Signal to noise ratio is engineering jargon. It is also used in everyday speech. The signal is that which is important, interesting and relevant. The noise is everything else.
FilterJoe has always been about increasing the signal to noise ratio of the internet.
What I found after 3 years of blogging is that only one type of FilterJoe post had a strong enough signal to be noticed:
It happened by accident. People found my first article comparing browsers more than any other prior post. The comparison was a buried side point but that’s what people were looking for. So I made my browser comparison an annual feature and developed more product/service oriented posts.
By the end of 2011 there were over 20,000 unique visitors per month to filterjoe.com, and virtually all of the traffic related to comparisons, reviews, and other information about products and services. This happened despite infrequent postings—fewer than 40 posts between March of 2009 and December of 2011.
In addition to encouragement from readers, I started to have conversations with other people about product information. Why is it so hard to find quality product information online? Why does it take so much of my time? What can I do to make it better?
One thing led to another and now I’m cofounding a company that aims to do a much better job with online product information. More about that later.
Back to the questions:
- Where has FilterJoe taken me?
- Where Am I taking FilterJoe?
The answer to both questions: product information.
I’ve learned a lot over the past few months about the way online product information is currently done. Over the next few months, I’ll share some of what I’ve learned. I’ll continue to share information about products or services I use and/or have extensively studied. And I may be experimenting with different styles and types of presentation with the aim of helping inform how we develop our service.
But the basic idea of FilterJoe will stay the same. It will be about helping people find what they need and work without distraction. It will be about increasing the signal to noise ratio of the internet. It’s just that it will mostly be helping people find the product information they need, while keeping distraction and noise to a minimum.