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Bessie's wondering what you're thinking

From The Creative COW Magazine


Creative COW Magazine presents - Bessie's wondering what you're thinking



Kathlyn LindeboomKathlyn Lindeboom
Cambria California, USA

©2007 Kathlyn Lindeboom and CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.

Article Focus:

A funny thing happened on the way to the world of print publishing...


We were running reports for the COW one day and Ron asked Eric how many magazine subscribers had forums accounts in the COW itself?

If I were to ask you, what do you think the number would be? To be honest, I thought it would be very high. I guessed somewhere between 80 to 90 percent. I didn't feel too bad when that proved wrong, as both Ron and Tim were way off also. Eric didn't come close either. In fact, Eric was so surprised that he ran the numbers twice just to make sure he hadn't done something wrong while compiling the figures.

Are you ready to make your own guess? Especially now, after all of the hints you've been given?

If you are like us, you would be surprised to find out that the magic number is about one-in-five. Just 20%. Sure, we understand that many sign up at the forums with a disposable email address and use a real address for the magazine, but we are still very sure that it's only a third or less who are signed up in both the magazine and the forums.


NUMBERS ARE A FUNNY THING

It begs a question: why would so many of you lurk in a site - or perhaps you rarely or never come here at all - and sign up to get a magazine that is such an extension of what happens inside the COW itself? Sure, we hear from many of you that this is the one magazine you read from cover to cover. We also have many industry insiders who tell us that there is nothing else like it in the market. But we see it as such an extension of our community, that - at least to us - it is inseparable from the community. What do you think?

If you have a minute and care to give us your own comments on this phenomenon, we'd really appreciate hearing from you. Email us at magazine at creativecow dot net as we'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Perhaps "forums people" are not enamored of print publications anymore. After all, information moves much more quickly online.

We know that our search engine gets a lot of use every day. Maybe you are one who finds your answers using search. In a site that is nearing a million-and-a-half posts in our database, there's a good chance that your question has been asked, and answered, before.


THE MAGAZINE IS NOT ALONE

Both our new blogs, as well as our long-standing newsletter also experience the same phenomenon. In fact, just over half of our bloggers do not have accounts in the forums. What? Really? Yes, and we are amazed by this. In just a little over a month of blogging in the COW, the stats at Alexa.com shows that the blogs.creativecow.net address is already doing about 16% of our site traffic - yet over half of our bloggers are not "posting COWs."

The Creative COW Newsletter is the same, in that only a small fraction of those who have signed up for it are active posting forums members. But unlike the forums which have only one-in-five that get the magazine, the majority of magazine subscribers have come through the newsletter. About twothirds come through the newsletter and a third through the site itself. Another group comes by referral. Thank you for telling your friends about Creative COW Magazine.


WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

Well, if I could read minds I would be rich! But if I had to take a guess, I'd chalk it up to some of the things that Ron and I have learned in the last 12 years of doing this. In this, we have learned that people who frequent forums, do not like listservs. The people who love lists, nearly always hate forums. There are few who enjoy and use both.

Some people like to take part in a community and interact. But just as in the fear of public speaking, most are pretty shy. I know I fit into that category.

The thought that hits me most often is that even in the Day of the Internet, there is still a large part of the world that likes print - even if that world, in our case, is less than a 10th of those who frequent the Net itself. About 440,000 people pass through the COW in a month, and the Magazine reaches about 48,000 - the majority of whom come from who knows where. ;o)

We began building media professionals communities online in June of 1995, and we've learned a lot. Thank you for being part of this diverse and great community.


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