I took a vacatation on Thursday to go to a special charity screening of Serenity. My wife was coordinating the activities of the Raleigh venue, so I was gone from early afternoon till late in the evening. Right before bed, I figured I’d check my email – and I found that I’d gotten dozens of emails about The Software Wars Map in my inbox.

Dozens of emails? Had I suddenly gotten a lot of traffic?

Oh, yeah.

Google Analytics hadn’t updated with new information since early Thursday morning. :-/ I did a bloglines search and found that I’d been slashdotted! Cool beans, I thought. I didn’t know how much traffic I’d gotten, but I got some emails about it.

It wasn’t until early afternoon on Friday that Google Analytic updated with current stats.


Until late May, my site only got about 50 hits per day. Then I got a sudden burst of traffic from StumbleUpon. For a couple days, I was getting about 4k hits, was linked to from a number of other sites (Meneame was a big referer), and then the traffic started to slowly peter off, down to about 800 hits per day.

Then, at about 5pm Eastern on 6/22, The Software Wars Map made it to the front page of Slashdot. I got slashdotted. That day I got over 35k page views. The next day, 6/23, I got over 60k page views!

I’m glad so many people like the Map.

A few interesting things:

  • The Software Wars Map is popular internationally. Over two-thirds of the traffic from the past couple days has been from outside the U.S.

  • Russians love the Sofware Wars Map. I’m getting lots of referers from *.ru domains, and visitors from Russia alone are accounting for roughly 15% of my traffic.

  • 30% of the incoming traffic is coming in without refering information. To me, this means people are clicking on links via email clients (I am getting measurable traffic from mail.yahoo.com and mail.google.com) that don’t send referers, or a number of people have referers disabled in their browser.

  • Slashot has a great multiplier or echo effect. On Saturday, I had referers from 859 different sites, many of them refering hundreds or even thousands of hits of their own.

  • Now, almost two days after the slashdot post, I’m still getting over 500 hits per hour, and the line seems to be getting more horizontal, but only 8% of my traffic today has been from slashdot. 29% is coming directly or without refering information, and roughly a third of my traffic is coming hundreds of sites with only a couple referers each.

How much is this costing me?

My site is hosted with NearlyFreeSpeech.Net and I’m a big fan of their service. It doesn’t look like the slashdotting had any affect on my sites availability. NSFN offers their service purely on a metered basis – no monthly packages. They charge $1 per 1GB of bandwidth. That’s it.

Here’s my bandwith usage over the past few days, as of 10 am on 6/24:

  • 2006-06-24 – 434,883,800

  • 2006-06-23 – 5,564,038,647

  • 2006-06-22 – 2,188,222,647

  • 2006-06-21 – 120,476,225

So this whole slashdotting will end up costing me roughly $10, exactly like they said in their FAQ. They rock.

Back to the email

Like I said, I got lots of email about Software Wars. I got lots of feedback. Almost all positive. And, of course, lots and lots of suggestions. I’ll post more about that later.