Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thirty Days Away

Good morning.  My house is perfectly still right now... not a creature stirring, not even a mouse.  It's one of the things I love about waking up early.  It's the calm before the storm.

Today is Saturday, August 30 - exactly one month from the day when Highlowaha is supposed to meet our goal of increasing our number of views by 35% in the last 77 days.  For those of you who are new to our community let me explain.

It took us 77 days to reach 5,000 views of highlowaha.  The day we finally did it, Treye - one of our readers - congratulated the group and said "I hope it doesn't take as long to reach the next 5,000.  I'm always up for a good challenge, so I marked my calendar 77 days later and noted that on July 15, 2008 we should have a minimum of 10,000 views on highlowaha.  

On that July day, we not only reached 5,000 additional views, we actually had 6,765 views since- an overage of 1,765 views in the previous 77 days.  An increase of 35% over and above our goal.  Impressive, I know.  We celebrated by me presenting one lucky reader with a batch of Dividend Cookies (containing exactly 1,765 chocolate chips) and setting a new goal for 77 days later.  The new goal was to increase the number of highlowaha views by another 35% in the next 77 days.  Specifically... 9, 153 views between July 16 and midnight on September 30, 2008. 

That's the background.  Now a progress report.  As of this very minute we have acquired 5,722 views in the last 47 days, leaving us 3,431 more views in the next 30 days (minus Sundays, making it 26 days - an average of 131 views per day for the next 30 days).  That compares to 4,182 views, thirty days out from our last goal date (July 15).  Another way to put it... at this point in the last "quarter" we only needed 2,583 more views (an average of 99 views per day for the last 30 days).  I think that means to make our goal, we need 32 more people per day than we had in the last "quarter."

Incidentally, you might be interested to know our readers for the last "quarter" came from 17 countries and 48 states, while this time they are hailing from 25 countries and 49 states.  It seems our international market accounts for some of our growth.  But of course, this quarter we added MONTANA - a huge victory for us!  

Here's what this is NOT.  This is not a plea from me to you to help me get more readers.  Nor is this me dissatisfied with the number of readers we currently have.

This is two things.  First, it is recognition that I am somewhat motivated by challenge and achievement.  Looking forward seems natural to me and always with an eye on how things may be improved.  Second.  This is my acute awareness that the value of this blog increases exponentially with every loyal reader we acquire.  There are so many ways in which my life has been enhanced since knowing many of you.  From Nan I stole the Back to School Table Cloth.  From Alden I learned more about China.  From Cassie I learned how to bake cookies.  From Peggy I gained access to card maker extraordinaire and a whole new possibility for gift ideas.  From Heather I am kept informed of good deals around town.  From the ideas of Peggy and the talent of Cheryl, Ray Wattson was born.  Thanks to Julie and Melanie we are reading a book I might never have picked up and the list goes on.

My attempt to increase loyal readership is my recognition that the more creative and loyal readers we have, the better the product I can deliver to you.

So please, do not read today's post as pressure from me to grow our readership.  Companies all over the country, who believe in their product, create it and then using marketing tactics to try to spread the word.  We have created something and, though we have no marketing firm behind us, I think a small corner of the world will benefit from knowing we exist. 

So... here's the creative task for today.  In preparation of September 30 two questions...
  • Become a marketing executive for a day.  When was the last time you told a friend or colleague about a product and what motivated you to do it?  I for example have told two people in the last two days about the ability to get on Hobby Lobby's web site and print off a coupon for their weekly special.  What motivated me?  In both instances the people I told were in the market for an art supply and I wanted them to know they could get it cheaper.  That simple.  How about you?
  • Since dividend checks for our stakeholders are still not in our immediate future, what kind of incentive should the "Board" be thinking about?
  • Monday is labor day, but two things will still be happening on highlowaha.  First, I will be posting.  We are kicking off a fun week, so don't miss out.  Second, I will announce the winner of the beautiful Back To School - soon to be a family heirloom - Table Cloth.
  • Taste of USA trip to Philly is one week from TODAY!  Attendants... begin clicking on the Taste of USA page (top right hand corner of my blog) to get up to date announcements. 
  • Make Your Mark: A total of 22 stories were collected.  Packages will be mailed early next week.  Naturally I have a surplus of 78 boxes of markers, so feel free to send your story even after the fact.  Thanks to all who participated.  I know you are sharing the same good feeling I am.  
Signing off until tomorrow...

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