Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Slashdot Shark

On November 5th, 2009, I achieved every nerd's dream when a story about my research on music analysis, iTunes' Genius feature and my music game Herd It was featured on Slashdot, spending over 24 hours on the front page! Better than a Ph.D, a love of Unix or a lifetime pass to the Star Trek convention, this certifies me as a complete geek. w00t!

Of course, the best result from all this was that we got lots of traffic to Herd It and collected some great data. Many sites have talked about the surge in traffic - and website crashes - that results from being Slashdotted but Herd It fared pretty well, once I suspended the huge, inefficient MySQL query I use to calculate scoreboards. Alas, all these new users were fleeting... such is life. Looking at Herd It's Google Analytics, there was a big bump on days 1 and 2 (while we were on the homepage) which dropped of steadily over the subsequent week until we were back to just about our original level. This must be a phenomenon that is seen with many one-shot promotions (news stories, price drops, superbowl ads) and inspired me to coin the term "The Slashdot Shark".

Without warning, a huge fin rises from the depths, strikes and then disappears, leaving carnage and destruction in its wake!