Activity vs. Impact

Ideally I would like to create a positive impact on the life of my readers.

To measure how I am doing I'd like to know:

How many hours I saved to my readers by providing solutions and explanations?

How many people managed to improve their work process due to my blog posts, videos, webinars, workshops, etc.?

How much people enjoyed themselves while consuming the content I distribute?

How many people felt empowered after reading my posts.

How many people found a better paying job in a nicer environment due to the content I create or curate?

Impact

Impact is how the life of my readers improved by a really-really small thing: e.g. They got help solving a problem. They learned something new. They enjoyed themselves. Even maybe something much bigger, like finding a better job.

That would be the ideal, but these things are extremely difficult or even impossible to measure.

Unless something had a huge impact on my life I usually would not be able to tell which web-site or which author had an impact on my life and what is the weight of that impact.

If I can't say it then I can't expect from others either.

Activity

Activity is the number of blogs or videos I published.

It is the number of Tweets I made, the number of posts on LinkedIn or on Facebook.

The number of commits as you can see on my GitHub profile and the number of pull-requests I sent.

All those are important.

They are important to me because many times I look back and I feel I have not done anything. Especially after a day wasted on trying to debug some stupid error I made.

Seeing these numbers at the end of the week or end of the month give me the feeling of accomplishment. I know I was not just spending time watching fun movies on YouTube.

These numbers might also be interesting to the people who pay for my services on the Code Maven site or who support me via Patreon.

They are also quite easy to measure.

However, they are far less important than the impact I mentioned earlier.

Proxy

If measuring the real impact is difficult or outright impossible, then we need a proxy. Something else that correlates with the impact, but easier to measure.

A few possibilities.

  • Number of visitors to my web sites.
  • Number of views on a post on the social networks.
  • Number of viewers of a video, or the % of the video they saw.
  • Number of participants in a free webinar.
  • Number of "likes" and "re-shares".
  • Number of subscribers or followers.

Ultimately though, probably the best proxy is the number of people who are ready to pay for my content or who support me via Patreon.

Many people frown upon money as a measurement of value, but somehow with Patreon it seem less problematic.

  • Maybe partially because you can give as little as 1 USD / month.
  • Maybe because many people give money as a donation and not in direct exchange of goods.
  • Maybe because I can emphasize the number of supporters and USD amount of support.

Conclusion

In the upcoming monthly reports I'd need to focus a lot more on measuring the impact and especially I'd love to see the number of supporters via Patreon to steadily grow to a few hundred and then maybe even more than a 1,000 supporters.

Published on 2020-08-17 by Gabor Szabo