Set Higher Standards by Ravi

Ramblings from a 30-something ultra-marathoning yogi with a day job.

Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category

First Ever Reader Survey Results!

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Thanks to everyone who responded to the survey. I’m keeping it open in case you haven’t had a chance to fill it out. It only takes 3 minutes and I read every response!

There were 74 completes, far more than I expected. I learned a lot from reading through the verbatim feedback. For the majority, there was no overwhelmingly strong desire to see more or less of any type of content on this blog. The most common feedback was “just keep doing what you are doing” or “keep writing about stuff that is interesting to you and whoever is interested will read it, the rest won’t.” That’s good to know!

Here’s a few data points:

  • Response rate was ~10%, with 74 completes and ~750 RSS/e-mail subscribers.
  • Average reader age is 38 years old, with a standard deviation of +/- 12 years.
  • Youngest reader is 17.
  • Most experienced (e.g. eldest :) ) reader is 68.
  • 58% of readers are female.
  • 70% get readers get posts delivered directly to their e-mail inbox.

The most interesting info came from the recap the open-ended responses to two questions, “Why do you read this blog?” and “What do you want to see on this blog going forward?”  I read every answer  thoroughly and here a couple Wordle‘s that do a nice job summarizing the major take-away’s.:

Answer to: "Why do you read this blog?"

Answer to: "What topics do you want to see on this blog going forward?"

If you have a blog, I highly recommend putting up  a survey. There are plenty of free tools, and you’ll learn a bunch. If you are a data geek like me, it can be good fun!

Written by Ravi Raman

January 16, 2011 at 7:31 pm

Posted in Blogging

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First Ever Reader Survey!

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I’m doing a very short survey to better understand what you are looking for on this blog. I realize that in the last few years of blogging, I’ve never stopped to think who is actually reading it! The survey is ridiculously short, and will be super helpful for me in tuning the content to something that is less random, and more useful.

If you have 30 seconds to spare, please click the link below and answer a few questions. I’ll share the major themes of feedback (anonymous of course) with you all as well.

http://ravisraman.questionform.com/public/Set-Higher-Standards-1

Written by Ravi Raman

November 26, 2010 at 7:22 am

Posted in Blogging

Five Blogs I Read

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I read a ton of blogs, but here are five bloggers that I have been reading frequently of late.

Derek Sivers. Creator of CD Baby. His blog is a combo of business advice for entrepreneurs, ideas for creative thinking and personal development advice. His posts are easy read and always insightful. His post about “Leadership Lessons from a Dancing Guy” is not to be missed.I’ve watched it a dozen times. His TED talk on the same topic, How to Start a Movement, is a classic.

Chris Guillebeau. His blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, started out as a discussion of travel hacks and has since grown into a full-on community focused on unconventional ways to work and play. His free Guide to World Domination is a great and very quick read. It will get you thinking about how you can do more with less.

Seth Godin. Ridiculously prolific writer, speaker and blogger, Seth has written a ton of books (my favorite is The Dip, get the audiobook version where he reads it!) and his blog contains super concise and no-frills posts (no images, very short and to the point) about business, leadership and how to stand out in a crowd. I’m amazed and how he can crank out so much quality material (usually 1-2 short and impactful posts per day).

Tim Ferris. Unless you have been in a cave for the past few years you have heard of Tim. Author of The Four-Hour Work Week and the soon to be published The 4-Hour Body, Tim’s blog has very practical and often contrarian tips for working less, making more and feeling great. He coined the term “lifestyle design” and this what he is trying to help you do – ideal your ideal lifestyle. He often has guest authors posting, and I’ve discovered some other good blogs this way.

Scott Dunlap. He writes A Trail Runner’s Blog. I’ve been reading Scott’s blog since well before I started contemplating doing ultramarathon’s. It’s inspiring to see what the human body is capable of, even if it is through vicariously reading someone’s blog! He writes about the ultra-running scene, and his race reports are entertaining with some great pics he takes during his races.

A Few Good Reads

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Darri left a comment to my last post about “The Dip” asking what some of my favorite books are. This post isn’t about my all-time favorite books, but rather about books that I’ve read recently and have enjoyed. Here are five that I particularly like right now.

The Dip. I just wrote about it and I’m going through my own exercise right now to figure out what things in my life are worth slogging through the dip for, and which things I should cut loose from. A short and very good book that applies to personal development and business. It’s all about being deliberate in doing certain things well (and pushing through “the dip” that happens when times get tough), and quitting those things that aren’t bound to be productive to your life.

Made to Stick. I read this book as part of a marketing leadership development I’m in at work. It’s all about storytelling. While geared for business professionals, the book applies equally to how we talk about and present ourselves every day to family, friends or co-workers. The book is an easy read and there are quite a few case studies that bring the text to life.

Think and Grow Rich. This is a classic but I’ve put off reading it for many years. It’s the foundation for many other personal development books and systems that have come about over the years. Napolean Hill studied the success characteristics from the world’s most successful people for decades on behalf of his benefactor, Andrew Carnegie. It was written years ago but is highly relevant. Highly recommended.

Tribes. Another Seth Godin book, and also very short but very good (it is really hard to write short books, I commend Seth for doing this!). This book is all about communities, and how we are ALL empowered to lead a community (if we so choose). Be it a community group, church group, meetup group, peer group or any other community….the world needs leaders now. Are you up for the challenge? Best of all, you can download the audio version of the book for FREE from audible!

Journey to the Heart. This is a book of daily reflections/meditations that I use frequently when teaching my yoga classes. The readings are powerful and very well put.

Ultramarathon Man. I haven’t read this book <yet> but it is next on my list. Dean Karnazes likes to run…to the point of frequently running ultramarathons lasting over 100 miles (or longer) over rugged terrain. He also completed 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days last year (this is covered in his most recent book – “50/50″). Some people like to call him crazy, but I think we all can learn something from his focus, dedication and sheer tenacity.

What books have you read recently and really enjoyed? Please leave a note in the comments, I’m always looking for good book recommendations!

Written by Ravi Raman

November 25, 2008 at 10:00 am

No Malware Here!

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OK, I tried visiting my blog yesterday and a warning page appeared saying that it was being “blocked by Google” due to the presence of malware (i.e. bad software that makes your computer do bad things).

I checked out my FTP site and noticed a new directory had been created with a ton of crazy files in it. I deleted the directory, and now everything appears as normal.

I don’t know what kind of loophole the hacker(s) found or why they would target a site with only a few hundred readers….but someone apparently had a lot of time to kill!

Everything is cool now, as far as I know. If you see any spam appearing on posts or pages, please let me know.

Written by Ravi Raman

October 29, 2008 at 4:52 am

Posted in Blogging

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