Because I included a reference to my blog in my sigs at Mac-Forums I started getting a little traffic. With friends and the folks from that forum popping in I was averaging about 20 unique visitors a day. The nice folks at Digital Apple Juice asked if they could reprint my blog there. Sure, why not? That also generated some traffic.
I was running Google Analytics and, other than a mental lapse for a couple days in late February where I removed the tracking script, my traffic looked like this:
Up to this point in time I had 716 visits and 1,441 page views. It was simply bubbling along.
I noticed that the folks at Digital Apple Juice were getting digs on their articles so I figured I'd try that myself. I added the little Digg box in the top right of my templates and submitted my first post about a Windows developer getting a Mac. I did this on Thursday, March 13, in the morning.
I got a couple of Diggs that first day. Just a few though. Friday morning I checked on my stats and it looked like I was getting a spike in traffic. I went out to lunch with a friend and while away I was besieged with e-mails telling me that people had been commenting on my blog. Suddenly iChat was popping up windows from friends telling me that I was on the Digg front page!
There were nice comments, strongly opinionated comments and some flat out "hater" comments in there. I immediately took the anonymous commenting functionality off because there was a direct correlation between the "you suck..." and anonymous. They all wanted to cast stones while wearing masks. Mob mentality at its finest.
Fortunately I use Blogger to host this blog because this is what my traffic looked like by Saturday morning:
For Friday alone I had received over 1800 diggs, which translated into 63,694 visits and nearly 93,000 page views. Saturday dropped to 11,762 visits and nearly 18K page views. The 15 minutes of fame that being Dugg affords is now passing. It was a bit of a rush to get up into the Top 10 topics on Digg (#5 was the highest I saw).
So what made that particular post tip? Clearly it was because the Windows vs Mac argument continues to bring heated debate. I imagine if I put up a post about Linux vs Windows it would likely also bring lots of traffic, though there are many posts like that on Digg that never generate any traffic. Clearly something hit a nerve. Was it the fact that my picture - which got sucked in from the about me part of the page - made it a personal statement? Likely it was a combination of those.
If I was driving traffic to this blog to monetize it with ads (which I am not) it may be worthwhile to try creating controversy to drive traffic, though that doesn't really sound like a fun business to me.
As an entrepreneur that builds applications that use the Internet I continue to be fascinated by what makes a meme happen. My little flirtation with Digg popularity finally gives me some data points on it that I know are real. I hope by sharing this with you that you find something valuable in it as well.