One Reader vs 100 Likes: On Making an Impact

This post ran in the Question this week.

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I read a blog post last week – “A Teenager’s View of Social Media, written by an actual teen.” Apart from offering a crash course in Yik Yak and Snapchat, and affirming that Facebook’s death knell was sounded when my mum joined up, the insight into an 18 year old’s headspace that really snagged my attention was this:

“If I don’t get any likes on my Instagram photo or Facebook post within 15 minutes, you can sure bet I’ll delete it.”

It was a candid admission, and I appreciated the stunning simplicity of approach. In a channel that is, let’s face it, about being seen and affirmed, anything that doesn’t resonate should be immediately withdrawn. Wiped from the record. Why not?

On the Wellness Almanac, for the last two years, we’ve posted a blog post every single day. We’re approaching 50,000 views, averaging 60 views to the site a day, with more than a handful of days spiking above 100 views and a few days going closer to 200. Some days, that looks like success.

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But some posts get just a handful of views – and it flushes the question into the frontal lobe : is it worth it? If only 6 people even looked, and no one liked it, retweeted it, or shared it, did we fall short? What happens when we need to talk about things that are hard to hear? That no one is going to like?

Impact is hard to measure. Social media, with its metrics dashboards, analytics and insights pages, makes us think we can. But a memorial gathering might be a more accurate indication of meaningful impact. As Seth Godin, another marketing guru, said in a recent interview, the only metric that actually matters: Will people miss you if you’re gone?

Books have impact, too. A book’s success might be measured by number of days on the New York Times bestseller list, literary prizes, or who played the main character in the movie version, but “pass-along factor” offers a way of measuring a simpler sort of impact.

That’s what we’re harnessing at the Wellness Almanac right now, with the #WellnessReads2015 call-out. We’re on the hunt for the books that make us better. And the books that make us better, here in this little corner of the world, might not be world-changing, now-trending, buzzworthy tomes.

IMG_3061They might be discomforting, provoking, challenging – having an impact even if not flippantly “liked”. Certainly, that’s the case with the handful of books that have been reviewed previously at the Wellness Almanac – like Chief Bev Sellars’ memoir of residential school They Called Me Number One.

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But anything can be a Wellness read – cookbooks, stories, memoir, self-help, travel, how-to, fitness, nature, parenting, kid’s books, local history, fiction or poetry.

Wellness journeys are wide-ranging and varied and the books that awaken some mind-shift, growth in awareness, or boost in vitality, are worth talking about, and passing around.

The weekly recommendations that will be shared on the Wellness Almanac come from anyone with a book that fits the bill. Watch for them. If you want to nominate a book, email thewellnessalmanac@gmail.com with your story. Share a quote. Snap a photo. Spread the love. After all, the community that reads together has a lot of awesome conversations.

What we’re trying to do, all our volunteer contributors, at The Wellness Almanac, is contribute every single day to something that is relevant, resonant and read-worthy.

It’s one avenue to try and bring people closer together, and support wellness journeys across the entire spectrum, whether the daily focus is training for an Iron Man, raising a healthy kid, slowing down, drinking a bit more water or dealing with addiction. To say, hey, it might not be worth a “like”, but here’s something that we hope is worth a listen.

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