Slashdot effect updated…
Wednesday, February 5th, 2003
Dave asked why Joel Spolsky, author of Joel on Software, gets 400,000 reads from a Slashdot link.
For comparison, I wrote my buddy Ben Sullivan, who publishes ScienceBlog. He says “For me, the Slashdot effect is spilt in two. Sometime they put a story from Science Blog exclusively inside on their science section. That generates, maybe, 2,000-3,000 reads over several weeks. But a front page posting for all the world to see brings in about 10,000, almost immediately (12-24 hour period).”
So I wrote Joel, noting that other other folks get up to 10,000 page views when Slashdotted. Joel replied: “we get about 30,000 page views on a normal day and about 120,000 page views on a Slashdot day. This includes every page, not just the one that slashdot linked to, and I’m not counting based on referrers because that only gets the first page. … I think my site is quite a bit stickier than average. (Every day I get a few emails of the form: ‘I found your site from a link and spent the whole afternoon reading everything…’).”
On his blog, Joel has added further context, noting that a) the number Dave originally quoted was for “hits,” which are approximately 400% higher than “page views” and b) the Slashdot links always come on days when he’s sent out his newsletter to 16,000 subscribers c) plenty of other bloggers link to him on that day.
For reference, a February 1999 article about the Slashdot effect’s impact on traffic at three web sites concluded that Slashdot could drive up to 4000 readers to a popular link. An addendum to that article noted that the original article got 17,000 visits after being Slashdotted itself.