Friday, August 10, 2007

I was Dugg!

On a typical day I receive about 200 visits to this humble blog per day, plus an addition 40 or so who read me on rss feeeders. When a popular Anglican blog like Titus One Nine, Mad Priest or Father Jake posts on me, my traffic can increase to close to one thousand. On Wednesday, however, I received 30,000 (yes, thirty thousand) visitors, and yesterday had close to 4,000 visitors. What happened?

I was Dugg. is a community-based web bookmarking site. Members of the community submit articles and blog posts to the site, and users can vote for the article or blog post in question. In addition, users can comment on the post in question. After a post receives a certain number of votes, it will appear prominently on the Digg website, resulting in a massive increase in traffic--at least for a short time.

So what did I post that became so popular? It was this post. In this post, I comment on two posts by a thoughtful atheist, Eric Michael Johnson, who is a primatologist and endocrinologist completing a PhD at Duke University--one making a joke about religion, and the other making a more serious argument about why he thought that faith and reason were in tension.

Guess which part of the post got all of the attention? Obviously, the joke. In short, I received 30,000 visitors who came to see a joke that I did not even originate! While about 95% of these visitors came to this one post and went no further, the five percent who did look at my other posts was a sizable number--about 1500. Many left quite thoughtful comments on my blog. And, I noticed a large increase in the number of people who read my blog on rss readers.

Will the increase in readership be lasting? I doubt it. To a large degree, being dugged is the blog equivalent of a one night stand. Still, it reinforced for me the power of networking on the web, taught me what a "tipping point" really is, and it was certainly fun while it lasted. The moral for the Episcopal/Anglican blogosphere--digg is a great tool for Evangelism!

1 comment:

bls said...

I got one of those this week, too - it was Reddit, though, and they liked a post about an archeological discovery that named "'the chief eunuch' of Nebuchadnezzar II, king of Babylon."

I guess I should sign up for one of these. If I stop being lazy, maybe I will....