of times in the last months it is mostly the same handful of people posting over and over. Not that there is nothing wrong with that as I am glad people are using it as established and it seems like there is another handful of users that look at the site on a daily basis. However, I still find it troubling that there is less engagement on the site than I hoped there would have been. Though for that problem of engagement, I hold myself accountable for a good portion of the blame as I know that there need to be more “things” (e.g., prompts, events, topic discussions) or things to get people engaged in the site. In fact, over the past year, I slowly had forgotten to keep up with the Like, Follow, Share Monday prompts. I think that generated good engagement for readers and hopefully gave some bloggers a nice bump in stats are people were going to check out their site.
On the positive side of things, I was happy to finally finish the Members post page which is really just an RSS feed from all members sites. However, on the flip side, I am not sure if people have found it useful or worthwhile. Some of that is I am not able to get any stats from it so unsure if links are being clicked on or not.
Next StepsSo that brings me to today where I have been neglecting this site and trying to figure out what to do next. I would love to get feedback from anyone on what they think should be done with this site. Nothing is a bad idea as I still think a Blogging Community makes sense but maybe this implementation/version of it isn’t working anymore. Maybe the site needs to be more like a BuddyPress that can be more conversational, or forum-based like Discussion Board, or maybe even just a big Slack group.
In the short term, however, I am going to figure out a way to kick off the like follow share again but maybe I will try to incorporate it with the RSS feeds from members' sites in order to get people looking at something that is newly posted. Over the next several months I am going to really take a hard look at the Blogging Meetup and see where this site should be taken. I am going to hope for feedback from the community as I don’t want to just make this decision alone.
SummaryYear two was still a good year for the Blogging Meetup as people were still using the site as it was originally intended. However, during the beginning of year 3, it is time to figure out what the next chapter of this site is going to look like to make sure it is still meaningful to everyone going forward.
What do you think the next year of the Blogging Meetup should look like? Would you like to help it grow?