My Top Takeaways from WordCamp San Francisco | WPcomMaven

justjennifer is a WordPress.com Volunteer like me and we are both long time WordPress fans. She has published a post containing her observations from viewing WordCamp San Francisco 2013.

Matt shared that 18.9% of the web is now powered by WordPress. … A less happy statistic Matt shared in his talk was that of the 50K signups on WordPress.com within the last week, only 4% are active today. That harks back to his State of the Word talk last year and my subsequent tweet about retention. Sadly, still true today. How do we increase user retention?

Watch Matt Mullenweg’s “State of the Word” talk:

Please click into justjennifer’s  post to read her My Top Takeaways from WordCamp San Francisco | WPcomMaven and respond to her question on increasing user retention.

20 thoughts on “My Top Takeaways from WordCamp San Francisco | WPcomMaven

  1. Reminded me of how we’d sometimes get diaries for Christmas. For the first week or so, we were gung-ho. Then the entries got shorter and shorter. By the time February rolled around, the diaries were gathering dust. Good intentions– why are they so fleeting?? Sigh… : (

  2. You said: “It’s my opinion that no matter how many video-casts and /or tutorials in other formats are available WordPress is firmly headed in the direction of appealing only to those who are like us.

    We are well educated and have good reading comprehension skills.
    We are not intimidated by technology and have used computers since the first ones rolled off the assembly lines.
    We will search extensively first, exhaust all tutorials in all forms of media, and we will click buttons until we figure out how to do what we want to do. The last thing folks like us do is cry for help.”

    Well, maybe, a big may be we are under-estimating 2 generations younger than us, who already are growing up, knowing nothing but being on the Internet and networked. Therefore the basic skill of blogging will gradually reach more of these folks through the school system. But yes, that will not happen until the instructors know the skill first.

  3. That number is impressive but I stil think in the earlier days, I prefererend blogger.com because it was much easier to navigatie as a beginner in the blog. The themes with much of colour were all free & nearly all the themes in WordPress, when they are really cool, you must pay for them! I stick with my colourful theme that I have now!

    1. Hi Sophie,
      There’s little doubt about it. These days Blogger software is easier to use and one can change fonts and theme elements and colors free of charge on a blogspot blog.

  4. Impressive that 18.9%.
    There’s always a big increase of new blogs at the first of the summer…and they taper off as people find other things to do that are more physically active. And many bloggers who write frequently slow down in the summer with vacations and family demand/kids.

    Has anyone considered a “new blogger” tag/section that showcases new writers all in one spot? Maybe let new bloggers reside there for a month of so? It’s easy for a new blog to get totally lost in all the existing ones. If they were given a spot and lumped together, maybe people would explore and leave encouragement for the new ones.

    I’m not sure the “awards” really accomplish much.

    How about WP sending an email to the new bloggers after a month to ask how it’s going and if there’s any help needed?

  5. Before I began my blog about two years ago, I had a dozen stories written in case I ran dry. Many might not follow thru because they are: discouraged by the commitment, not sure what to say, and give up too soon because they are frustrated when few if any respond. I also agree with PiedType about spammers setting up a site.

  6. I wonder if Matt’s figures account for the spammers who set up blogs with no intention of using them, just so they can become registered WP users — like so many of my so-called “Followers.”

    1. P.S. Plus I’m sure I’m not the only person who has set up several blogs just to claim particular names for possible future use.

    1. I doesn’t surprise me as I’m aware that most blogs registered to day will be abandoned or deleted long before the year ends. The fact is that most who register today will not use the blog so that makes me wonder what prompted them to register and what prevented them from blogging.

      1. I can see increasingly for instructors/educators using blogging as a skill to teach writing, marketing. So maybe some people are dragged into blogging. Then they drop it once the assignment is over. That’s ok. We don’t want yet more lazy content.

        1. It’s my opinion that WordPress software has become increasingly more complex to use. It’s feature laden and most personal, hobby, small business and non-profit bloggers don’t want or need or use the multiplicity of features which being provided for those who want to use WordPress as a light weight CMS.

          I predict that those who just want to blog without reading for hours and having to comprehend the content in an encyclopedia of instructions (support documentation), which has become almost and dense and forbidding as the WordPress.org codex is will soon stop even trying to blog here.

          When I first began to blog her in 2006 there was a single FAQs thread in the single support forum we had. I have watched the support documentation grow and have seen that the answers I provide in support forum threads and in my posts published in this blog reflected in the support doc entries as that living document grows.

          It’s my opinion that no matter how many video-casts and /or tutorials in other formats are available WordPress is firmly headed in the direction of appealing only to those who are like us.

          We are well educated and have good reading comprehension skills.
          We are not intimidated by technology and have used computers since the first ones rolled off the assembly lines.
          We will search extensively first, exhaust all tutorials in all forms of media, and we will click buttons until we figure out how to do what we want to do. The last thing folks like us do is cry for help.

  7. Thank you for linking to my post, tt. I purchased my WCSF livestream ticket about 2 days after they went on sale and very much enjoyed the experience. One small correction to your note on retention, the focus of Matt’s comment was user retention, not reader retention; two separate but equally important topics.

    1. Ho Jen,
      Sorry about Freudian slip. It communicates my own focus of on reader retention, rather than Matt’s focus on user retention. LOL :D I’m so tired that I find it amusing, though I admit I probably shouldn’t.

      My contract is steady year round but the amount of work I have to do increases when my husband travels. Our business is busy during tourist season and as husband has taken a second position requiring travel I have more to do when he’s not here. We are aging baby boomers with no other options when it comes to providing for our future by working long hours now as we know we won’t be able to live beyond the bare survival level on pensions. Like all of our friends of the same age we are over extended and over tired.

      I do hope my readers click into your post and share their opinions on user retention there. I’ll do the same myself as soon as I can.

  8. Wow, that’s such an interesting retention stat! I am curious as to what the annual retention rate is, plus how many single sites per person as opposed to multiple sign-ups by the one blogger (hope this makes sense . .).

    1. Hi Patti,
      We been aware of the fact that most blogs started today will be abandoned or deleted within less than a year’s time. The one week stat Matt provides is a real eye opener. I’m considering which factors have a direct effect on user retention from the get go because Matt’s stat reveals how many would be bloggers never even got off launching pad.

      1. I think a lot of users, ever those who have their own web site and are intelligent people, sense there needs to be several hrs. spent up front to get a blog started and something that visually looks good to the blogger! I think there is a group of people who are smart enough to sense this, but are overblowing things abit.

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