Peter Scott's blog recently looked at problems with identification of customers, and the first response remarked on how much harder it is with internet 'click' customers as opposed to 'real' people walking about. I'm going to talk about what I know, or think I know, about my blog's customers.
A blog's customers are its readers and despite (or because of) being new, I've kept an eye on my site stats to try to get a feel for my customers. Since I left my SiteMeter public, you can see them too, just by clicking on the link to SiteMeter at the bottom of the blog or here [go on, have a look at what I can tell about you :) ].
My item on Jonathon Lewis's book got triple the traffic of any other page though I don't think he should get too excited since we are still talking double figures here. But for me trying to understand my readers, it is interesting. Most of my visitors, where I can tell, have come from orablogs or a similar blog aggregator. Although there were links about the book on AskTom's front page and Jonathan's own page, neither featured in an RSS feed, so it was probably news to most readers. Of course, I've got no idea how many readers OraBlogs have, so I am probably judging by too small a sample.
Since my previous internet activities were in forums, my blog extended from there, being mostly technical and resembling answers to questions which hadn't actually been asked. While I'll still do that, the 'Jonathon Lewis' spike gave me a feel for my 'customers' suggesting that blogging, and being syndicated by OraBlogs, is more like having a chat in the pub (or coffee-shop) with your workmates.
The Oracle WTF [http://oracle-wtf.blogspot.com] definately has that "You'll never believe what I saw today..." feel and other blogs have newsy items such as what has been released, who is going where and so forth. I'm therefore going to try to throw some more non-technical talking points out and see what happens.
Judging by my SiteMeter data, especially with my relatively small traffic figures, its feasible to track down details of readers and especially those who leave comments. I wanted a counter at least to pick up hit numbers and was a bit surprised by the amount of information it recorded, especially with the referrer details. I think I can turn the referrer details bit off and/or remove public access from my site traffic. However I don't want to get into some of the heated discussions that can go on, and I don't expect people to post anything that they wouldn't say 'aloud'. Since the information is recorded I figured I might as well let people see what is collected about them. My own 'Freedom of Information' policy if you like.