More asshat posts in 2008 coming…

Remember the learnings I put up yesterday. What was one of the key themes that I learned in 2007? That if you want traffic you must cause the metaphorical equivilent of a traffic wreck, right? Remember my seven Amazon Kindle videos? Here, let’s look at them again. Note which one got the most views: the one where I was a real jerk. This isn’t by accident. Human beings are attracted to conflict as stories.

UPDATE: This post is in reaction to this post by Scott Karp which was in reaction to how Gawker Media now pays its bloggers.

Me and Mike Arrington shaking hands at a party? No audience attention.
Me and Mike Arrington yelling at each other at a party? Audience gathers around.

Now you know why we find ways to argue during panel discussions. :-)

Amazon Kindle video #1. Unboxing. 10,961 views.
Amazon Kindle video #2. Kindle first use. 8,389 views.
Amazon Kindle video #3. Walking around with Kindle. 1,395 views.
Amazon Kindle video #4. Mike Arrington on Kindle. 10,223 views.
Amazon Kindle video #5. Books vs. Kindle. 13,708 views.
Amazon Kindle video #6. Me being a total jerk to Amazon. 88,134 views.
Amazon Kindle video #7 (Interview at SF State University). 31,432 views.

So, out of these seven posts which one got the most participants? Got me seen as a thought leader? Increased the intelligent discussion? Promoted good feelings? Increased my readership of smart people? Improved my relationship with companies and sponsors? Impressed my friends? Got the kinds of results I wanted?

I can tell you that #6 didn’t help me much at all in any of those areas. Yeah, it got a crowd going, but is that really what we want when we’re producing media? After looking back at it it’s not the kind of audience I want. I want participants, not audience. Why? Well, in 2008 you’ll see that participants are who advertisers and sponsors REALLY want to reach. Even those that buy page-view-based advertisements.

Anyway, Gawker Media is studying the wrong metric, but I’m happy that they aren’t figuring it out yet. That means my new thing has a BIG chance to get going in 2008 (more on that on January 16th). Of course it also means that I’m going to get thrown under the bus on Valleywag even more in 2008 than in 2007 (which will be hard to do, cause they threw me under the bus dozens of times in 2007).

For those who read just the headline: I’m going in another direction in 2008 — I’m going to try to do more posts and videos that make you more intelligent, not take advantage of your “slow down on the freeway when there’s a wreck” instincts.

Starting Thursday. We’re having lunch with Doug Engelbart, inventor of the mouse and smartest guy I’ve interviewed.