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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Happy 4th Blog Anniversary A Lean Journey

Today marks the 4th anniversary of A Lean Journey Blog and as tradition here each year I take the opportunity to reflect. The act of "self-reflection" is called Hansei is Japanese. It is the practice of continuous improvement that consists of looking back and thinking about how a process can be improved.

I’d like to think that I turned my naive endeavor to share learning along my own journey into a successful contribution in the Lean community. As I have said before this labor of love has been a tremendous learning process both from the great fans and other colleagues online that I exchange with and from the process of distilling my own learning with you.

Some may be asking how do you define success for a blog?  I think like most publications it is basically about audience.  Are you growing followers? Are people reading your posts? So like in previous years we can look at the number visitors, Facebook fan, tweeps on Twitter, and LinkedIn members as an indication of growth.

The number of returning visitors to the site shows some level of satisfaction with the content.

Year over year growth indicates a positive trend with readers.

This past year the number of Facebook fans increased 45% to 840 people. The number of Twitter followers increased about 30% to 1650 people. Our LinkedIn group saw growth of 50% to about 575 members. This past year exhibited a number of new sponsors like LeanKit Kanban, Lean Enterprise Institute (LEI), Kogan Page Publishers, and Creative Safety Supply.

The “Top 3 Posts” of the past year were:

If I revisit last year’s goals they centered on bringing some new features (content) to the blog.  First, was a concept I called the “Meet-up” which introduced various Lean leaders to us practitioners, many of them friends and contributors to A Lean Journey.  I asked them 5 questions in order to get their perspective on Lean.  There were about 25 posts over the summer highlighting these authors.

Another, feature was to highlight previous posts and present a summary of these for easy review by readers. This series was called “A Year Ago”.  There were only 8 such posts this past year. This proved to be quite manual intensive so I decided to spend more energy on new content.

The last area of focus this past year was to increase guest blogger posts.  I feel it is important to provide an opportunity to new voices. We all can learn from others if we will just listen. Sharing others opinions, lessons, and thinking can teach us all something. This past year there were about 20 guest posts on the site.

As look into my 5th year of blogging I foresee a number of potential milestones.  As this post marks my 901 post my 1000th post is not far behind. Further, based on the number of visitors and projected growth there is a real possibly to reach 500,000 visitors to A Lean Journey. All these milestones are cause for refocus. As such I am going to reach out my audience to hear the voice of the customer.  It is important to understand after all this time what people like and dislike. This will allow me to provide the value readers are looking for. This may come in the form of a survey but I am always open to feedback because in the end your opinion has a great deal to do with content and the success of A Lean Journey Blog. Another activity I have in the works is an overhaul of the site. It has been some time since the design has been reviewed.  With the additions overtime it has become more evident a simpler cleaner layout will be more beneficial.

I would like to thank all the visitors and contributors to A Lean Journey Blog this past year.  It has been a successful Journey this past year. Please, share your feedback so that A Lean Journey can be even more successful next year.

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1 comment:

  1. Tim, Congrats on 4 years! That is quite an accomplishment.