Monday, February 06, 2006

Attracting eyeballs: The Dark Side

When you embark upon writing a blog like this (as I have done), you can't help but turn to wonder how you get a readership. Even if what you say is interesting, there are so many alternatives for most people, that getting noticed is a problem.

My approach was to see if I had any sources of power I could leverage (at least in away that was not ultimately self-destructive. That is, I turned immediately to the dark-side of market power.

Here is what I have done. I have 80 fresh faced MBA students starting the compulsory Managerial Economics subject here at Melbourne Business School. I like to come up with exam questions based on current business topics (that is, true). So I told them that I would use this blog as the source for those questions. If the students want a little less surprise in the exam, they should read this blog regularly.

So there you have it: I have some power to get my student's attention and have leveraged that to build readership of this blog.

Fortunately, there is a subtle efficiency here. My main trouble in getting good ideas for exam questions is not coming up with them (I think of them all the time). It is remembering them. By commiting myself to write interesting ideas here I also make it easier for myself in writing the exam.

Actually, even this little exercise has given me an exam idea: am I really going to gain a good following from my dark-side eyeballs strategy? Tune in on exam day to find out!


Anonymous said...

Professor Gans, thanks for the hint. ;-)

One of your current full time students.

Anonymous said...

To truly judge you would need to look at traffic the day after the exam. ;-)

and as i'm sure you know it isn't the number of eyeballs which count (you have your student's attention for 3 hours/week anyway) it's the quality of the eyeballs.

you can judge this by how many links your collegues you give you.

-- A Part time student who found the blog via a link from one of Mr Gans's collegues... not via self promotion in his class ;-)

hc said...

I like your devious approach to securing an audience and will mimic it.

I think though that, even without an audience, the blog can be a useful diary for yourself.

Good luck with your blog! I will visit.