This blog usually hums along at a healthy 400-600 views per day, with most of the traffic coming from search engines.1 Occasionally a popular post pushes that to 1,000 or so.
Yesterday was somewhat bigger.
These were the stats reported to me at the end of Tuesday, January 22, 2013:
- Views: 27,097
- Visitors: 7,023
- Views per visitor: 3.86
I also netted 113 diggs and 44 cumulative reddit points.2 In addition the blog received zero comments, one automated pingback and one new subscriber, proof that volume of attention doesn’t have any real value in and of itself.
The post that attracted all this traffic was a compilation of the infographics of xkcd, receiving 10,209 views alone, with thousands more views for the associated image attachment pages.
According to these figures, the top 5 most popular xkcd infographics are:
- Movie narrative charts (3,594 views)
- Height (2,229 views)
- The electromagnetic spectrum (1,426 views)
- Depth (1,211 views)
- Gravity wells (1,174 views)
Of all the traffic that flowed in, a few thousand readers flowed out: 1,905 to various xkcd pages, 97 to doteduguru.com, 35 to the xkcd blog post about the colour survey, 32 to various pages in the xkcd store, 32 to the Up-Goer Five Text Editor and so on down.
The story of a somewhat popular blog post
A while ago I wanted to look back over all of the chart and diagrams Randall Munroe has created for xkcd over the years, but I couldn’t find a decent summary anywhere. I decided to create that summary myself, reasoning that it would make perfect blog material. It took me two solid evenings to research and produce.
When the collection was published I promoted it on reddit (to r/infographics then r/xkcd) and also posted to Hacker News, but got no real traction in either place. Somewhere along the line another redditor posted my link to r/mildlyinteresting – a much more popular subreddit that I hadn’t even considered. I think it was probably from here that my post found its way to digg (and therefore also popurls).
Although making the front page of digg isn’t the big deal it used to be it’s still a site I use for discovery, so it was satisfying to see my own blog featured.
Potential security risk?
Annoyingly a couple of people on reddit mentioned that they were presented with a malware warning and unable to see the post.
I don’t currently have any ads running so I was confused at first and wondered if the post just seemed spammy because of the format (lots of outbound links to all these infographics). After further thought I remembered that the domain halfblog.com is a porn blog! Although it is entirely unassociated with me (my porn blog would look much nicer!) some security software might have me on a blacklist anyway.
So I guess that’s something I should look into. I’ve never been entirely happy with the Halfblog name, so changing that could be the solution.
I have some more substantial posts planned for the near future that could also be popular, so stay tuned!