Tuesday, July 14, 2009

What One Tweet and One Link Can Do

The recent article I wrote on the VGPC blog about my adventures buying Nintendo World Championship became quite popular. At the peak 6,600 people were reading the article per hour! It all started with one link on GameSetWatch and one message on Twitter.

June 23rd - The NWC Gold article was published. During the first seven days a few loyal readers commented about the purchase and we had our usual 300 visitors per day reading the articles on the blog. This is what I expected because I thought only video game collectors would find the article interesting.

July 1st - GameSetWatch posts a link to the article in their GameSetLinks article series. During the next 8 days only 47 visitors come directly from this link.

July 2nd 9:34 AM - A user on twitter, KyleOrl, tweets about the purchase with a link directly to the NWC article.
First Article Tweet

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July 2nd 5:39 PM - Brandon Boyer from Offworld.com posts a tweet about the article after reading KyleOrl's tweet. This tweet also shows up on the Offworld.com website.

July 2nd 11:30 PM - Kotaku writes an article about the $17,500 video game purchase and traffic spikes. Almost 1,400 people visit the site during the next hour and traffic remains elevated for the next 24 hours.

Hourly Traffic After Kotaku Article
Blog Traffic After Kotaku Article
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July 3rd - A few more gaming websites post articles about the NWC Gold purchase. By the end of the day 15,000 people read the blog and there are 68 comments on the article.

July 4th to July 5th - Traffic to the site slowly drops over the Independence Day weekend. On July 5th there are about 3,700 visitors.

July 6th 1:32 PM - Yahoo writes an article in their video game section about the "clinically insane" purchase.

July 6th 6:00 PM - Later that night the article becomes the most popular article on yahoo and is show on the yahoo.com home page. 6,600 people click the link in the yahoo article during the first hour. By the end of the day 23,500 people have visited the blog.

Hourly Traffic After Yahoo Article
Blog Traffic After Yahoo Article
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July 7th - We receive five interview requests about video game collecting and buying the Gold cartridge specifically from publications like Nintendo Magazine in UK, TheStreet.com, and WXLP radio station.

The publicity the article and video game purchase generated was quite a shock to me. I didn't think anyone outside the gaming community would care but people were very passionate for and against the purchase. Some people thought my kids would be ashamed of me - "I am sure that when your kid grows up he will be ashamed that his father wasted money that could have payed for medical bills, tuition." While others thought it was great, "Congratulations!! I know how it feels to have such wonderful part of history."

The most interesting part of the whole situation was seeing how one link on a website and one tweet can lead to so much more.

Charts Showing Visitors To VGPC Blog During Article's Popularity

Below are charts showing the number of visitors to the blog before, during, and after the article's popularity.

Hourly Visits to Blog After NWC Article
NWC Article Traffic Chart Hourly
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Chart With Numbers Showing Visitors To Blog
Traffic Spike with Numbers
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Unknown said...

Wow, that's actually kinda cool. Twitter does have that ridiculous effect. It's what happens when you give people personal rss feeds.

MW said...

I haven't seen nearly that kind of results from Twitter yet, but this is proof that I'll have to keep it up. I guess most everyone came due to the quality of the story. I immediately added your site to iGoogle after finding you via Kotaku. I want to see more articles like that about older games.

JJ Hendricks said...

Matthew - these kinds of results don't happen every time on Twitter that is for sure. But it can happen under the right circumstances.

Thank you for subscribing. We will definitely continue the articles about older video games and game collecting.

Unknown said...

How did the spotlight feel? Glad I found you when you were only a minor celebrity ;)

JJ Hendricks said...

Earthbound01 - haha. I'm glad you knew me before I became a celebrity too, that way you know the "real" me before the fame corrupted me. Now it's just parties and ladies all the time :)

Honestly I didn't really like the spotlight that much. It was great getting some publicity for the website, but I personally don't really want "fame".

Christopher said...

You really do love your stats don't you :) Shame it seems to have had no affect on increased comments in other posts though. Ah well. 5 minutes of fame and that...

Anyway, I should be off to complete my real reason for being here - Tomba! stats. What's the largest you've seen one sell for? I just sold an english/ swedish language version for £88 shipped, about $145.

JJ Hendricks said...

Christopher - Yeah, I am a big stats fan. We have had an increase in comments on other blog posts since the NWC article came out. Nothing like the number of comments that article received, but definitely more than we got in the past.

Regarding the Tomba sale. The highest price we recorded was $105.53 on 8/2008 for a sealed copy of the game. Your price would be the highest I have ever seen. The game might be more popular and expensive in Europe though (we only track US prices at this point)

thesimplicity said...

Wow, you even ended up on Yahoo? That's awesome. It was pretty awesome to see Kyle Orland link to you as well.

The one time I've been linked to from Kotaku my web host collapsed from the traffic. That site is insane.

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