Starting the Virus: the SlashDiggBoing Phenomenon

Christopher Boyd at Vitalsecurity.org recently had the wonderful, server-melting good fortune to receive coverage on the front pages of Digg, Slashdot and BoingBoing, all in a 24 hour period. He cited Alexa rank for each site (Digg is the #107th biggest site online, Slashdot is #172 and BoingBoing is #1,161), which alone suggests a good week for the gang at Vitalsecurity.org (if, perhaps, a bad week for their IT crew). Digg alone referred 64% of the site’s traffic.

Where it gets interesting, though, is when Boyd’s analysis goes beyond direct referral traffic:

“While still taking a fair beating from Digg, the story then spreads to Slashdot and Boingboing. Boingboing is a new one on me, but the effects are still being felt as of the 16th of July. The reason? It’s not so much the that comes from Boingboing – though it’s a nice blast. It’s the fact that everyone and their uncle goes off and reposts their content. You then find yourself in a short ‘quiet period’, before all of those sites then hurl their combined traffic at you in one never-ending cavalcade of Bandwidth pain. Ouch. Ouch in a good way, though…. in addition, the article has started to spread across Myspace itself, and lots of profiles start carrying the story. Many of the Myspace postings are from Boingboing, too.”

A few days into the cycle, Digg and Slashdot referral traffic tapered off, while sites that repurposed the BoingBoing post grew to two-thirds of Vitalsecurity.org’s traffic:

“It’s just (what feels like) a never ending stream of websites – some of which might only push through about 8 visitors – but combined, it’s quite the buttkicking. And it goes on for days. And days. And more days. In fact, it’s still going on. Though I’m not including the whole week on this summary, yesterday I had just over 15,000 pageviews appear out of the blue – all connected to Boingboing reposts.”

  1. # Boing Boing’s Power to Amplify, Online and Offline said: October 19th, 2008 at 11:27 pm

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