The anatomy of being Hacker Newsed

Hacker News is one of my favorite news sites. Together with Twitter it has almost replaced by RSS reader as my main source for finding interesting stuff to read.

For those of you not familiar with the site, it’s sort of like Digg but focused on technology startups and, well, “hacker” news. Links can be submitted by anyone and every registered member can vote on a link. The links with the most votes end up on the front page.

That’s what happened to this blog post last weekend. The result can be seen above.

Since my traffic to this blog is modest to say the least (I’m not writing very often), the effect of the Hacker News front page appearance is pretty obvious…

But Hacker News was just the first wave of traffic. The second wave came from Twitter. Derek Sivers was kind enough to tweet my blog post and with roughly 200’000 (!) followers the link was mentioned and retweeted 96 times.

Best of all was all the comments and discussions around the post.

The link “only” got 32 votes on Hacker News but that was enough to stay on the front page for about half a day. I posted it Saturday late after noon, central European time so the timing probably wasn’t perfect if you want to maximize traffic (on the other hand it’s more difficult to get to the front page on a more busy time).

This blog is hosted on so unfortunately I can’t dig deeper into the visitor statistics but at least I can say with certainty that the amount of traffic coming from Twitter by far surpasses the traffic from Google, at least for now.

I’ve been on the Hacker News front page before but that time I “only” got about 800-1000 visits. As a comparision, I once had a Youtube video on the front page of Digg. It got about 35000 views, so Hacker News is still relatively small. On the other hand, it has exactly the kind of readers I want with this blog.

I’m really sorry for not having had the time to reply to everyone and thank everyone who retweeted but believe me, I’ve read it all and my heart is warmed by the response! Thanks everyone!

Btw, here I am studying the visitor stats together with a friend:

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  1. Pingback: 2010 in review – this blog in numbers « Opportunity Cloud

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