Happy Birthday Cog Blog

Writing a blog is a self-indulgent activity. After all, what is the author doing except sharing his opinions on the assumption that anyone will be in the least bit interested in hearing them? Well, this post takes self-indulgence to a whole new level by being arrogant enough to reference the best bits of the Cog Blog. ‘Best’ in whose opinion? Mine of course. Why? Because last week the Cog Blog celebrated its first birthday.

Since I was bullied into starting a blog by an ex-Millward Brown colleague who I won’t name to save him from embarrassment (and from the threat of violence from enraged fellow-workers) I have posted 66 times and according to Google Analytics have generated around 11,500 page views amongst around 3,500 people.  To be fair this excludes what I gather is called ‘dark social’, the numbers attracted to my content by others reposting it on their sites. But even counting these numbers there is no question that the Cog Blog is tiny. Even though these figures are extremely small beer, the fact that I have managed to reach so many is amazing to me.

By the way to give some context, the AdContrarian blog (the best thing out there as I tell everyone) has been going for 7 years and has so far attracted over 3.6million views. So small beer is right.

The most popular Cog Blog posts (in terms of views) have been one of the several on the GroupM digital trading business, Xaxis, here, and the more recent one on Omnicom’s trading dispute with Channel 5, which is here. Criticising agencies is it would seem good for business.

Personally I am rather proud of my pieces on the future of media agencies (if you would like to read those you can find them via the archive dates on the site. They all appeared in August and September 2013).

I am also pleased that it turns out that I was right to question the sense of the Omnicom Publicis merger. You can read my doubts from last July and August here and here.

Finally in this parade of self-indulgence I rather liked my headline ‘Why Xaxis needs a Whyaxis’ but then that’s just me.

The gratifying thing about writing a blog is that you can write exactly what you like. There is no need to spin anything any which way. I don’t like upsetting anyone, and I realise that I have ruffled a few feathers, but the owners of the feathers know (as many have called me or met with me to explain in no uncertain terms why I’m talking nonsense) that my rants are nothing personal. There’s something liberating about knowing that I don’t have to care about what my agency, or some holding company CEO thinks about my ramblings.

It’s also very gratifying to receive positive feedback. Believe it or not that happens quite often, especially from those in the USA who read my material via Jack Myers’ excellent platform (www.mediabizbloggers.com).

Thanks to everyone who has commented, praised, rubbished, yelled, or screamed at me over the last year. I would say something like ‘the fearless commentating will continue’ but that makes me sound like a real journalist which I certainly am not. So I’ll just carry on hacking.

See you back here next week.


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