Here’s a question: Did you ever start a project thinking this is a really good idea, only to get halfway through and realize, no, this isn’t a really good idea, but it’s too late to stop?
Welcome to my Tuesday.
I had such a simple premise for today’s blog: List some of the most-read blogs of 2023 and discuss their significance.
Then came another idea.
Instead of just looking at the blog numbers, I should list out the blogs that had great Facebook chatter. That’s the whole point here, right? I create topics of conversation each day and readers dive in.
Just Wright Citrus was set up to drive conversation to the Facebook page. When looking at each day’s post, three data numbers are of interest: reach, reactions, and comments.
The Facebook geeks will correct me, but “reach” is a poor man’s version of eyes on the blog. It generally gives me an idea of whether the blog is capturing any Facebook interest.
I’ve learned, though, to be less interested in that first number and more interested in the next two. Reactions and comments suggest reader interaction.
As with all my measurements, the goal is an arbitrary number: A blog with 100 or more reactions with 20 or more comments — that’s a pretty fair range for me to feel we’re getting somewhere.
A commissioner recently opined that a lot of Just Wright Citrus participants are the same people commenting on different days. I’m sure there’s some substance to that, and if you’re a regular participant please continue. Regular doesn’t mean insignificant; if anything on this blog, it means insightful.
So, I went through the 2023 Facebook posts for those with a combined 100-plus reactions and 20-plus comments. I counted only true blog posts; many of our standalone Facebook posts generate over 100 reactions and 20 comments, but they don’t have the depth of a blog.
I counted 46 reaching that criterion, or around 20% of the 2023 blogs. That is an incredible number. Or a lousy one. I truthfully don’t know. But that’s 46 days when a significant number of Citrus County folks stopped and took in some decent dialogue on matters of importance and/or interest.
— Blogs regarding “words matter,” starting the Chronicle column, engaging in civil discourse, and calling out those who refuse to behave properly all generated plenty of reactions and comments. A large percentage of Just Wright Citrus readers support the be-nice comment policy. Those who don’t and refuse to play by those guidelines or dare me to stop them, are barred from participating. That’s the way it is.
— Anything involving the Crystal River Mall has your attention. The comments are an interesting mix of memory lane, concerns about new development, and theories why the mall failed.
(Because of self-imposed rules that only blog posts count in my 100/20 criteria, I can’t include my Facebook video of the mall sign coming down that generated — ahem — 83,000 views, 530 reactions, and 87 comments. Just thought I’d mention it.)
— A blog about the Chronicle shutting down its Crystal River presses to print the newspaper in Lakeland was one of those odd-duck subjects that generated a fair amount of interest. We don’t talk about the Chronicle here all that much, and the public is generally lukewarm to its news coverage, but we’re all keeping an eye on our community newspaper.
— Blogs on property values, new construction, and traffic often topped 100 reactions and 20 comments. Growth is on everyone’s mind. We see it everywhere. Some are excited; others bemoan it. No doubt though it’s a topic of conversation.
— Embracing community. My blog in May regarding the devastating injuries to Deputy Andy Lahera, and the dedicated Citrus County School District employees who want only to help kids, generated over 200 reactions and 35 comments. Our community takes care of its own.
— I learned this from Gerry “Poop in the Shoe” Mulligan: Readers identify when you write about yourself. Many blogs in the 100/20 club are personal stories of alcoholic sobriety, my 65th birthday open house, the loss of our precious cat Molly, or rescuing my new best Buddy from the highway.
— Some blogs top 100/20 because readers are telling me how wrong I am. I pay close attention to these comments for morsels of truth. All opinions matter.
Turns out researching Facebook reactions wasn’t a waste of time, because that’s our blog for today. Have a great Wednesday, friends.
Join the discussion on our Facebook page.
Mike Wright has written about Citrus County government and politics for 36 years.