My blog is a modest one, with subscribers in the low (really low) triple digits. I’ve been on WordPress since January and had established a pattern of traffic. To be sure, new articles varied in the amount of views they obtained, but overall my traffic pattern was quite predictable.
Then came The Link.
I happened to check stats Monday afternoon just as I started getting referrals from daringfireball.net. My blog saw its record for views in one day nearly triple. I knew Gruber had a bajillion readers, but still…
On Tuesday the momentum carried over, quadrupling the record from before Monday.
“Big deal, Tom,” I hear you saying, “it was just one link, get over it”. Well, it’s not The Link that interests me, but rather what I learned from its impact:
- While views were up considerably, comments did not spike to go with it. I set no record for single-day comments on a post.
- Even now, the total number of comments on the post is only a little above the old record. Clearly, the new viewers were not the commenting type.
- Or, conversely, my “regular” viewers are the commenting type. Not sure which is which, but I find it interesting that in two days I received seven times the views for one post, yet you’d never know it by the comments.
- Then came the other links: Blog.wired.com; iLounge.com; CultOfMac.com; Reddit.com, and more. Plus links from German, French, and Spanish sites.
- Did these links come because of Gruber’s “recommendation”, or would they have found the post on their own? Put another way, had Gruber not linked to it would the post have set a new record for me anyway?
- To the questions above the answer must be “no”. Especially given the number of links that said “via DF”. Without The Link the article would have been more or less “average” for this site.
I knew that Gruber’s (and others’) sites had this kind of influence, but it was fun to be able to watch it up close and monitor it myself.
As for the views, since I have no ads and make no money off this site, page views, in and of themselves, don’t mean that much. Generally speaking, they matter to the extent that they bring comments, which I enjoy.
To me, comments > views because the former (on my blog, at least) typically mean the post has been read and digested, while the latter may just be a “click and run”. If you’re not selling page views, a “click and run” is of little value. It certainly does no harm — and I’m glad to have any potential new reader — but it doesn’t really matter either. I don’t intend to draw conclusions from a single data point, but I braced for a number of comments that never came.
Is there a downside to any of this? Well, the WordPress stat graph scaled to match the new maximum values. By comparison, all other days look really small. I gotta be reminded of this every day for the next 30 days until it rolls off the graph. 🙂
Oh well, all things must come to an end. Soon my traffic will revert back to normal and this blog, its 15 minutes of fame up, will fall back into that relative obscurity out from which it had for an instant emerged.
[UPDATE:] It’s been a half-hour since I posted, and in my latest feed reading I see my post made it to Digg. Weird how this works. Click the Digg headline and it actually links to Wired’s take on my post. What’s kind of funny is that at the bottom of their post it states “The Small Wave via Daring Fireball”. Hmm, is that kind of like “The Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi”?