December 29, 2010

The Directive most read articles reveal business strategy reader interest in social media, hot business topics

I started The Directive in May 2009, and at the end of 2010, I thought I'd take a look at the statistics for the articles I've written to see what business strategy readers are most interested in. Granted, just clicking on the article doesn't show reader interest in the article (it shows they're interested in the headline), but it's still a valid metric to analyze.

Article #1: Eight mistakes to avoid on LinkedIn

This took me by surprise a bit, but I guess it shouldn't. The use of social media has gone from the sidelines to the mainstream, and professionals want to better learn the use of these systems. In fact, written in July 2010, this was my all time highest read article since I started because of multiple linkages and re-tweets by the readers. Another one of my social media articles also made the top 10 most read. That one was about the awkwardness of social media and how to deal with it.

Article #2: Is HP's CEO, Mark Hurd, stifling innovation?

I've mentioned this before, this was the very first article I wrote here. At the time, Mark Hurd was the darling of Wall Street, but I thought his strategies would catch up with him and I did some analysis of HP's R&D expenditures against Apple and IBM. People didn't respond to my criticism very well at the time, and I got some "hate mail" as a result. Fast forward over a year later, and Hurd got fired by the HP board because of an alleged relationship with a consultant, and soon everyone on Wall Street was wondering whether he was fired because of his poor judgment in his strategies, especially his lack of focus on R&D. My article got picked up by IT Business Edge, and suddenly I was celebrity! (well, not exactly, but the article continues to get massive search engine hits)

Article #3: More than hierarchy, organizational structures reflect corporate values and… hidden problems

I wrote this in September 2009 when I was working on organizational development with a client, and every single point here had come up with the client, so I threw the article together without much editing. It has been one of the highest read articles through search engine hits ever since (it was the second most read article in 2009). This goes to show companies continue to struggle with the proper organizational structure, which isn't too surprising. I can't remember ever working with a client who needed revenue growth and market expansion help while having a squeaky clean organizational structure.

Other articles of note:

Apparently a lot of people are still interested in Starbucks' debranding efforts as I continue to get search engine hits and comments from the article, "Starbucks debrands for market expansion."

My article on intellectual property audits hit a raw nerve for LinkedIn readers. I posted the article, "How do you know your intellectual property licensees are not duping you? Get familiar with royalty audits" on a few LinkedIn groups - and the discussions kept coming.

Last but not the least, another article that hit some raw nerves in the electric utility circles was "Smart grid dynamic pricing: behavior change easier said than done." I was asked to write an article for the Smart Grid portal of ITExpo, and I wrote this and posted it on some LinkedIn groups. The topic thread continued to be discussed for the next 10+ weeks, and was referenced by several other websites. This may well be my highest read article but I don't have the statistics for the ITExpo website (they don't publish the specifics, but I've been told they get over 3 millions hits a month). This article is about electric utilities changing their flat pricing model to time-of-day usage model, and I didn't think the utility players had thought out the market well enough. Pink elephants in the room are not easy to talk about, but somebody's gotta do it!

I hope to continue bringing you topics of interest relevant to business strategies, product innovation, and everything in between. If there are any topics the readers want me to discuss, please let me know. There are no promises that I'll do so, but it's good to know what you'd like to read.

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